Relentless Day 10 The Lord’s Victory: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
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The Questions

1) How can we be strengthened by God?

2) What is the full armor of God that we are to adorn ourselves with?

3) Why do we fail in withstanding the evil one and the powers of darkness?

Ephesians 6:10-13

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by his vast strength.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can withstand against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil spiritual forces in the heavens. For this reason, take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.

Original Intent

1) How can we be strengthened by God?
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote of the greatness and purpose of God in Christ, the joy of following Jesus, and the evidences of a true believer growing up into maturity in Jesus. Following Jesus is both a joy and a process by which He shapes us to more clearly reflect His glory. Following Him, therefore, results in many battles as we encounter brokenness all around us while we continue pursuing Christ. It is absolutely essential to have the power of God at work within us, holding us up in order to withstand the fight swirling around us. We cannot strengthen ourselves! Our strength must be from God, the source of all strength. (Exodus 15:2-3, Proverbs 18:10) In Acts 9, we read Saul’s story before he encountered Christ, as he persecuted Christians. Then the amazing miracle on the road to Damascus happened, where Saul was blinded by the radiance of Christ and he realized his brokenness and sin before the Holy God. Saul, choosing to surrender fully to Christ, received the Holy Spirit, and grew in strength as he studied and submitted to God. He then powerfully went forth, sharing the gospel and speaking boldly to proclaim Christ as Lord and Savior. Paul’s strength did not come from himself. It came from God as he was filled with God’s Spirit.  A Christian’s strength is drawn from The Strength, Christ alone. The more we practice studying God and submitting to His Spirit through our faith, the more peace we will experience as His strength is worked out through us. F. Foulkes shares, “When life is lived in union with Him, within the orbit of His will and so of His grace, there need not be a failure due to powerlessness” Apart from Christ, the Christian can do nothing. (John 15:1-5, 1 John 2:14)

2) What is the full armor of God that we are to adorn ourselves with?
This strength that comes only from God is necessary in our daily, moment by moment living, to meet the fierce, and sometimes on-going, conflicts that arise. Paul expresses this wearing of strength by “putting on the armor of light”. (Romans 13:12) 1 Thessalonians 5:8 pictures the armor as “Faith and Love” with a “helmet of the hope of salvation”.  Ephesians 6:14-17 provides descriptions for the various pieces of armor. We are to stand with truth like a belt around our waist, righteousness like a shield over our chest, our feet are to be sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace, and we are to carry a sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Finally, we are to pray at all times, stay alert in the fight, and persevere towards victory. (Ephesians 6:18)

3) Why do we fail in withstanding the evil one and the powers of darkness?
To neglect what we know as truth and righteousness leaves a gaping hole in our armor, subjecting us to the wiles of the evil one. This neglect leaves us open to more easily choosing to honor ourselves over Christ in our personal walk, within our communities, at home, and within the church. Neglecting truth affects the whole of us and others! We must have total reliance on God with a faith that is unmovable. With a leaky or fallen armor, doubt, fear, disappointment, selfishness, and impurity are ready to enter in, bringing destruction. Yet, God never gives up on us, even when we DO neglect His truth and walk away from His grace. His love is relentless, pursuing us even in our fallen and most undesirable state. How can we guard against this tendency to step away from truth? Prayer. Just like communication is a vital key in any successful relationship, so is prayer the key to remaining anchored in truth. Wescott, a theologian, says, “The power of prayer is gained by systematic discipline. Constancy in prayer and the natural recourse of the Christian to pray comes only as prayer has become a habit of life, and as a person has learnt to keep alert with all perseverance”. Prayer takes practice! (Luke 18:1, Philippians 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Everyday Application

