Ephesians 6:10-12 (NLT) A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
In all my years as a Christian, I have never been more aware of the good fight of faith as I am in this moment. The war around me in the spiritual realm has reached a magnitude of epic proportions. To believe is a battle. Fighting for faith is not at all easy. How do I hold something I cannot see? When choosing to hold on to God’s Word, many times it means holding our tongue, staying our hand and not taking a single swing. I am not there yet. I want to be. My desire is to become so confident and strong in the Lord that I am unaware of the assaults of the enemy around me. I cannot keep my heart from people and remain in unison with the Lord so it is open to the insults and hurts of others. Be strong in the Lord and in His Mighty Power. What do we do as believers when it appears that we are losing ground to the lie of the enemy? How do we respond to attacks? What are the rules of engagement in fighting the unseen when what we see is challenging enough? Put on God’s Full Armor so that you will be able to STAND FIRM against all strategies of the devil. Lord, help me to secure my armor because my strength is fading fast.
Ephesians 6:13-18 (NLT)Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
I am struggling a bit today so forgive me. I want to encourage you and exhort you but I am tired and weary. King Jesus, I need you to be my champion today. To come and save the day. The battle is too big for me. The ruthless attack is tearing away pieces of me. Secure me in Your Armor today. I am trying to stand. I do not want to walk away. I believe this is all part of Your Plan. The Belt of Truth keeps me standing. The armor of Righteousness wraps me tightly in Your Love. It promises that no weapon formed against me will prosper although it seems as though it might be. My shoes must be of peace though the hot coals of accusation and poking lies spread carelessly about are wearing through them quickly. Lord, let the peace in me be like that of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness never wearing out. My shield today is faith. Faith in Your Way. Faith in Your Word. Faith in Your Will. Faith in Your Promise. Faith in Your Name. Faith in You, Jesus. The fiery arrows are flowing from all directions. I am saved. I have the Helmet of Salvation to guard me against such lies as you will not make it and you are going under. It hushes the whispering hissing that tells me to give up. The giant is too big. My faith is too small. Greater is He who is in me than he that is in this world. Holy Spirit help me. I am fanning the flame today. Praying for His Spirit to rain down and rush in to help me. Wash away the offense. Soothe the hurt. Fight for me today Lord. This is war…
2 Timothy 2:3-7 (NLT) Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things.
We live in a war zone. Love has grown cold. Sin is rampant. Division is permeating people making its way through society all the way to the church. The Body of Christ has become cannibalistic rather filled with all-consuming love. What are we fighting for anyone? What is our mission? Do we have a goal? If it is to build a Kingdom, why are we tearing it down? Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier. The war for our soul is real. The enemy cuts to the heart every time. We are not called to fight the enemy but stand in the Power and on the Promise of God. Faith confident in the Lord’s Ability to fight and win our battles is not always easy and sometimes seems downright impossible. I like impossible. It is the realm where God takes over as I step back. Coming to the end of myself always births the promise. Today I am there. Civilian affairs are messy and keep us from the mission. Athletes can train to perfection but cannot win if disqualified. We are called to love others. (Period) To step out of love even in a religious effort to serve the Living God produces no prize just lasting disappointment when we meet Jesus face to face. Hardworking farmers enjoy the fruit of their labor. If your appetite is for anything less than the fruit of God’s Spirit, the same will be produced in your life. To cultivate hate will yield hate. To plant seeds of love will become a harvest of love. You reap what you sow. God’s Word always brings forth His Promise when we put our faith in Jesus. Lord, help me to understand all these things today. I am evaluating myself and current position. Am I enduring like a good soldier on a mission to fulfill the Great Commission? Am I training with purpose or shadowboxing with my soul? Am I planting anything in my life worth harvesting or should I burn the field and start over? Guide me Lord. Show me the Way. I want to find victory in You today.
Matthew 14:24-28 (NLT) Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
Jesus and His Disciples just fed 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. It was miraculous. I am sure as the disciples boarded the boat that they were filled with awe and excitement at what they had witnessed. But then the storm rose up along with the wind and waves and suddenly everything that they had just experienced went overboard. “They were fighting heavy waves.” I grew up in Daytona Beach, Florida spending many summers on the beach. We would body surf as kids. When a wave came rolling in that wasn’t quite right, all you had to do was go underwater and let it roll over you. Or, you could try to fight it and go tumbling to shore. The enemy is fighting us in the supernatural realm every day that is given to securing more faith and stability in Jesus Christ and building His Kingdom. Though you cannot see him, he is working overtime to destroy every bit of faith found in you. The men saw the Lord yet did not recognize Him as they were overtaken by fear and exhaustion. Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. Take courage I am here!” Then Peter, man I love this guy, called to Him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
It is in those times that our flesh becomes weak and giving up seems like the only option when Jesus calls to us. He invites to come closer. He wants to take hold of our hand. Peter called out to Jesus and Jesus said, “Come!” I am not only battling an adversary every day of my Christian life but I am also battling myself. “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” (Galatians 5:16-17) My flesh wants to fight back. It wants to go after those people who are spreading lies. I want to defend my life, my stand, my actions and words. However, God didn’t tell me to fight back. He told me to stand. Jesus didn’t say, “Sic ‘em!” He said, “Come!” Lord, give me the strength to stand and watch you fight for me today. Help me to hold this position of trusting and believing in You. I will not take offense. I must keep my full expectation in You today, Lord. I don’t want to go under but walk on water with You. I have good intentions, Lord show me the ones that are godly expectation.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NLT) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
This is war. The enemy is raging. My flesh is crying out. Jesus is my Champion. He is my example. He holds all expectation for my life because He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. My only possible route to the Father is to go through Him. I am tired Jesus. I am weary. I have been standing here for a long time waiting for You to fight this battle and win the war. My weariness is a sign that I know well. It is the moment of truth when you see me come to the end of myself and reach down to pick me up again. I must endure to the end to be saved even if the “end” is of me. You are the champion who secures victory in my life. I walk in it when I walk by faith and not by sight. What I see in my life currently is sad. It is heartbreaking and disappointing. I do not see a win but crushing defeat. This is war. Through it all, I hold the promise that You Lord are initiating and perfecting the faith I need to have everlasting life. Lord, help me to forgive. Do not allow bitterness to grow in the recesses and folds of my heart restricting my faith in any way. As God fights my battles today, I must fight my flesh. I must keep standing. I must keep resisting the enemy. I must keep my joy in the midst of the flurry of fiery darts. I cannot fear evil or what man might do to me – my strength comes from the Lord.
I Corinthians 15:56-58 (NLT) But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.