Friday, June 18, 2010

Time to Suit Up!

Ephesians 6:11 "Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil."
How much time do you take in the morning to get dressed? If you are like me, you stand before your closet and look over all your clothes....scanning back and forth trying to decide what fits, what will work for the weather outside or for the activities that you have planned for your day. Some days are easier than others....some days it's a no-brainer.....jeans and t-shirt. Other days it takes way to much time to figure out what to wear.
I got up this morning (mind you...I'm typing this in my pjs) thinking to myself...."Why don't I spend as much time worrying about what I will be wearing spiritually to fit the needs of my day?" I spend so much time worring about the physical clothing but not enough time making sure my spiritual clothing is right and fits. Ephesians 6: 11-18 takes us through the steps of getting dressed every day with the full armor of God. This armor will be exactly what we need to endure the trials and stress of the day, to come through the day spiritually intact and whole. Whatever confronts us, whether irritable children.....ornery bosses.....disagreeable spouses or circumstances beyond our control, our spiritual armor has been given to us by our loving Heavenly Father to face the battles ahead of us. So lets go through these verses step by step so we can have the full understanding of how to put each piece on and why each piece is important.
Ephesians 6:10 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might."
Paul is coming to the close of his writing. He is addressing the whole family of God and is referring to them as soldiers of Christ. You and I are in a battle every day for the cause of Christ my friend. We need to realize how important it is to be prepared daily for this battle. The first command that Paul is telling the Ephesians and us to take is to be continually strengthened in the Lord and in the unlimited resources of Gods might. Gods best soldiers are those who are aware of their own weaknesses and who totally rely on God . In 1 Corinthians 1:27b it tells us that ..."God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty." Our weakness allow God to prove and move in the power of His might.
Ephesians 6:11 "Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil."
The second command tells us that there is a need for the Christian soldier to put on the WHOLE armor of God so that he can stand against the attacks of the devil. We have to be completely armed .... putting on just one or two pieces of armor will not bring about the full protection that we need in this battle. Can y0u imagine our soldiers today going out into battle without their gun or helmet or all the other necessary equipment needed? Nothing less than the whole armor which our loving God provides will keep us impenetrable. The devil has alot of different styles of attack against the children of God. Some come in discouragement, frustration, confusion, moral failure and many more. He knows exactly where our weaknesses are and aims straight for them. If one method doesn't work....he'll try another.....that's why it is so important that we put on the whole armor of God.
Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
We live in a fallen world and because of that we must realize that our battle is not against each other but against demonic forces whose goal is to bring us down and make us ineffective for the cause of Christ. Now, we must understand that these forces cannot indwell a true believer, but they can bring about great havoc and harm. Let's remember that in the whole armor of God we have everything we need to hold our ground against these attacks. That doesn't mean that our armor won't get scuffed up and bent.....but we will come out victorious through Jesus Christ.
Now let's talk about what exactly this armor consists verses 13 through 17 we are given the names of each important piece.
The first piece of armor mentioned in verse 14 is the belt of truth, "...having girded your loins with truth," . We must be faithful in holding the truth of God's Word, but we must also let the truth of God's Word take a hold of us! We must apply it to our daily lives, the decisions we make and the way we live our lives. As we take everything we do and hold it up against the truth of God's Word we find there is great strength and protection.
The second piece of armor mentioned in verse 14 is the "....breastplate of righteousness."
In 2 Corinthians 5:21 it tells us that every believer is clothed with the righteousness of God, but he must maintain uprightness in his personal daily life.
In verse 15 we find the third piece....the soldier must have his feet "shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace". This tells us that we need to be ready and willing to go out with the good news of peace. In Isaiah 52:7 it tells us..."How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" Our safety is found when we are following the footprints of our Saviour on the mountain tops, bringing good news and peace where ever our steps lead us in our daily walk.
Our fourth piece is the shield of faith and is found in verse 16, "in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." The faith spoken of here is our confidence and trust in the Lord and in His Word. When those fiery darts come our way...they hit the shield of our faith and fall to the ground. How is your faith in God's promises and in His Word. When everything in this world tells us is then that our faith looks up and says..."I believe God!".
The helmet that God provides is found in verse 17. "And take the helmet of salvation,..."
It is in knowing that the final victory is ours and that nothing can take the gift of salvation away from us. Romans 8:31 says, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" The assurance of eventual deliverance is what keeps the Christian soldier from running away and surrendering. The sixth piece is "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."
Jesus used the Word of God is combat satan three times in Luke 4:1-13. The Word of God in this verse does not mean the whole bible...but a certain section or verse that best fits the occasion that you are in.
As we finish up this study, I want to also mention verse 18 which talks about how important prayer is. Although this is not mentioned as a piece of the armor, it is still very very important to a believers defense. Prayer should be continual, not just once in awhile or when the need arises. Prayer should always be on our lips through out our day. A conversation with God that goes into our day and finishes our nights. There is also that type of prayer that is inspired by the Holy Spirit and led by our Lord. This type of prayer requires perseverance and focus.
My desire is to put more thought and action into my spiritual dressing each morning than into my physical dressing. The best thing about our spiritual dressing is that it doesn't require our going into any just requires our putting it on. How's your spiritual closet looking these days?

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