Tag Archives: the armor of God

March 19; It’s a Battle

Deuteronomy 19-21

When you go to war against your enemy, Satan, and see the media, government officials, and special interest groups that seem stronger than you, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who rescued you from being slaves to sin, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, our High Priest Jesus Christ Himself, shall come forward and address the army. He shall say, “Hear, O Christian, today you are going into battle against your enemy Satan and his army. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” (from 20:1-4)

I think we sometimes forget we are at war. We’re still pretty comfortable here in the US and many of us have been lulled into a false sense of security and peace. But make no mistake about it. We are at war.

I have also heard some soldiers in our army say, “It’s too much. The country is too far gone. The end is near.” Are we really ready to raise the white flag in surrender? I don’t see that battle plan in Scripture at all.

Are you willing to say Satan is too powerful for God? Or are you going to quit with the excuses, put on the whole armor of God, and join an army of Christians ready to stand up  and be counted? Whether it’s a battle for your soul, or the battle for our country and the world, we are at war. And sitting back and doing nothing is doing something.

I pray you will ask the Lord what you can do as a soldier in His army. Remember who the enemy is. It’s Satan. Our enemies are not flesh and blood. Not homosexuals, newscasters, politicians, abortion doctors, or the annoying neighbor next door. But the lies they believe, fueled by evil, are the things I believe God would have us fight against.

Light always overcomes darkness. That is, if someone is shining the Light. It’s a battle God delights in winning. Are you in?

 

Ezekiel 26-30; Take That, Satan

Ezekiel shares that God likened the king of Tyre to Satan. A model of perfection, adorned with beauty, guardian of cherubs, blameless until the day he chose wickedness. His heart became proud, corrupt, and dishonest, so God threw him out of His Presence. And Satan landed on earth.

Who of us has not been prideful, corrupt, or dishonest ourselves at one time or another? A flash from my past came to mind as I sat here thinking about this. Forty-some years ago, when ATM’s first came on the scene, I pulled up to the ATM of a bank near the grocery where I was heading. I put my card in, punched in $40.00 from checking, then took the money from the machine. It was like magic!

I immediately realized it had given me one too many $20’s. I remember sitting there for a second, before driving away.

I stole that $20.

I even remember rationalizing my sin by telling myself God must have wanted me to have it, seeing that I was living paycheck to paycheck with a few unpaid bills sitting on my desk at home.

Wow. Hadn’t thought about that in years. But I realize how much Satan’s influence is here on earth. He whispered the same lie in my ear that he whispered in Eve’s. “You deserve this.” And I fell for it just like Eve did.

I’m not the same person I was in my twenties, thankfully. Not too long ago I was putting groceries in my car when I realized a jar of onion powder was not in a bag. I checked the receipt and realized the cashier had not charged me for it. I found myself beginning to rationalize not paying for the onion powered. “It wasn’t my fault she didn’t see it.” “I want to get home to put the frozen stuff in the freezer,” “I don’t want to walk all that way back into the store for a measly buck and a half.” But I shut out those thoughts, and I took the jar back into the store to pay for it.

Now, I’m not saying that so you’ll think I’m some kind of saint. I’m not. But I share that to make the point that, even though Satan’s influence is as strong today, God is still stronger.  God gives His children every weapon we need to resist the devil. And God wins every time we allow Him to fight the battle.

Satan won’t stop shooting arrows, but we can put on the armor of God and not allow those arrows to penetrate. When Jesus places His righteousness on us when we repent of sin, His righteousness lives in and through us. We  begin to think, and act, like Jesus. And Satan has no power against Jesus! That’s great news!

And there’s more! Ezekiel reminds us that Satan is already defeated. God speaks outside of time, telling us:

… So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more. (28:18b-19)

Take that, Satan. You are already toast. God wins. You lose. And those of us on God’s side win with Him.

Who’s side are you on?

 

Nehemiah 4-6; Fighting the Good Fight

The Jews worked fervently to get the wall built. But they never took their eyes off the enemy, and were always armed for battle. They recognized the enemy’s cunning attempts to thwart God’s work. But the wall was built in 52 days, in spite of the enemy’s best effort to stop it.

