Friday, July 12, 2013

Armor for the Battle

It has been clear in studying defeat and victory that these words are most common when discussing battle. And, it strikes me that doing what God wants me to do - spend time with Him, create a home that pleases Him, raise my children to know and love Him, serve my husband in a way that honors Him - all oppose the enemy. It is truly a battle. And, I must not live defeated in any of these things that God has called me to do.

Since I am one of God's children, He has given me the perfect equipment I need in preparation for battle. And, I am in awe of God's timing as He brought me to this study on the Armor of God both because my children just went to VBS which was all about God's Armor and because we will be memorizing Ephesians 6 in CC this year! Love that!

I looked next at Ephesians 6:10-18 where God describes the Armor of God in wonderful detail. I looked at each phrase and wrote down some ideas and thoughts about what those word meant. Here are my notes ~

Armor of God: Ephesians 6:10-18
* put on: it isn't part of who we are naturally, we have to make a choice to desire this armor and take action to put it on.

* the full armor of God: don't just put on part of the armor, all of it! Do not be half-hearted in my defending of right and truth. It is God's armor He offers to His children! There is no other way to access it except through Him - kind of like salvation!

* so that: there is a reason to put this armor on and a purpose

* you can take your stand: again, a choice and a position I must choose. Standing shows strength, courage and firmness - there is no room for fear and timidity here.

* against the devil's schemes: we have an enemy - this is war! Schemes tells me it is trickery, he will use deceit/anything possible to try and bring me down. Remember a scheme comes with lots of small print at the bottom and does have strings attached.

* For our struggle: the word our here refers to God's people, ones who have identified our lives with Him; struggle reminds me - it is a struggle, not easy, a battle, a fight, a trial.

* is not against flesh and blood: we may have struggle in the flesh but the source of struggle is sin and we have to remember sin began with a lie. The father of lies is our adversary.

* but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world: it takes me by surprise a little bit that rulers is plural here. We still live in a fallen world where sin is prevalent and Satan is still free to move about. This is the world of darkness and of evil and coming/waiting is our Kingdom of Light! We can live in it now through His light in our hearts, but are still surrounded by darkness until He returns.

* and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. We cannot see physically the forces of evil but we can see the results of their efforts. Spiritual warfare is very real.

* Therefore: because of all that was just said by way of reminder regarding evil - take action! Because of that {words that preceded} do this {words that are coming.}

* put on the full armor of God: a second reminder to make the choice to clothe ourselves with this armor and to use all of it - the full armor of God.

* so that when the day of evil comes: the why; not if the day of evil comes, when. A warrior trains for battle, he does not just wake up one day and go fight an important battle and expect to win, there is training, practice, preparation and readiness.

* you may be able to stand your ground: without God's armor we stand on our own, exposed, without protection, defenseless; His armor is how we can stay firm, stand strong and not back down, nor retreat.

* and after you have done everything, to stand: to still be standing at the end; fought the fight, given it my all and still be standing.

* stand firm then: as before, what I think of when standing firm is courage, no fear, not backing down, resolute, believing in my cause, strong and willing {a decision to stand firm.}

* with: you don't stand firm alone, vulnerable and exposed; take up God's armor!

* the belt of truth: I like that God mentions truth first because that is where it all starts - truth. I notice that a belt circles our whole being - so we are completely surrounded by truth.

* buckled around your waist: not half-heartedly in place; secure and "around" reminds me of the complete encircling or surrounding; God is specific - there is no guess work.

* with the breastplate of righteousness in place: I think of David's Under Armor that he wears to work, it covers his life-supporting organs - mainly the heart. It can get hot and there are probably times he wishes he could take it off, just like armor gets heavy, maybe hot and cumbersome - but it is provided by God for our protection and good. Once we start with truth, the response to that truth will lead to righteousness {or unrighteousness.} It reminds me of when our pastor holds up a watch and his Bible and shows that when I am in Christ, I am inside Him {he places the watch inside the Bible to illustrate} and when God looks at me, He sees Christ and righteousness. See Colossians 3:3.

* and: reminds me we need the whole armor of God not just one piece!

* with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace: our feet carry the weight of our entire body, amazing! Think also of wearing flip flops vs. wearing good supportive shoes. I love how this points out that the Gospel of Peace is what gives us readiness, a willingness to go, to act, again - it is not reluctant but ready. This is a beautiful reminder practically of how my diligence in getting up and having time in the Word with God {Gospel of Peace} prepares me {readiness} for the day ahead.

* In addition to all this: not instead of or on their own, several reminders to take on the whole or full armor not just one piece here or there.

* take up the shield of faith: a conscious decision to pick it up and use it; do not grow weary in holding it. Faith has its foundation in Christ and will be with us in the battle.

* with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one: I love that it doesn't say the shield of faith may help you extinguish flaming arrows - it says it will. There is no fine print at the bottom of this passage! It is God's Word and completely true and trustworthy. I also love the word extinguish - it is not just deflecting or deferring, they will be completely out. Also mentions all the arrows not just some. Interesting reference to flaming arrows from Satan as it reminds me of the fires of hell.

* Take the helmet of salvation: Salvation determines my righteousness and eternal standing, a helmet is most important as it protects our head which encompasses so many of our body's functions and capabilities. Knowing where our salvation lies is crucial!

* and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: a sword can inflict a wound, to those of us who are God's children - His Word is life and beauty but to those who have refused, it is death, condemnation and horror. Reminds me of the power of God's Word.

* And: it does not end with just putting the armor on - there is more.

* pray in the Spirit: this strikes me as an important phrase, think of the opposite and it reminds me to pray in accordance with God's will or seeking His will but not to pray in myself or my desires/will. HIS!

* on all occasions: there is nothing too small to bring to God, any situation is right for bringing to prayer and not only any thing - all things.

* with all kinds of prayers and requests: when we are praying in the Spirit, our requests will be things on our heart and He will not always say yes but He does want to hear what is on our hearts - He wants us to share that with Him. Not limited to praying in a certain way or for certain things - all kinds.

* with this in mind: kind of like having a therefore; a reminder to look at all we just learned and bring it forward into the next thought.

* be alert: on the watch, not lax or lazy, awake, ready

* and always keep on praying for all the saints: don't give up on prayer {a hard one for me!} and while I believe God does want us to pray for salvation for unbelievers, He is reminding us here of family loyalty - when we are His children we are part of God's family - remember these above all and stand with, support, encourage and pray for them.


- Samuel spied this dragonfly and was so captivated by him! We ran for the camera and were amazed he sat still so long.
- Emily's Quiet Time creation one afternoon.
- reading before bed
- Santa's Workshop is in full force in our house this weekend as we bring to life Rachel's desire for a Gingerbread Birthday party in July :)