(Day 1 of our 8-day study, “The Struggle”, on the armor of God)
“Is not our life a warfare? It is so; for we struggle with the common calamities of human life. Is not our religion much more a warfare? It is so; for we struggle with the opposition of the powers of darkness, and with many enemies who would keep us from God and heaven. We have enemies to fight against, a captain to fight for, a banner to fight under, and certain rules of war by which we are to govern ourselves.” –Matthew Henry
Have you ever been walking along the path of life, pursuing God and His will, when you were suddenly blindsided by an event, a conflict or even a diagnosis that threw you for a tail-spin?
Sometimes is seems as if our struggle is against people or authorities, events or even laws, but the apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians, “…we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world…” (Ephesians 6:12).
The Bible is clear— heaven is real, hell is real, and the battle for souls is real.
The good news is that, if you are a child of God, Jesus has already won the war on your behalf.
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
While the devil is a defeated foe, He is still at work to keep you from living the full life God desires for you.
Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Jesus desires more for us than constant daily struggle. In fact, God has big plans for you— yes, you— which Ephesians 3:20 says are beyond even your imagination.
The good news is that God has not left us defenseless against our unseen enemy.
Instead, Paul tells us that God has provided us with an entire toolbox of “armor” He intends for us to “wear” daily: the belt of truth; the breastplate of righteousness; the shoes of peace; the shield of faith; the helmet of salvation; the sword of the Spirit; and prayer.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11
This protective gear enables us to stand firm when the struggle gets real.
Over the next 8 days, we’ll look at each piece and find out how to apply them to our daily walk.
The devil seeks to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came so that we may have abundant life (John 10:10). We need to learn to put on the armor that He provides, to stand against Satan’s strategies.
“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will be standing firm” (Ephesians 6:13).
1.) What big thing is God calling you to do?
2.) What tends to trip you up from experiencing an abundant life in Christ?
Father, thank you for winning the victory against sin on my behalf. I know that you died so that I may have a full and abundant life, but I don’t always live that way. Help me to learn, over the next couple of weeks, to apply the armor you have provided, so that I may stand against the devil’s schemes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.