Christianity

The Armour of God – Part 2

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. 13 Therefore, take up the full armour of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.       (Ephesians 6:12-13, NASB)

Our battle is found in the spiritual realm. No amount of physical training will prepare us for this battle.  We must prepare ourselves spiritually.

What do we do?

The first, and probably most important thing we can do is spend time with God.  We can do this through prayer, and getting into the Word – not just simply photo of child reading holy biblereading it, but meditating on it.  Memorize scripture to use in battle.  Be aware that there is an enemy prowling around ready to strike at any moment.

What’s next?

Notice that we are to take up (or put on) the full armour.  If we don’t include every piece, we leave ourselves open for an attack, we become vulnerable and an easy target.  It is only by wearing the full armour that we will be able to resist (to withstand or oppose) the attacks we receive.

The end of verse 13 tells us that by putting on all of our armour, we will be able to stand firm.  Stand. Not run away, not run towards the enemy, but to stand firm.  We don’t need to seek our battles; the enemy will have no problem finding us – that is, if we are doing God’s work.

Make no mistake about it. If you are following God, if you are seeking to improve your relationship with Him, and doing Kingdom work, the enemy will find you and try to stop you.  You are a threat to him.people legs standing group

Friends, remember to put on your full armour; protect yourself. And stand firm.

 

Christianity

The Armour of God – Part 1

close up of paper against black background

In the book of Ephesians, we read about the armour of God; more specifically, we are looking at Ephesians 6:10-18.

Since my husband and I have been under several of these attacks in the last few weeks, I thought I’d do a series of posts, with regard to this passage.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

The Armour: Important

I mentioned in my previous post that during one of these spiritual attacks I wasn’t wearing my armour. I was an easy target for the enemy!  And, I was quite injured. If I’m at all honest, after examining each of these attacks, I had failed to put on my armour for any of them. Definitely not a wise thing to do!

For each of the posts in this series, I’d like to focus on a couple of verses at a time.  The posts might not be lengthy, but hopefully they will give some insight into these nine verses. In this particular post I’d like to focus on what verses 10 and 11 have to say.

Verses 10 & 11:

We begin this passage by being advised to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Our strength is not enough. If we try to accomplish anything using our own strength and power, we will fail. This has to come from the Lord. He is the only one strong enough to fight (and we know that he has already won this battle).  If we rely on our own power, we won’t be strong enough. Nothing we can do to increase our strength will equip us. This is a spiritual battle, not a physical one. No amount of physical training will prepare us to fight. It is the Lord’s power that is mighty, not ours. Nowhere does it talk about us using our own power. Any power, any strength that we get must come from God.

The Full Armour:

Next, we read about putting on the full armour – not just one, two, or a few pieces. We want to make sure we are fully protected.  If we leave off any piece of the armour, no matter how small it might be, you can bet that the enemy will find a way to injure us in that particular area!  He knows what buttons to push, and he’ll stop at nothing.  Nothing.  He wants to prevent us from doing the Lord’s work.

Also notice that it says that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. Stand. We aren’t rushing into battle. We are standing. In Jesus, we can stand firm when the enemy attacks.

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In Summary:

To summarize, during the spiritual battles we encounter (and we definitely will if we are doing the Lord’s work), we are to get our strength from the Lord and put on the full armour of God. The full armour is what helps us to stand firm during these attacks.

The next post in this series will deal with verses 12 and 13.  Hope to see you then!

Christianity

When All Is Said and Done

Saturday is the second of my husband’s days off. He’s not allowed to do any work on ballpen-business-cell-phone-796602Saturdays, or even carry his work phone with him.  I try not to do anything work related either.

Saturday is a day to spend with family. And that’s what we did today.

My husband,  step-son, and I went for a beautiful drive to Kejimkujik National Park, about 2 1/2 hours from where we live. It was a gorgeous day full of walking along a trail none of us had taken before, taking lots of pictures, and then heading into Annapolis Royal for a late lunch at a great little German restaurant and bakery.

We had a lot of different music playing throughout our trip, but on our way there, we were listening to some praise and worship music. The song “Oceans” by Hillsong United came on. I love this song!

As I listened to the following lyrics, I started thinking.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

So often, we desire to have a great faith, to be able to follow wherever (and whenever) the Lord leads us – to be like Peter and walk upon the water. We long to go deeper and become stronger in our faith.

