Friday, July 26, 2013

Dressed for success!

A while back, I was given the opportunity to take a class on the book of Ephesians. This letter was written by Paul to strengthen the believers in Ephesus in their faith. In Ephesians 5, Paul encourages us all to live in the light, to be like Christ, to discover and learn what pleases the Lord and then DO IT. Ok, that seems easy enough right? On the contrary, it’s not easy at all. It’s a daily commitment to be aware of His presence and to submit our own agendas to His will.
If we are to live in the light and be like Christ, there is absolutely no way humanly possible we can get there on our own. It is up to us to be mindful and on guard. With each step closer to Christ, the more Satan wants to destroy our lives. He will use any tactic in his arsenal to get us sidetracked and deter our focus off the things Christ has for us.
Knowing that Satan wants to destroy our lives and will do anything to make that happen, we have to be prepared to “do battle” every day. Ephesians 6., beginning in verse 10, Paul encourages us to be strong in the Lord by wearing the full armor of God. Like any soldier on the front lines of a war, we also must put on this armor every single day. The armor of God will help us fight against Satan and his evil tricks (v.11).
Go with me for just a minute to tomorrow morning. Are you ready? Consider this scenario. When the alarm clock goes off, turn it off of course, and go through this little exercise. Pretend that you are preparing for the “battle” of the day. I realize this may not be a stretch for some of you – especially those who have been jolted out of bed by the cries of a hungry baby and not the soothing buzz of an alarm clock…but stay with me. 

Envision yourself putting the belt of truth around your waist and the protection of right living (breastplate of righteousness) on your chest (v.14). What is the belt of truth you ask? It’s the truth we find in God's word and must be the standard by which we live our lives. Everything we do, everything we say, and every thought must be aligned with the truth of God’s word. Believe me, unbelieving friends and family members are watching. Satan would like nothing more than to trip you up. It is important to know the truth of God’s word and then live it out or clothe ourselves with its protection for the day ahead.
Next, we put on our Godly shoes which help us stand strong (v 15). The shoes represent the gospel of Jesus Christ. Godly shoes will give us motivation to continue to proclaim that true peace can only be found in Jesus Christ.

Then we pick up the shield of faith to protect us from Satan's insults, setbacks, and temptations. Looking over this shield, we can see past our circumstances and know the ultimate victory is ours.

Next, put on the helmet of salvation to protect yourself from doubting God's redeeming work on Calvary. Christ paid the price - our home is in heaven. 

Lastly, pick up the sword of the spirit. The word of God is our only offensive weapon. Get into the Word and find God's truth there. Use the sword to cut through the enemy's lies.
With this armor securely in place we’re now ready to take on the day. How do you look? I bet you look great! Are you ready to face anything Satan throws at you? Did you notice how important it was to clothe yourself with the truth and fight with the sword of the spirit? That means we must know what God’s word says and apply it to our daily lives. We have to be aware of the “things” that can easily “entangle” us so that we can slash through them with the truth.
While this armor that we’ve just put on is great protection, we also need one more thing. We must pray, and when we think we’ve prayed enough – pray even more! Nothing is too small to pray about. In fact we should replace worry with prayer (Phil. 4:6-7), pray in faith (James 1:6) and then praise God whether he answers our prayers or not (Psalm 105:1-4).
Are you ready to stand firm? I encourage you today to be diligent in your fight against Satan and his schemes. Remember you’re not alone. God is with you. You have the power of the Holy Spirit living in you.
Have a great day today and be confident knowing you’re protected by the armor of God!

No comments:

Post a Comment