Gracefully Truthful

Alive,Scripture,Strength,Struggle,Victorious

Read His Words Before Ours!

Isaiah 11:1-5
Ephesians 6:10-20
John 8:42-44
John 14:5-7
Romans 10:14-17

In Ephesians, Paul encourages us to live in light of the gospel, first outlining what God has done for us and then pointing out the implications for our relationships with one another.

Paul urges us to be strong in the Lord, in His power, not ours.
In Ephesians 6:10-20, Paul reveals how we can prepare ourselves for spiritual battle against the enemy by putting on the whole armor of God. Our struggle is not against each other, but against Satan and his dark forces of wickedness. With our spiritual weapons intact, we possess the power of God to defeat strongholds and stand against Satan’s army.

Paul chose a Roman soldier’s uniform as the perfect analogy for how we prepare for spiritual warfare. Each piece of the armor represents a part of God’s character, revealed through Jesus, that we can emulate through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

We enter into battle first equipped with the belt of truth. Without truth, we are lost, because Satan lies; his favorite weapon is deceit and he is even known as the “father of lies.” (John 8:44) Meanwhile, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. (John 14:6) It’s only through Him we come to God and know truth. 

Next, we come to the breastplate of righteousness. A roman soldier’s breastplate protected his vital organs. In spiritual warfare, the heart and soul are the vital organs and the targets of Satan’s deceptions. The breastplate of righteousness harkens back to Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Christ, “Righteousness will be a belt around His hips; faithfulness will be a belt around His waist.“ (Isaiah 11:5) Our “good works” don’t measure up; we must have Jesus’ perfect righteousness to be declared whole. As we grow in Christ and live in light of His righteousness, we are better able to guard against temptation.

We are next told to have our feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. The gospel of peace is the message Jesus gives those who trust in Him. Paul writes, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.” (Romans 10:15) The gospel of peace lends itself to both offense and defense. Offensively, we must be ready to take the gospel of peace to others while, defensively, we are to be confident of our position and identity in Christ. 

The shield of faith deters Satan’s fiery darts of attack. A shield was necessary for a soldier as one of his first lines of defense and protection. We have been saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), and faith plays this same protective role in a believer’s life. Satan wants to hinder our faith and, when his attacks are coupled with our own personal weaknesses, he causes doubt, discouragement, and temptation. Faith repels these attacks. 

We are to then put on the helmet of salvation. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 links the helmet of salvation to our hope of salvation and eternal life in Christ. Our struggle with Satan begins in our thoughts, and God’s Word guides us, teaching us the necessity of being transformed by renewing our minds. (Romans 12:2) We can remember the hope we have in Christ, no matter what Satan tells us.

Attached to the previously discussed belt of truth is the sword of the Spirit, the very Word of God. Satan hopes we will forget God’s Word, so he spreads lies and distortions to discourage and distract us. Jesus shows us the fruit of knowing the Word during His own wilderness temptation (Matthew 4:1-11) as He confidently declared Scripture and claimed the promises of God in the face of the enemy attacks. The Spirit gives generously and equips us with the right sword thrust at the right time.

In closing, Paul exhorts us to pray in the Spirit at all times, on every occasion, persisting in prayer for ourselves and others. Praying in the Spirit is praying in the power of the Spirit – not in our strength but led by the Spirit to pray according to His will. Prayer is essential to our life of faith, and is the foundation of the other pieces of spiritual armor. Jesus showed us prayer’s impactful, empowering effect from the beginning of His earthly ministry. He practiced what He preached, demonstrating the necessity of prayer through His own dependence on it. (Matthew 14:22-23)

Personally, I’ve battled anxiety and a lack of self-confidence, with negative voices clouding my inner thoughts. As a believer, I was stuck in perfectionism and people-pleasing, devoid of any genuine joy, and allowing doubt and discouragement to take hold. With persistent prayer for wisdom and discernment and through meditating on God’s Word daily, God gave me the confidence to live by His promises and truth. (John 6:63)
He can do the same for you!

Heavenly Father,
Thank You for who You are and what You’ve sacrificed for us. All glory, honor, and praise belong to You. Father, we thank You for Your Word that guides us to live a life pleasing to You. Thank You for giving us Your power and armor to stand against forces discharged to deceive and distract us.  We thank You that, in and through prayer, we can be victorious over the enemy and increase our faith. 
In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.

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