Thursday, September 19, 2013

Not if...but when

Be ready for the attack because the question is not "if" it will come. The question is "when" will it come.
Maybe this sounds a bit extreme to you. An attack? That sounds like war. I thought we were talking about getting fit.
We are.
Fit for the fight.
In this life we are in the middle of a battle each and every day. It is the most intense of fights that is battling for the most sacred of territory: the human soul. Satan badly wants to win. He has an arsenal of tactics he uses to tear us down and gain ground. He uses fear, failure, rejection, guilt, shame, lies, inferiority...the list could go on forever. He takes every negative emotion and revels in it, using it to further his purpose of getting us deeper into darkness.
But God is standing in the light offering us a suit of armor if only we will put it on.
Ephesians 6:10-17 says, "Finally , be strong in The Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
Isn't this encouraging? Yes, the battle is going to come and you are going to be on the front lines. But you are not ill equipped. You have everything you need to not only fight but win! Hallelujah and praise The Lord. He knows the adversary we will come up against. He knew, before he created us, that we would need all of this armor to fight in His army and be victorious through Him. Most importantly, He knew that on our own we would be destined to defeat.
So, in his wisdom and love, He has taken care of us. He has filled our lives with resources that are found only in Him. When we accept His armor we can go confidently into the battle knowing that we aren't fighting on our own, but God is acting in and through us to reign victorious.

When you surrender your life to Christ and receive his gift of salvation you might as well be putting a big "X" on your chest. Better yet, make it a big cross. Because satan will be eyeing you as if you are the target in a game of darts. Your cross is the spot. He loves nothing more than to pull children of God away from their loving Father. He desires to thwart God's good plans for you. Those who have yet to become born again aren't under this same intensity of fire. Satan already has them. But you, dear friend, are on the enemy's radar screen. Are you ready for battle?
You must be fit to go into the fight. You must be aware of the lies the devil will try to feed you. At times they will be convincing. You will begin to doubt your worth and place in God's kingdom. You will question whether or not there is a plan for your future that is prosperous as the Bible promises. Satan loves when he puts doubt and fear into your mind. So be on high alert for these scare tactics. They are some of his favorites.
The list of weapons that satan will employ is limitless and different for every person but the armor of God is always the same: truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, the word of God.
Ephesians 6 goes on in verse 18 to say, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests."
There is nothing more defeating to satan then a forgiven sinner on their knees, crying out to God. Speak to your savior. Speak the words of scripture and truth. Pick up your armor. Go into battle with a clear mind, a firm foundation and a reassurance that the battle is already won because God has gone before you. He has plotted your path and made sure you are equipped to handle the trials you will face. There is never an attack that comes as a surprise to him. He knew it would come and He gave you everything you need to overcome it.
Just like a marathon runner prepares for the big race, prepare for the battle. Every marathon runner prepares for months or years before putting on their special number, setting them apart from all the others competing in the race. They wear through running shoes, spend hours building their muscles in the gym and work to build their endurance. Without the proper preparation the race will certainly get the better of them. Likewise, we cannot go into battle without getting to know our armor. We must get into scripture and learn the promises of God. We cannot wait for the battle to come. We must prepare in advance.
Today as you prepare for the duties and responsibilities that lie ahead don't forget to put on your most precious of apparel. Put on your armor. Satan is on the prowl and he would love nothing more than to steal your joy and shake your peace. Don't give him the satisfaction. Go into battle clothed with the armor of God. Face today, and each day, with the protection of your almighty God who reigns victorious over the fiercest of enemies. Through Him, and Him alone, the war has been waged and the enemy has been defeated.

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