Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Put on the Full Armor of God


"Finally, be stong 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 heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the whole 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.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying  for all the saints."  Ephesians 6:10-18

There is in every Christian's life a time when bad things can happen.  Throughout the world some Christians are being persecuted, while others are being thrown into jail.  Bibles are being confiscated and destroyed.  Some Christians have experienced a loss of a loved one.  Tragedy has struck.  Some are sick, while others are having financial problems.  Some are having strife in their marriages, some are going through divorce.  However, Paul who experienced many trials and suffered much persecution knew the truth.  He knew that he had to hide God's word in his heart and not to be moved by what he saw.  He was beaten, thrown in jail and abandoned for the sake of the gospel, but he did not give up hope.  He had heard and seen many Christians not only persecuted but killed for the sake of the gospel.  He held on to the eternal promises and kept his eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith.  He encouraged others while he was in jail and brought hope to a dying world by sharing God's love.  He kept pressing in and believing.   He was always hopeful even when he was hurting, abandoned, struck down and accused falsely.  He knew that he had to "put on the armor of God."  His hope had to remain in Christ.   

He was basically saying in Ephesians (my interpretation):  Keep your eyes on Jesus when evil comes your way.  Stand your ground and stand in what he has done.  His armor is sufficient. Abide in his truth, his righteousness, preach the gospel of peace, have faith in him, his salvation and his word.  Through prayer you will remain in communion with him.  As you make your requests known, remain alert, keep praying and pray for others so that they too will remain in Christ.

Paul kept his eyes on Jesus, the eternal hope of glory. Amid the trials and the many issues that arose, he knew that God is faithful.  He understood how having a personal relationship with God would keep you.  He knew that God was with him through all of these trials and that he would ultimately be victorious.  He knew God was near to him when he was brokenhearted waiting with healing in His wings.  He shared so that you may know in your hear that God was there for you too.  You may not physically know it, but he is waiting to comfort you in the midst of this trial.  Cry out to Jesus!

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