1) How can we be strengthened by God? 
The Spirit is given to us as a helper in all things. (Romans 8:26-27) As a Christian, living in step with the Spirit is absolutely necessary to living in a manner by which Christ is honored. We cannot grow deeper in maturity without Him. The Spirit gives power to continue in prayer and persevere in trial. Prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit is unlimited in its outreach to those for whom it is offered. Christians are not to think only of their own spiritual conflict, but also for the whole church of Christ and for the victory of all their fellows in the fight. (1 Timothy 2:1, 1 Peter 5:9) As we pray for one another through the leading power of the Holy Spirit, the Body of Christ is strengthened! The mighty power of God by which His children are strengthened is the “surpassing greatness of His power in us who believe”. F. F. Bruce says, “it is the operation of His mighty strength by which he raised Christ from the dead. (Ephesians 1:19-20) His own resurrection power is at work in us and through us! Prayer enables us to resist the evil forces in a hostile world that is opposed to the gospel by tying us closely to God and His good heart. God’s relentless pursuit of His children is a gift of love and His desire for our relationship with Him to deepen is realized as we pray in His Spirit. In His strengthening power, He will never leave or forsake us, even when our armor is leaky or has fallen. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5)

2) What is the full armor of God that we are to adorn ourselves with?
God commands our confident trust in Him as He holds all power and authority. In a world that encourages us to believe in ourselves and achieve all we deserve, it is paramount we understand who we were designed to honor and live for. Society sets a bar to earn and accumulate. Accomplishments and accessories are applauded above humility and God Ordained purpose.  We can unequivocally trust God to lead us to victory, which is eternal life with our maker, the Creator. When we wear the armor of God, we are effectively saying, “I trust God and His strength and wisdom over my own.” When we profess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit; we are marked for eternity with Christ and rescued from eternal condemnation. From that point on, the Holy Spirit lives in us. This is what “Christ in me” means. The Holy Spirit is translating our prayers to God, revealing His Word to us, and teaching us to more clearly reflect God’s loving character to the world around us until the day we arrive home in Heaven. The enemy can mess with us, trials will be many and difficult, but our souls are off limits from the enemy because we are Christ’s! SO, in light of Whose we are, put on the FULL armor of God: be rescued from eternal death through salvation in Jesus, lean on truth to hold you up, live righteously in honor of your Lord, be ready to share the hope of Christ, take up that shield of faith as you choose trusting Christ over self again and again and again. Daily pick up that Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of the Lord, let it become precious to you. Be prepped and ready to meet each new day by being grounded in His Word, armor buckled in place, as you “walk by Faith and not by sight”.  (2 Corinthians 5:7) God is in control. Move forward with your soul protected as you share the Word boldly and courageously!

3) Why do we fail in withstanding the evil one and the powers of darkness?
When we put off Scripture study, when we choose to believe lies over truth, when we choose unwise living over righteousness that honors God, these choices, small at first, give way to a believer who is open to attack from the enemy. The power of God is infinitely superior to that of Satan and his allies. So, do we really need to be concerned when our armor is slipping? YES! The assurance of God’s power and superiority do not diminish the seriousness of conflict and difficulty on any given day.  YES, God is in control and HE is SUPERIOR to Satan, BUT if we are not prayer warriors walking in step with the Holy Spirit, then we are not prepared for the battle waging around us. Without donning our armor, we are setting ourselves up for failure in following Christ and loving those around us. We will inevitably choose lies over truth and sin and self over love and Jesus.
Satan is sinister and can somewhat be summarized like this, “Having been cast out of heaven, he is filled with fury and envy. His malevolence is directed toward God and His people. His purpose is to dethrone God and cast all God’s people into Hell. Satan walks about like a roaring lion seeking those whom he can devour. His methods are crafty and he is a great deceiver.” (W. Hendrickson) As Christ-followers, we must not let our guard down! The Holy Spirit empowers and equips us for the fight, we must simply choose to be dressed in His armor. Study His Word, stay connected to Him through unceasing prayer, trust Him to be exactly Who He says He is, the relentless God lovingly pursuing us. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Timothy 4:2)

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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