Half the Battle
It is a battle. Every day. So many are unaware of that... the battle... that involves them, their heart, their joy, their faith, their testimony, their very life! But there is a raging battle and the enemy prowls looking for whom he can devour! And so many are simply unaware. Knowing, though, is only half the battle.
The word of God is so full of so many vivid and visual portraits of our world. God warns us- "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind , that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:2~ Being "transformed" takes an action on our part... renewing our mind. And this is a battle in itself in the midst of this dark culture in which we live. We are BOMBARDED with the enemies attacks and lies on the television, on the radio, in magazines, and even on billboards as we drive on the highway for crying out loud. His attacks and subtle lies come at us all day from every where! We have to be aware of them and we have to stand firm against them!
God shows us- "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6: 11,12 The battle is raging in the spiritual realm... one we can not see with our fleshly eyes... but it is present and it is after us... our hearts and our joy and our relationship with God... because the enemy is very angry that God has won the battle! God is the beginning and end... and He has already won... every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Since the enemy can not have our soul, he wants everything else. Every attack upon us, upon his children, upon our hearts, upon our health, upon our life is his attempt to hurt the one he hates most... Our Lord God and Father!
But God has provided a way for us to fight! "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, " Ephesians 6: 13-18
This is a pretty clear picture that we are to be aware of a battle, we are to prepare for the battle, and we are to fight the battle. It is also clear that we have to take action. We have to make a choice to put on the armor. The cool thing is that God provides the armor. And if I am going to fight in a battle against the enemy... I want my armor to come from the Lord!
We have to stand! Not run, not hide, not ignore... we have to stand! Around our waist... wrap ourselves in truth. Protect the center of our bodies with the very truth of the Lord. Write scriptures on note cards and put them every where! On your bathroom mirror. On your fridge. On your walls. On the dash of your car. In your wallet. Let truth peek out at you and speak to you from every corner as does the advertisements of distraction and lies! Memorize it!
Then there is a breastplate of righteousness. First, a breastplate if an offensive piece of armor. Actually, all of the armor is offensive except for the sword of the spirit. But a breastplate protects our chest, our heart, our life. It is made of a very hard metal that will not allow sharp objects to penetrate. It covers us. God's righteousness covers us, keeps the penetrating objects from penetrating! But we have to put it on. "Let the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is Judge." Psalm 50:6 "He shall say, Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength." Isaiah 45: 24
Above all... taking the shield of faith. The shield is something we hold, we move it, we thrust it out to meet the attack. We can also duck under it. "And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. (a lame man the disciples had just healed through the spirit of God, the Holy Spirit) Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all." Acts 3: 16 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11: 1 Faith is something that God gives us, it is something that grows and deepens, it is the foundation for our belief. It is vital for our salvation and our relationship with God. It also needs to be protected... You don't want to fight without a shield. (I skipped the feet... gospel... that's entirely another post!)
Helmet of salvation and sword of Spirit. I really like these two. The helmet of salvation wraps my head, my mind, my thoughts in truth... truth of my salvation... truth of God's promises... truth of who I am in Christ. Protecting my head is as important as protecting my heart. I have to be so very cautious of what goes in my ears and eyes... what cycles in my thoughts. This is one of the main reasons we disconnected our cable two years ago. No more television. Not that all television is bad... I love HGTV and we watch some shows on the computer (about one a week). But is is Satan's playground and that is an offensive way I protect my time, my eyes, my thoughts, AND my children!
"The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." That sums it up. The word of God is our one defensive piece of armor. We use it. We use it to protect and we use it to attack... to fight. To use it though, we have to read it, to study it, to know it. The cool thing is that by just putting on all the above, you have to be in the word! By just preparing for battle with the offensive... your defensive piece is forged.
So what is this!? This is my quiet time today... posted. This is what I needed today to claim a good day. This is what I need to do each and every day. This is what I am going to print and place in my room, in my car, in my purse, in my bible... this is my pep talk to myself! And now to you.