But at what cost are we willing to get that?

If we are stagnant in our faith, we stay in the same place.  We only grow when we are stretched, when we face difficult times, when we walk through the valley. Most people don’t want that. They want the results without doing the work. And, I admit it, I’ve been like that before. I think we are all guilty of it at times.

I don’t like the rough waters, I don’t like the spiritual attacks, I don’t like the pain. But I also know that when it’s over, I will be stronger – and hopefully more mature in my faith.

bull-s-eye-dartboard-darts-70459In the last couple of weeks, I’ve faced a few spiritual attacks. They hurt a great deal. Those attacks made me question myself, my walk, and my future. But, I’m going to rise above them. I’m not going to let them affect me anymore. I’m not going to let them (or the enemy) have that control.

I feel like I’m being really stretched lately, and I know I will be stronger when all is said and done – with God’s help; not on my own.

Click here to hear Oceans by Hillsong United

Christianity

It’s Not In My Realm To Seek The Spotlight

microphoneYesterday, I stood up and read my testimony at church – at all three of our services.

Back to back to back services.

For someone who deals with anxiety, that’s saying a lot!

I don’t know if my testimony spoke to anyone or not, and I may never know. But, if even just one person could identify with something, get some encouragement, or the courage to seek recovery themselves (regardless of what his/her issue is, then I was successful.

Even if all God had intended from this was to help me get over the fear of standing up in front of many people to speak, then there is still success in what I did.

spotlightI’m shy and introverted by nature, so it’s not in my realm to seek the spotlight. It’s extremely rare for me to even desire to be the center of attention. So, for me to get up in front of over 500 people (in total), I was certainly out of my comfort zone!

To be honest, I had to read from my notes (occasionally looking up) or I would have been lost. I certainly would not have been able to “wing it” without them!  I’m far from being able to get up in front of a crowd and speak without having notes in front of me of what I want to say. But, that will just take time and practice.

And to be honest, in stepping out and sharing how God has worked (and is working) in my life, I’ve been under spiritual attack for the last week and a half. It’s been a lot to deal with, let me tell you!

That’s how the enemy operates, though. He doesn’t bother you if you aren’t doing God’s work. He wants to stop us being effective. He just plain wants to stop us. That’s why it’s important to put on the full armour of God on a daily basis so that we can take part in the battle and survive.

And, that’s where my problem lies. I didn’t do that. And because I was not protected, the barbs hit me and stuck. They injured me and drew blood.

I’ve healed a little now, thankfully.  Some of this will still take a little time to recover from, and I know I will. But I need to remember to take the necessary steps every day so that I will be protected from future assaults.

Christianity

They Don’t Know How To Pray

pexels-photo-267559.jpegPrayer.

I have heard so many people saying they don’t know how to pray. I get it; I’ve been there before.

Prayer is simply talking to God. That’s it – conversation.

Conversation requires you and at least one other person, in this case God, to take part.  And, if you don’t allow the other person (God) to speak, then it really isn’t a conversation; it’s a monologue.

And, like all good conversations, prayer requires active listening. That, to me, is the hard part. I find it relatively easy to tell God what I’m thinking or feeling, make my requests, and lift up others. I find it extremely easy to do all the talking! For me, it’s the listening that is difficult. It requires me to be still, to focus and listen for Him to speak to me.

Now, before I go too far, I don’t actually hear an audible voice when He speaks. Most often it’s a feeling, a thought, or someone else confirming something I have prayed about (especially without knowing what I had prayed).  Other times a verse from the Bible pops into my head as a response to my prayer.

And, sometimes there is dead air.  Sometimes I struggle to hear that still small voice, even when I am quiet and listening.  It’s in those moments that I need to remember to wait on the Lord.  That doesn’t mean that I stop doing anything, but I need to not rush forward with my plans without hearing from Him first.

Prayer isn’t difficult.  But we can make it that way.  We don’t need to use big, flowery words.  Simple, everyday speech is fine.  God isn’t interested in the words we use; He’s interested in us simply speaking to Him.girl-praying-hands-eyelashes-41942.jpeg

If  you struggle with prayer, I encourage you to just go ahead and do it. Make your prayers and petitions known to God, and listen; give Him time to speak as well.  Prayer is one of the easiest things we can do to help further our relationship with the Lord. And it’s something we can do at any time or any place.