I think Christians working in churches are doing a pretty good job of getting things done. Outreach programs, inviting atmospheres, Bible studies, and child-care. I’m not so sure we’re doing a great job at arming ourselves against the enemy.

Read these chapters in Nehemiah and you will see Satan’s tactics; the offer of friendship, deception, fear, lies, etc. The enemy even “got in” to the inner circle by marrying the daughter of a prominent Jew. The Jew’s enemy was relentless.

And so is ours. God seems to be asking me to check my own battle stance. Am I busy doing things for the Lord, with one eye on my enemy? Or am I assuming that the enemy can’t touch me as long as I’m working for God? Have I put on the armor of God, do I wield the Sword of the Spirit? Am I studying God’s Word so that I understand Satan’s battle plan, can recognize his tactics, and fight when his arrows are pointed at me?

I must remember that Satan’s goal is to destroy the Church one soul at a time. May I fight the good fight as I do the things God asks of me. May you do the same.

March 8 – But I Like It Here

Numbers 31-32

What is our responsibility to each other as members of God’s family? The sons of Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh were comfortable living east of the Jordan River. They knew the land God had promised Abraham was to the west. But they liked it where they were.

Moses agreed to letting them stay there on one condition: Help your brothers take the Promised Land.

Just because they weren’t going to make their home there, it didn’t give them a free pass out of the battle.

So the question is, what is your responsibility in the welfare of your church fellowship and in the global Church? You may be comfortable in your relationship with the Savior, secure in your place in heaven. But does that mean you can put your feet up and let others fight the battles?

There is more ground to gain, more souls needing salvation, more sins to defeat. Moses told the two and a half tribes if they didn’t help win the war, “you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.”

Dear one, not putting on the armor of God and engaging in the war against Satan is sin. Not telling your neighbor about Christ is sin. Not inviting people to church, supporting missions, or praying for the lost, are sins.

What is our responsibility? To join forces with other Christians and get the job done. We need to be supporting, encouraging, praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ as we all do our part to further God’s Kingdom one soul at a time.

Feb 23 – Protecting The Presence

Number 1&2

It took a great amount of organization to navigate the Israelites through the desert. Clearly a million or so people weren’t going to get to the Promised Land if they were going at it a million ways. As it happens, God is a good organizer.

God broke it all down in manageable bits. His plan, if followed, would make the journey more enjoyable, and guaranteed its success.

You’ll notice in these chapters that everyone camped with their own family, and they set out with their own family. Reuben’s ancestors stayed together, as did Judah’s and Gad’s, as did each of the rest of the twelve tribes.

The Levites, who were in charge of caring for and transporting the temple, and who had no warriors among them, were always surrounded by the other tribes for protection.

You do know I think this is more than just nice little history lesson, right? The temple was where God abided on earth at that time. Today He abides in the hearts of those of us who are saved by His grace, through the blood of His Son.

So as I look at how God instructed the Jews to surround the temple, to protect it from all sides, I wonder what I am doing to protect God’s Presence in my own life.

Reading the Bible and praying, going to church, listening to Christian music are all good and useful. Resisting sin, being selective about the TV I watch or the books I read, standing up for the Truth of Scripture, sharing Christ with the lost, surrounding myself with Godly friends, serving, giving, are other ways of protecting Christ in me. The Bible tells us to put on the whole armor of God. (Ephesians 6)

I am reminded there is an enemy in Satan who would destroy the Presence in me. I believe God is encouraging me today to be organized in my defense, to make purposeful choices to protect this place where He lives. If I do, it will make my journey through this life more enjoyable, and guarantee its success.

After all, Christ in me, the hope of glory! That’s worth protecting!

Jan 11 – Do You Feel Safe?

Job 29-31

As I read Job’s words this morning about how he wished he could go back to the old days when life was easier and he felt safer, I had to think about what life has been for me here in the USA these past six decades.

