Read His Words Before Ours!
The last few weeks have been up and down in waves.
I’ve been grumpy and my patience has been tested.
I could say the students in my class are getting on my nerves because they’re excited about upcoming activities. I could say it’s because friends and family are irritating me. I could say it’s because some family members’ health has me concerned.
These triggers are part of the human experience, but they aren’t why I’ve been in a slump. It didn’t take long for me to review the last few weeks and realize, I have not been putting on my God-given armor.
I’ve slacked off.
I haven’t been in the Word.
I haven’t been taking time to grow in my walk with the Lord.
I don’t share this because I want your sympathy. I share this because surely, at some point, we’ve all experienced missing armor, manifesting in attitudes and actions. Therefore, I share this because I want to encourage you.
Ephesians 6:10-11 speaks to believers about putting on the special armor God gives us to use in our fight against the enemy. The situations I described above are external. What was really happening? I let my guard down and the enemy attacked. He attacked my heart and my thoughts, and without my armor to defend me, he buried me in a big mess of trouble.
We are at war every day in this world.
We tend to focus on the outside, what we see around us. We get angry with family and friends. We get disproportionately upset at minor frustrations, like an unexpected schedule change.
But this isn’t a war of the physical world.
There is a different war raging.
This war is invisible, in the spiritual realm.
While unseen, our enemy is real and ruthless. 1 Peter 5:8 calls him a “lion seeking who he can devour.” God not only warns us about him, but gives us the necessary weapons to fight him. When we believe and accept God’s gift of salvation, we receive both eternal life and an impenetrable suit of armor. We become soldiers of Jesus Christ, called and equipped by God to enter the fight against sin and Satan.
However, our armor isn’t given to us so God can leave us alone on the battlefield. He knows we cannot win this war in our own strength.
Therefore, our armor is covered in God’s power and strength.
God is with us at all times
and, clothed in His armor,
we can access His power to fight the evil forces in the unseen realm.
2 Corinthians 6:7 declares we have the power of God in us.
This truth is reflected in Jeremy Camp’s song, Same Power:
“The same power that rose Jesus from the grave, lives IN us!”
Satan cannot take this power from us,
but he will try to keep us from using it.
Leaving our armor behind gives him the opportunity to strike us.
He wants us to be apathetic and complacent.
He wants us to get lost in “what ifs” and doubt God.
He wants us to forget we have the power of God living inside us and can be victorious, even in our weakest moments. Our enemy is a crafty adversary, tailoring his attacks to take advantage of our deepest vulnerabilities.
Peering into our darkest insecurities, he draws arrow to bow.
Zing. The arrow flies. “You’re not good enough.”
Zing. “You’re comfortable, no reason to do anything new.”
Again. “You’ll be crushed if something bad happens because of this decision.”
And again. “God will never forgive you for _______.”
And again. “You can’t.”
If our armor is laying in a heap, rusted and dusty, we are defenseless against the onslaught. Satan’s accusations demolish us.
But if our armor is in place, well-fitted and consistently maintained, we are shielded by the unstoppable power of God. His power is able to deflect Satan’s lies, to topple his strongholds.
Not good enough?
God says our adequacy and worth are bound up in and defined by Him alone. (2 Corinthians 3:5)
Tempted to stay safe and comfortable?
God urges us to walk with courage and strength into new callings. (Joshua 1:1-9)
Paralyzed by fear of unforeseen consequences?
God assures us He will be with us, no matter what the future holds. (Hebrews 13:5-6)
Strangled by shame?
God heaves condemnation from our shoulders and nails it to the cross. (Romans 8:1-2)
God declares in Him, we can. (Philippians 4:13)
Every thrust of our swords and clang of our shields moves us away from the devil and toward God Himself.
I haven’t been responsible and active about my armor lately.
I’ve become comfortable and lazy.
Exactly what Satan wants.
What about you?
Are the external happenings in your life a result of setting down your armor and walking away from the fight?
It’s easy to get comfortable in our daily routines and forget our time with God.
Join me today.
Let’s steep ourselves in His Word, His presence, and His power.
Sleeping warrior, awake.
Settle your armor into place.
The battle cry has sounded.
It’s time to fight.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!