Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This Means War

I was in Bible study last night with some amazing women--women seeking God's will and ways in their lives. It is so beautiful! Through some very real discussion I was reminded of the cunning attacks of the enemy. As I drove home I began preaching truth to myself to replace subtle thoughts that have recently crept in.

This morning I want to walk through a passage I have read so often, but one that needs to be at the forefront of our minds as believers--Ephesians 6:10-18. I will write my own comments in italics.

  • Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (we cannot fight this battle in our own strength, we must submit to and rest in His)
  • Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (God has provided protection for us against an enemy who does attack)
  • For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Could Paul be any clearer? We are in the midst of a spiritual war. It often feels like it is things and people of this world against which we struggle, but there is an entire spiritual realm of dark powers seeking to destroy the witness, joy, and peace of God's children.)
  • Therefore (as my dad used to say, "When you see a 'therefore' ask what is it there for." So what is Paul about to tell us? How to stand firm in the power of God's might. May we listen up.)
  • take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (We have to do our part and "take up" what God has graciously given us. It is intentional and decisive. Why do we do this? So we can withstand the enemy.)
  • Stand therefore (We stand firm, in the power of His might as we have daily taken up His armor. So what exactly is His armor? Let's keep reading.)
  • having girded your waist with truth (The enemy continually whispers lies and we must replace those with truth. He is both so predictable and deceptive. If we do not first pray for awareness of our thoughts, then bring every thought into captivity to obedience, then we will find ourselves entangled in lies. Meditating on Truth is absolutely vital to our victory.)
  • having put on the breastplate of righteousness (We have righteousness through faith in Christ, not in anything we have done or can do. He alone is our righteousness. Praise Him!)
  • and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (As our feet walk through these days, what are we spreading? Peace or dissension? He instructs that we be ready to spread God's message of hope every where God leads this day. This again means that we are meditating on Truth rather than lies, prepared to offer life and hope to others.)
  • above all (Over all of this armor)
  • taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. (The enemy is not kind. He does not just send arrows. He sends fiery darts. He dips them in pitch and lights them on fire, then hurls them at the believer aiming to debilitate. Praise God he cannot steal our souls, but he can steal our joy, demolish our hope, and ruin our witness. But there is something that can quench ALL of his fiery darts: the shield of faith! Believe, friend, the promises God has spoken over you and me. Again, meditate on Truth and replace the lies, that we might trust the God who lavishes His love upon His children. He is there, and here, and eternally faithful.)
  • And take the helmet of salvation (Remind yourself of your redemption. Preach truth to your spirit regarding who you are in Christ. We are no longer slaves to sin, in Him we have a choice. We have been bought at a price--we are not our own. Thank you, Lord.)
  • (take) the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Again, dig in and meditate this day on Truth. This will be life to our very being.)
  • praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit (Be in constant communion with your heavenly Father. Be real with Him. Lay your struggles before Him. Do not be anxious about the happenings of this life, rather bring them to Him and allow His peace to wash over those worrisome places. He is faithful.)
  • being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for the saints (We have to be deliberate, persevere, and intercede for those beside us.)
Walking in victory does not just happen because we are children of God. We are at war. We must diligently and faithfully stay on guard and daily put on the armor of our mighty God. Stand firm, friend. Stand firm.

For further nourishment: Ephesians 6:10-18, Philippians 3:7-14

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