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If you are like me, you probably do not feel like a mighty soldier ready for battle. In fact, for years I knew what the Bible had to say about putting on spiritual armor and to be ready for battle in Ephesians; however, I felt so wimpy and engulfed in fear. Yesterday, I looked at how we are told in Ephesians to be strong in the Lord because are real enemies are not human; we are fighting against spiritual rulers. The fear I faced was not from God and it was another part of the spiritual warfare that Paul was writing about. It wasn't until I truly believed that through Christ I had authority over that fear that I was able to stop cowering. I also feel like the more time I spend with God and reading the Bible, the more I can stand firm in faith. Please read Ephesians 6:13-17.
I am not spending a great amount of time with these verses, because earlier in the year I spent about nine weeks studying the armor of God (you can find a link to all those posts in the "Topics" side-bar). One thing I began doing since April is to pray through the armor of God each day. I do this both as a reminder to me that I have the armor of God and as a request that God would help me walk through my day prepared for whatever I may face. We are told to put on this armor so we are able to resist the enemy; James 4:7 tells us to "resist the devil and he will flee from you." I have experienced myself that the more I pray through the armor of God, the more I have believed that I have the armor of God. This is how I pray through the armor of God:
I begin by praying that I will stand firm in truth; not my version of truth but the indisputable truth of God. I also pray that God will give me the strength to speak the truth. I pray that I can discern the difference between God's truth and the lies of the enemy, but it is important to understand that knowledge of God's truth is found by spending time in the Bible. When I was studying about the armor of God, I learned that the "breastplate of righteousness" was really God's righteousness. This is important because we can never be righteous enough to save ourselves and we are not covered by our own power. We are covered in Christ's righteousness, which is another protection from the lies of the enemy. The enemy wants to condemn us; however, we are told in Romans 8:1 that "there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ." I pray that I can recognize the difference between the Holy Spirit convicting me to change and the enemy heaping condemnation on me.
I pray that I will wear peace for shoes. I pray that I can have peace throughout my day knowing and believing the hope that I have in Christ. I also pray that I will have peace to share the love of Christ to the people I am around. It is also good to remember that we are not doing life alone, we are united with Christ and that knowledge can give us peace. I also pray that God will help me hold up my shield of faith to stop the arrows the enemy will aim at me. These arrows include lies, condemnation, oppression, and much more; the enemy knows our weaknesses and will aim directly at them. When we hold up the shield of faith, we are believing what God says about Himself, us, and our relationship with Him. A good study on faith is Believing God by Beth Moore where she points out the difference between believing in God and believing God.
I pray that God help me put on the helmet of salvation. When we recognize and receive the saving power of God's grace, it should be changing us. Our thought processes are an area that starts the changes. We are reminded in Philippians 4:8 to fix our thoughts on the good things of God and when we focus on the things of God, we are protecting our mind from the evil thoughts of the enemy. Finally, we are told to "take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." I pray that God will help me to learn more about His Word and that I will learn each day how to use it in my life better. I pray that I will learn how to us His Word to fight the enemy. I believe that the best way to use the Word of God in battle is to have it in my heart. That is why I am working on memorizing scripture.
I cannot emphasize enough how each and every piece of this spiritual armor is linked to spending time with God and spending time reading the Bible every day. This is so essential to our faith walk and our growing stronger in Christ. The more we spend time with God and in His Word, the more we will believe and understand what He wants for our lives. We will also understand more about His strength and we will not rely on our own strength.
Are you putting on the armor of God?
Linking up with On Your Heart Tuesdays.