Ephesians 6:12-13 – 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Too often we forget just how strong a force we wrestle with every day. We regularly fight battles against forces stronger than any earthly power. Each temptation is a fierce confrontation requiring the best weapons, protection, and spiritual support.
Such a formidable battle should not be waged lightly. Only the best spiritual armor will help us resist the strength of the devil. There is none better than the armor of God. Nothing else offers us complete and total protection. Nothing else offers us the strength to withstand. Today, put on the whole armor of God. Avail yourself of its protection and guidance, for it is the only way we can overcome.
Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Recently, I’ve made it my mission to attack what I consider some of my deepest character flaws. This task has not been easy, and though I know it will continue to be a difficult undertaking, I am encouraged by God’s faithfulness. At the end of a day, I can look back and see how far God has brought me; I am definitely not where I started. When I came to Him for help, He responded immediately, and I am stronger now than I have ever been. And, despite having a long way still to go, I am not disheartened. My Lord has promised not to leave me until He completes the work He has begun in me.
This does not only apply to me. The moment you decide you want a change in your character, the Lord will begin to work with you, leading you in the paths of holiness. Every day He will walk with you through your temptations and trials and teach you how to overcome. His Spirit will guide you in the truth and cause you to bear fruits of righteousness. God has never left a task unfinished, and He won’t stop working in your heart until you are like Him.
Further Reading – Genesis 28:15 – …for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
2 Kings 6:25-27 – 25 And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass’s head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver. 26 And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king. 27 And he said, If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee?
The Samarians were facing seemingly imminent death. They were under siege with hardly any food inside and no way of sending for more supplies or help. It is not unreasonable then, that this woman cried out to the king for help.
The king had only one piece of advice: if the Lord did not help her, there would be no help from anywhere else. There would be no help from the winepress, no help in power or possessions; no one but the Lord could save her.
This is also true for us. Our help can only be found in the Lord; there is no need to search for it elsewhere. Help cannot be found in physics, priests, or pastors. It cannot be found in position or power. It can only be found of the Lord. Go to Him for your help. Trust His power. He has never failed His children yet.
Further Reading – Psalm 121:2 – My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
2 Kings 6:15-17 – 15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, a host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, “Alas, my master! How shall we do?” 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
When faced with a great multitude of enemy soldiers, Elisha’s servant became worried and afraid. It seems like a logical response, right? They were surrounded by soldiers who were on a mission to find and kill Elisha. But, the servant only saw half of the story. They were surrounded, but not only by enemy forces. Horses and chariots of fire joined a whole host of angels in outnumbering the enemy. Suddenly, his worry and fear is unnecessary and illogical. But, he could not have known the spiritual help all around him. His lack of spiritual vision prevented him from seeing the whole picture.
Sometimes our eyes blind us too. With our earthly eyes, we see only the danger, and our situation looks hopeless. But, just like He did for Elisha, God dispatches angels to ensure the welfare of His children. Many times, they work silently, saving us without us even realizing the danger.
The next time you feel threatened by a hopeless situation do not give in to the feelings of worry and fear. Remember, just beyond your field of vision, a heavenly host lies ready to come to your aid.
Further Reading – Psalm 34:7 – The angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear him, and delivers them.
There always seems to be a reason as to why we can’t serve the Lord. Making time to study the Bible always seems to take a backseat to all of the other demands in our lives. It’s always too early to get up and pray or we don’t have enough time, though we often sacrifice our schedules willingly for school or work. We go the extra mile for almost every aspect of our lives. We’re willing to sacrifice for success, education, or fitness. But, somehow, we’re full of excuses when it comes to serving the Lord. Strange how we never make excuses or reasons as to why must serve Him.
The time for excuses is over. It’s time to serve the Lord.
2 Corinthians 13:5 – Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.
Not one day should pass without careful inspection of our spiritual condition. Daily we should examine our hearts, marking our growth in the Lord, and recognizing areas for improvement. This self-study motivates us to address our defects of character and encourages us as we realize just how much work the Lord has done and continues to do in us.
Do not fail to examine your spiritual walk and talk stock of your heart. At the beginning of this new week, see where you need to improve and enlist the Lord’s help in those areas. Jesus’ coming is very near, even at the door. Do not let your heart be found unready.
*Picture provided by diveofficer on Flickr via Creative Commons*
1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.
Constant communion with God should be part of every Christian walk. Every new hour should find our hearts and lips turned toward heaven. This activity is essential to walking with Christ. Through ceaseless prayer, we become one with the Savior and draw ever nearer to Him.
Prayer is our lifeline to the throne and it is a shame we don’t utilize it more often. In fact, our lack of constant prayer doesn’t even make sense. Why would we willing limit or refuse the opportunity to converse with the King of Kings?
This is a priceless opportunity we ought to never waste again. Throughout the rest of this week, try to make it a point to pray without ceasing. Talk to the Lord throughout your day. Tell Him your trials, troubles, and fears, and experience the power of constant prayer.
Further Reading – Luke 21:36 – …pray always…
John 16:13 – Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…
GPS has been one of the greatest advancements in personal transportation. You simply input your destination’s address into the device, and detailed step-by-step instructions lead you there. It’s almost impossible to get lost. Some devices even aid you in other ways, providing detours, traffic advice, and speed limit information. These tools make driving, especially for long distances, much easier.
The Holy Spirit is kind of like our spiritual GPS. It leads us and guides, showing us right from wrong. He gives us support during temptation and helps us discern between good and evil. In Him, we have step-by-step, detailed instructions telling us exactly how to walk in His light. Why, then, do we choose to disregard His wisdom in favor of our own? There is no logical reason. When we disregard the Holy Spirit’s guiding in favor of our own wisdom, we are sure to lose our way.
Brothers and sisters, let’s take advantage of this wonderful gift given to us. We don’t need to struggle to find the right path in our strength when we have the guiding truth of the Spirit of God. Heed His instruction instead and you’ll never go astray.
Further Reading – John 14:26 – But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things…
1 Corinthians 10:21 – Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
It is not possible to be part of the Lord’s number and a partaker with the devil at the same time. The Lord commands His people to serve Him with all of their hearts and minds. Partial devotion simply will not do. It impossible to do this when a part of us insists on drinking of the devil’s cup. The devil does not want our split attentions either. Each side demands our full affections; we must choose one or the other.
We can no longer dabble in both sides. We cannot serve two masters; we cannot drink of two cups. Instead, we must choose. Who will you choose?
Further Reading – Luke 16:13 – No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Psalm 121:1, 2 – I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
God is still our help. Many things may have changed between the writing of this verse and now, but God is still the same. He continues to come to the aid of His children, bearing their burdens and comforting their hearts. He does not turn a blind eye to their sufferings and their prayers, but cares for them as a Shepherd would His sheep.
We needlessly suffer through trials, temptations, and heartaches alone, refusing to lean on the strength of the Lord. He is always willing and always available to tend to the needs of His children. Rely on Him for your help, and He will not fail you.
Further Reading – Hebrews 13:5 – … for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.