fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

The Armor of God

j0178865Each day we’re caught in the middle of an ongoing spiritual warfare – whether we know it or not. Satan and his demons manifest themselves in one way or another. We can’t see them and we don’t know how, but they are there – delighting in helping make wrong choices. They strive to help us to disobedience and rebellion. This is ongoing – everyday…the “norm” for the enemy. Eph 6:10-12 – “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers and against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” 

 The apostle Paul spoke about a spiritual armor we must put on so that we can be prepared to fight back. Just as we wake up in the morning, brush our teeth and get dressed, our morning routine should also include gearing up with the spiritual armor. In fact, gearing up for the day is an act of obedience. Just as a loving parent orders her child to wear a warm jacket before going out to play or school, God also directs us to put on the armor for protection. Eph 6:13 – “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm”.

God’s Spiritual Armor – Ephesians 6:14-17 – “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the work of God.” 

The first three pieces of armor (girdle, breastplate, footwear) were worn continually on the battle field. The last three (shield, helmet, sword) were kept ready to use for when fighting began.

 “Girded with Truth” (Verse 14) – girding involved pulling up the loose material as preparation for the battle. The tunic (underneath the armor) the soldiers wore was loose and a potential danger if hanging material was not girded. Imagine a soldier being tripped by loose material hanging? This armor symbolizes truthfulness; how many times have we “tripped” in our walk with God for not girding ourselves with truthfulness?

Breastplate of Righteousness” (Verse 14) – the breastplate was made of heavy leather or other heavy material that covers the full torso, thus protecting the heart and vital organs. Righteousness is synonymous with holiness; God is Holy (Rev 4:8). Holiness is a chief protection against the enemy because unrighteousness and righteousness cannot co-exist.  John 3:20 – “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that he deeds will be exposed.”

Shod with Gospel of Peace” (Verse 15) – soldiers’ boots had nails on the bottom of the sole to grip the ground while in combat. The gospel of peace pertains to the good news that, through Jesus, believers are reconciled or at peace with God. When we’re at peace with God, we feel an assurance of being in union with Him. This assurance, in itself, is cause for joy and contentment. It in this assurance that we can stand firm with our feet anchored in the ground, knowing God is on our side.  It is through this gospel that we also draw unbelievers to God’s message of salvation. 1Peter 3:15, 16

 “Shield of Faith” (Verse 16) – a size of a shoulder’s was about 2 ½ by 4 ½ feet, which covered the entire body. Heb. 11:1 defines faith as, “the assured expectation of things hoped for though not yet beheld.” This piece of the armor refers to complete trust in God, his word and his promises. It’s through trust in God that we choose obedience over temptation to sin. Part of fighting a spiritual war means that we battle with things that are unseen; when the obvious doesn’t appear before us, do we fight with “an expectation of things hoped for?” Trusting in God means that we surrender all control to Him, knowing He will lead us to victory in all circumstances.

 “Helmet of Salvation” (Verse 17) – the helmet protected the head, which was a major target for the enemy. Opponents know that one blow to the head can cause a soldier his life. This verse is not talking about attaining, but rather having the assurance of salvation that has already been achieved through grace.  The enemy wants nothing more to discourage or cause doubt our own salvation. A believer’s feelings about his salvation may be damaged by doubt, confusion or discouragement (satan’s weapons). Having the assurance of salvation is an essential part of the spiritual armor one must wear daily because blows of doubt and discouragement to the head may be fatal.

 “Sword of the Spirit” (Verse 17) – Heb 4:12 “The word is alive and exerts power and is sharper than a two edged sword). The sword is the only weapon a soldier actually uses in combat, all the other parts of the armor are only used for protection. It is with the sword that a soldier can pierce through the enemy and stop the conflict. All conflicts, hostilities, battles and confrontations can be put to an end with such a weapon as God’s Word. God’s word also helps in the offense to overcome strategies that promote untruth, confusion and separation from God.  Jesus himself demonstrated how important it is to know scripture in Matthew Chapter 4.

 Our assailant is going to take advantage of all opportunities to attack; sometimes he doesn’t wait for an opportunity, but creates ones. In obedience, let us put on the spiritual armor before we go to carry on our daily lives. Praise the Lord, who equips us with all we need to come out victorious.  May your spiritual armor daily include Truthfulness, Righteousness, Gospel of Peace, Faith, Assurance of salvation, God’s word.

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August 10, 2009 Posted by | According to Scripture | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Acting on Revealed Truth

How to make Godly decisions in crisis situations

 Isaiah 7: 1-12

 

1)   How does God fit in Your decisions when fear takes over?  Vs 1-2

 Note – (vs. 2)  Ahaz and his people were shaking with fear by the threat of Israel–they focused their attention on the powerful enemy. They failed to look to God for deliverance and protection.

Personal application–When you are in the midst of the storm, you’ve gotten bad news or the crisis has come, do you panic and ”shake in fear like the people of Judah”?   Do you feel helpless and hopeless? Remember to go back to the basics….”this I know” – “this I believe”!  God’s word speaks to every  need I have.  Phil 4:19 My best decisions are always based on faith not fear.

 

2)    God is in control of our Circumstances ….Vs 3-6

a)  When we listen to God’s voice, there is peace in the midst of the storm.  We find rest in Him.   Vs 4. God knows our circumstances as well as our perceived dangers – He is our protector.

b)  There is an inner calm in hearing His voice.    Phil 4: 6-9  (read this passage for peace and comfort)  – When we are in the midst of the storm, our minds race with bad thoughts, fears, and what if’s. Focus especially on verse 7 “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.  (God promises protection over our hearts and minds!)

 

3)    God Knows the Outcome of Our Situation    Vs. 7-9

a)  God is involved in the details of our lives.  Vs 7-9

b)  If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not  stand at all.  Vs. 9b

c)  The Lord offers hope, guidance and direction, but like Ahaz, we must choose to  believe and then receive.

 

Remember in John 11 when Martha and Mary called for Jesus to come – their brother Lazarus was very sick.  Jesus stayed 2 more days (did not come when they asked or in their time frame).  Lazarus died.  When Jesus did arrive, they both met Him and said, “ if You had been here our brother would not have died”.  He asked Martha if she believed – -3 or 4 times He asked “do you believe?  He knew the outcome!   In verse 22, there are 2 little words even now.  Even now, if all seems hopeless, we must remember His timing is always perfect – He is always in control and we can trust Him!

 

 4)  God is our provider, He wants us to place our trust in Him. Vs 10-12

Why did God offer Ahaz a sign?  God wanted so much for Ahaz to trust Him and to set an example of faith for the people, but Ahaz refused God’s offer to choose a sign – he could name anything, but he didn’t want to give us control.  Instead he made an excuse that he didn’t want to test God – how pious!   Ahaz left a legacy as a man who was disobedient to God.

Personal application:

God so loves us, His daughters.  He wants us to place our complete trust in Him alone.  What legacy will you leave those you love and care about? Do they know you are a woman of great faith and love Jesus with all your heart?

 

May we leave a legacy of obedience to God – this is my prayer. 

 

Blessings Dear Ones, Sandy

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

   

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