Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Armor of God

Chuckle:  Two boys were walking home from church after hearing a sermon on the devil. One asked the other, "What do you think about all this Satan stuff?" The other replied, "Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It's probably just your Dad."
Quote:  “The humblest citizen of all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error.” --William Jennings Bryan
THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD
   "A final word: Be strong with the Lord's mighty power" (Ephesians 6:10 NLT).  Why do we find it so difficult to live the Christian life?  Why are we beset by temptations that threaten to destroy us?  Why do we have difficulty finding the words to be a witness for Christ?  Why do our plans for Christian service often come to naught? What is wrong with us?  The answer is rather simple -- we have a powerful enemy whose goal it is to render us ineffective as representatives of Jesus Christ.
But the good news is that God has provided us the protective spiritual armor to withstand Satan's attacks.  Paul tells us to "Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against the strategies and tricks of the Devil" (6:11 NLT).  As Christians we battle daily with the powerful evil forces of fallen angels headed by Satan.  I'm sure you know from experience that he is vicious and relentless in his attacks.  If we are to resist him, we need to avail ourselves of God's strength and utilize every piece of His armor.
Satan uses every enticement to lure us away from our Lord and to make us feel defeated and useless.  He wants to neutralize us and make us of no value to Christ.  He often uses evil people as his allies; however the battle is best described as moral and spiritual warfare.  Listen to a description of some of Satan's methods.
"These people are false apostles. They have fooled you by disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder his servants can also do it by pretending to be godly ministers" (I Corinthians 11:13-15a NLT).  We must depend upon the Holy Spirit for the ability to discern the truth and identify those who are genuine Christians and those who are not.
So, how do we go about defending ourselves from being defeated by Satan's wiles?  Paul lists several pieces of armor we need to put on.  Briefly, these are first of all salvation, then truth, righteousness, peace, faith, God's Word, and prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit.  In this space, I cannot adequately address each of these, but I encourage you to study Ephesians 6 more fully.
The point Paul is making is that we need not be defeated, but victory does not come without adequate preparation and effort.  His message is to the entire church as well as to individual believers.  Being active in the church (body of Christ) will provide you with the loving support of other Spirit-led Christians who will help you find the strength to resist the crafty and deceitful lures of the Evil One.

Love, Jerry & Dotse

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