The armor of God

Eph. 6:10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”  Being a Christian is tough; it can be daunting at times and overwhelming at others.  It feels as if we are constantly under attack for a good reason – we always are.  The devil desires your soul will use his considerable power to remove you from the love, mercy, and protection of God.  To accomplish his goal, he will use those closest to you, the attraction of material things, disease, financial troubles, envy, jealousy, doubt, and temptation.  Nothing gives him more joy than seeing another soul lost to darkness forever, and he is relentless and ruthless in pursuing that.

The good news is that you are not alone.  God has promised that He will always be by your side.  The author of Heb. 13:5 reminds us of that fact with the following words, “…for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  That should be comforting to know and encouragement during those times when you are suffering through what seems to be unbearable challenges.  But we have more than His promise to walk beside us through the difficult times; He gives us all we need for the battle.  Eph. 6:11 tells us to “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”  That’s right; we have a complete set of armor to protect us from the wily ways of Satan.  We are given all the tools we need to ensure our victory against him.  God’s strength is without equal, and the devil is a vanquished foe before he even launches his first attack, but we should not underestimate his power either.

Eph. 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Do not be deceived; the enemy is a powerful adversary capable of inflicting much harm and anguish, but fear not and never retreat.  He has all the weapons of the world on his side.  He will send enemies that will come dressed as friends who will appear to have your back; they will gain your confidence and slowly try and lure you away from the protection of God.  At other times the attack will be as ferocious as you can imagine – sudden ailing health or the tragic loss of a loved one so precious to you that life without them will seem to have no purpose.  Don’t wait for that to happen before reaching for your armor.  If you do, the fight will seem hopeless, and your embattled, broken spirit will have to fight in a weakened state.  But know that even then, victory is assured.

Do what v. 13-17 tells you to do, and do it immediately, “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 firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  That does not mean battles will not be lost, scars will not be accumulated along the way, and the enemy will not gain ground from time to time – that is the nature of warfare.  But it does mean that the right attitude and obedience to the One who provides you strength guarantees you final victory.  Learn from the temporary losses, strengthen your spiritual armor and study the word to increase the power of the defenses.

And, do not be afraid to go on the attack.  Kick the devil and his plans to the curb by your knowledge of the Word and your unwavering faith in the Almighty, omnipotent and undefeatable God of creation.  And remember, pray, pray, pray.  It is your most effective tool because communication with the commander God will undoubtedly ensure victory.  Persevere when all seems hopeless, stand back up when you are knocked down, fight back with all your might, and look around you…God is fighting alongside you.

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