Friday, July 12, 2013

Ephesians 6:10-24 -- We Are in a War: Armor Up!

LINK: Ephesians 6:10-24 (read 10-17 aloud and even memorize it!)

I broke reading up so that you only have 15 important verses to meditate on today. I have mentioned this before, but I try to pray through 6:10-18 on a daily basis. We are in a spiritual war, and I guarantee you that if you are daily attempting to "walk in love and light," you will get push back from the enemy of our souls!


BACKGROUND 


This concept should be easy to understand: We are in a war!


Yet, I am the first to admit, I forget that. It is easy to think it is all myth and fairy tale. Not to mention that some theologies do not allow that there is a war. I do not believe this because the Bible says to the contrary.


Paul exhorts us to put on our full spiritual armor of God so we can be "strong in the Lord" and win the spiritual war against the devil.


Here is a rundown of the weapons from The Life Application Bible

Belt of Truth - Satan fights with lies, and sometimes his lies sound like truth; but only believers have God's truth, which can defeat Satan's lies.
Breastplate of Righteousness - Satan often attacks our hearts -- the seat of our emotions, self-worth, and trust. God's righteousness is the breastplate that protects our hearts and ensures his approval. He approves of us because he loves us and sent his Son to die for us. 
Footgear of Readiness to Spread the Good News - Satan wants us to think that telling others the Good News is a worthless and hopeless task -- the size of the task is too big and the negative responses are too much to handle. But the footgear God gives us is the motivation to continue to proclaim the true peace that is available in God -- news everyone needs to hear. 
Shield of Faith - What we see are Satan's attacks in the form of insults, setbacks, and temptations. But the shield of faith protects us from Satan's flaming arrows. With God's perspective, we can see beyond our circumstances and know that ultimate victory is ours.  
Helmet of Salvation - Satan wants to make us doubt God, Jesus, and our salvation. The helmet protects our minds from doubting God's saving work for us.  
Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God - The sword is the only weapon of offense in this list of armor. There are times when we need to take the offensive against Satan. when we are tempted, we need to trust in the truth of God's Word. 
While not a weapon in this analogy, prayer is a very important tool in fighting the enemy, and Paul closes requesting for prayer that would proclaim the Gospel with boldness! 

REFLECTION 


Have I mentioned we are in a war? The first time I led a Bible Study on this chapter, in 1984, I dressed up with all the spiritual armor (using a trash can lid as the shield). Then one of the girls wrote a 50s style song to illustrate the passage in a creative way. I wish I could perform it for you!


All this was very cute, but the enemy did not like it, and that Bible Study became really interesting with lights going on and off and things falling off the walls. I am not kidding! It was warfare! 


Through 40 plus years of being a believer I am convinced that we need to armor up daily. But my conviction does not always result in daily practice! Whenever I read this passage, I am reminded once again! 


The application section has some tools to help us do that. I have mentioned the "Morning Affirmations" before, but I am mentioning them again and will do so again before this year ends!


APPLICATION 



This is from the "Morning Affirmations" section of Face to Face: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship by Kenneth Boa. I invite you to pray this daily:
Protection in Spiritual Warfare 
O Lord, guard my heart against the temptations of the world and renew my heart and spirit: 
Since I have been raised up with You, O Christ, I will keep seeking the things above, where You are at the right hand of God. I will set my mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:1-2) 
I will be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving I will let my requests be made known to You, O God. And Your peace, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-8) 
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and anything worthy of praise, I will let my mind dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:9) 
O Lord, guard my heart against the weaknesses and temptations of the flesh so that I may reckon myself dead to sin: 
Father, I know that my old self was crucified with Christ, so that I am no longer a slave to sin, for he who has died is freed from sin. I will reckon myself as dead to sin, but alive to You in Christ Jesus. I will not present the parts of my body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but I will present myself to You, O God, as one alive from the dead, and the parts of my body as instruments of righteousness to You. (Romans 6:6-7, 12-13) 
O Lord, guard my heart against the attacks of the devil and give me the strength to resist him: 
As I submit myself to You, O God, and resist the devil, he will flee from me. (James 4:7) 
I will be of sober spirit and on the alert. My adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But I will resist him, firm in my faith. (1 Peter 5:8-9) 
I will take up Your full armor, O God, that I may be able to resist and stand firm. I put on the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness; I put on my feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; and I take up the shield of faith with which I will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. I take the helmet of salvation and the sword of Your Spirit, which is Your Word, O God. With all prayer and petition I will pray at all times in Your Spirit and be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:13-18) 
(Reprinted by permission from Face to Face: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship by Kenneth Boa, pp. 7-9)
Here is an MP3 I recorded with Scripture for overcoming the enemy:

Overcoming the Enemy Part I 
Overcoming the Enemy Part II 
(Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore, p. 301-33) 

PRAYER

Lord, help us to really understand that we are in a battle, and help us to remember to daily put on your weapons for warfare. Amen. 
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