Life was simpler, of course, when I was a child. I was born a few years after WWII ended, and our country was still glowing in the victory. I was confident that my sisters and I had a roof over our heads and food to eat. (I wasn’t aware of the struggle our parents endured to make those things happen)

I felt safe, running from house to house in our neighborhood, playing outside from morning to night. I remember some hype about possible nuclear war, the Russians coming, and people building bomb shelters. Even then I didn’t feel unsafe.

Not even during the Viet Nam War did I worry about an enemy attack on our little town in Ohio. It was war on someone else’s turf; far, far away.

We were pretty comfortable for decades in our safe, secure homeland of America. But 911 changed that. And we live with the knowledge we are not impenetrable. Gang wars on our streets, domestic and foreign terrorism is a reality we live with every day.

But as I read Job it occurred to me that Job’s enemy – and ours- is Satan. We are in the middle of a spiritual war, played out in flesh and blood conflict. I’m afraid we’ve become so concerned about our Middle Eastern enemies we’ve neglected to recognize the real danger of the subtle erosion of our freedoms and spiritual Truth.

Friend, there is a war on your soul. I know many believe that if they ask Jesus into their hearts it’s enough, they are home free. They feel secure in their salvation, impenetrable. Can’t touch this, they say to Satan.

But I wonder. Let’s not feel so safe we ignore the subtle attacks Satan continues to throw our way; the acceptance of sin as normal, the watering down of the Gospel, tolerance, looking at God as our buddy and not as a Holy God who demands holiness of His children.

I want to be a good soldier in God’s army. I want to put on the armor of God, to study His Word to show myself as approved by God to do His bidding. I want to take my enemy seriously, his threats as personal.

If you read God’s Word you will be encouraged with the fact that He promises never to leave or forsake us who know Him. He promises to be our shield and protector, our light, our guide. If you read God’s Word you will never see God saying to sit back and enjoy the ride. This is war.

Do you feel safe in the middle of this spiritual battle? If you are an active member of God’s army  you can feel totally safe. I would suggest, however, if you are too comfortable, too complacent, satisfied to sit back and let others fight the war, beware. The wolf is at the door.

Dear God, I pray for Your army today. May we recognize our real enemy, and be ready to battle. May we not be guilty of feeling too comfortable. May we be in Your Word every day. May we spend time praying, searching, listening. May we be an army of faithful soldiers. Protect our souls from Satan’s attacks, and give us the strength and courage to defeat Satan in our homes, our places of work, our churches, and our world. For Jesus’ sake.

Battles and Victories and Battles

Adonijah didn’t get what he wanted. He did everything he could to be king after his father David but we know God and David had other plans. Solomon was to be king. But Adonijah couldn’t let it go.

With Solomon on the throne and their father dead, Adonijah goes to Solomon’s mom. (I Kings 2) You know the people wanted me to be king, he tells her. So do this one thing. Go to Solomon and ask him if I can marry Abishag.

Sounded harmless enough. But when Bathsheba asked her son he was mad. Adonijah’s request wasn’t as innocent as it sounded. Abishag had connections and Solomon said it would be like handing the kingdom over to Adonijah. Solomon not only refused the marriage, he ordered Adonijah’s execution.

Satan wants your soul. And just because you may have had a victory over sin yesterday, don’t think for a minute he’s given up. He’ll try another route, another temptation. He’ll even make it appear innocent, try and trick you into turning yourself over to him.

Ours is a daily battle, a moment by moment battle. Sometimes we will defeat the enemy in our lives. But the war continues. We who know Jesus as our Savior know that he has won the war for our souls, that heaven awaits those who have repented of sin and accepted his grace.

But we need to put on the whole armor of God and prepare for battle today, this afternoon, tomorrow, right now. Satan is just as determined as Adonijah to be king. Satan wants to be king of your life. Beware. Be ready. Victory can be yours.

Father, I thank you that Jesus defeated Satan when he died on the cross and was raised to life again. I know that one day this life on this earth will be over and I’ll be in your Presence forever. Oh glorious day! But until then, may I never turn my back on my enemy Satan. May I never fall for his clever tricks, his innocent sounding temptations to sin. As I put on your armor today I ask that you go with me into battle. Grant victory today in Jesus’ name.