“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."- Ephesians 6:10-11
Last Sunday as I prepared for the always joyful, powerful, and hopeful time we have as a church family in our worship services, I was feeling a bit wearied. There was a combination of things at that was caused me to feel less than one hundred percent: I had not gotten a great night of sleep; there were some big time needs people were dealing with in the church; the dedication of time, energy, and focus for our new property has been quite consuming and draining. So as I sat in the Ministry Room for our pre-service prayer time I felt the need to pray for and apply the "Armor of God" over myself and all our church family. It was almost immediately after I had uttered the prayer that I looked over to my right and noticed a tote bag that one of the ladies had brought with her. The bag had the above scripture from Ephesians written on each side...talk about instant Holy Spirit confirmation! I immediately felt encouraged, covered, and ignited in my faith.
That prayer time of speaking each item of the spiritual armor over my life was a needed reinforcement heading into our services and a needed reminder of the importance of having daily worship expressions that connect us with God. When it comes to our daily walk of faith, I have found that there are many practices people apply to live in the presence, promise, and power of God. Some people will speak the Lord's Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..."; some will read/recite Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul..."; while others will take a prayer walk in their neighborhood at the same time each day; and some will incorporate the powerful connection of partaking of communion in remembrance of Jesus' sacrifice and gift of the new covenant.
As I think about the prayer and practice that I engaged on Sunday, of putting on the Armor of God, I want to walk you through this powerful application. There is a very real blessing and covering that comes by putting on the Armor of God, as not only did Paul through the Holy Spirit INSTRUCT us to do this, but there is a correlating PROMISE of us taking ground, defeating our enemy, and living in victorious strength!
Ephesians 6:14- "Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist."
As I put on the belt I am walking in the liberty of His truth that guides me on His path. It is a truth that keeps me looking straight ahead and not stumbling into temptation's calling and sin's traps.
Ephesians 6:14b- "With the breastplate of righteousness in place."
As I put on the breastplate I am keeping my heart pure in worship and devotion to the Lord and guarding myself from the temptations and desires that would lead me to sinning.
Ephesians 6:15- "and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace."
As I place God's peace on my feet I am going forth in boldness with a message of good news and reconciliation.
Ephesians 6:16- "In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
As I hold the shield in front of me I am protected from all the attacks, accusations, and lies that the devil hurls my way.
Ephesians 6:17- "Take the helmet of salvation..."
I place the gift and power of His salvation over my head that my mind would be free from fear, doubt, and condemnation.
Ephesians 6:17b- "and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."
I take the life-giving and promise-releasing truth of God's Word to combat and conquer the places in my life and world that are contrary to His nature and will.
Let's take the gifts, the tools, and the resources God has provided us so that we can grow, advance, and thrive every day!