Having Done All, Stand

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Take the whole armor of God.  It is important that we know each piece is securely in place in our lives if we are to take s stand for God.  If we try to stand without each piece in place, we could fall, because we will be left vulnerable.  Notice that Paul says having done all, to stand.  As we go through each piece, ask your self how securely they are in place in your life.  Have you put them all in place?  Have you done all you can?

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Stand with your loins gird with truth.  The loins are the area between your lowest rib and your hipbones, where a lot of vital organs are stored in the body, including the sexual organs.  When we speak of girding these with truth, we are of honestly assessing our diets and our sexual lives.  Are we walking in truth here so that you will not be swept away by the enemy when it comes to this vital part of your body?  Is truth covering these areas of your life?  Are you avoiding those things can cause harm to them?  For example, too much alcohol can destroy your liver.  Our sexual habits can cause us, and other people much harm.  They have in my life!  Truth must be maintained here – it is essential.

The breastplate, of course, covers the heart and lungs.  Our heart is so sensitive to the truth, and when trust is destroyed, t can take years to rebuild. When I destroyed the trust my wife had in me, it was a very long battle to get that trust back.  A wound in the heart is one of the most damaging, not only physically, but emotionally as well.  T=Righteousness must reign in our hearts at all times f we are going to stand against the enemy.  And our lungs bring in the breath of life.  We must bring in every breath with righteousness in mind, and do right to all with every breath we have.

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

At all times, we should be ready too share the gospel.  Wherever our feet may take us.  Be instant in season and out (2 Tim 4:2)  and be prepared give an answer for the hope that is within you (I Peter 3:15).  In he market place, on he street, in your workplace – no matter where you are – do you know your testimony well enough to give  it at an instant.  I am a big one on practicing what you will say if confronted with an opportunity.  I know God will give me the words, but here he tells us to be prepared.  I think it takes both to be ann effective witness.  Don’t get caught un[re[ared when the opportunity comes.

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

I used to fire darts at people all the time with my mouth.  I was good at it.  Sharp witted, II took every opportunity at put downs and funny, disparaging remarks.  I am so glad God took that out of my life when I got saved.  I think of that when I read this verse.  Our enemy just wants to hit us with a small dart so he can inflict a little pain, a little nudge in his direction.  But with faith on our side, we can deflect these darts.  They don’t have to affect us.  The shield of faith will take fiery darts and, as they stick into the shield, will put  out the fire so they cannot harm us.  This is a vital part of our defense, especially grouped with the other two items above.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

The mind must be  protected at all times.  Our salvation is the key to this.  Remembering the price Christ paid on the cross for us is critical in keeping our mind focused on the battle.  It has already been won!  And if we feel like he enemy is getting the upper hand, the battle belongs to the Lord.  It is so essential that we never =forget the suffering servant, bruised, beaten and crucified for us.  he paid the price so that we could walk in victory.  Keep that always in your mind.

And the sword of the spirit, our only offensive weapon, the word of God.  How well do you know the word?  Do you read daily?  Do you study His word?D o you ask God to reveal truth to you when you read?  we need this offensive weapon, not only to defeat the enemies of our mind, but to keep ourselves walking with all the other elements of the armor.  The word must be instilled in us, and be constantly refreshed.  Be sure you are in he word regularly.

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Never, ever think you can stand against the enemy without prayer.  This is the last item listed, but I believe it is the most important.  Paul said having done all to stand – prayer is part of having done all!  {raring always – always.  Always keep the communication with God open.  Keep your requests for others (supplication) coming to God all the time.  It is so essential that we are in prayer.  And this is not the prayer to help ourselves, but to help others.  The other part of this is that we  pray n good times and bad.  A lot of us have a  tenancy  to  pray only when things are going wrong in our own lives.  Let’s change that habit by praying for those around us when things are going right in our lives.

So put it all on, and stand strong in  the face of anything  that may come against you.  Always remember that you are in a spiritual battle, not of this world, and that the enemy is already defeated.  Hallelujah!

 

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Be Strong In The Lord

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

The only place we should be strong is in the Lord.  Yet we try so hard to be strong in ourselves.  Many look to their physical bodies for strength.  They work hard to get toned and muscular so they have the strength of an ox.  The find it fulfilling to see those muscles bulge as they workout.  There is noting at all wrong with keeping our physical bodies in shape, but that is not where our true strength comes from.

Then there are those who exercise their minds.  They read and send hours researching and pondering various truths and ideas.  The become bastions of knowledge, able to comment and carry on a conversation about anything someone might ask them about.  People see them as experts, maybe trivia buffs, very intelligent.  But that is not the kind  of strength that will get you through the toughest battles.

The toughest battles you will face can only be doe with the strength of the Lord inside of you.  When I was diagnosed wit Cancer last March, I had a peace about it.  I was not afraid, I was not upset, I was not worried.  How can this be, you might ask.  Because I had the strength of the Lord o my side, and I knew it would be OK.  he was in charge, and I could rely on His wisdom to see me through.  I knew I could not do it alone, and I also knew that with all the friends and support I got, it still would not be enough without the strength of the Lord and the power of His might on my side.  I’ll never understand how someone could go through this without Him by their side.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

You don’t have to put on armor unless you’re going to go through a battle.  So what Paul is saying here is that we are going into battle regularly against the wily old devil.  he will be constantly attacking you at various points of your life where he sees that you are vulnerable.  That is why we need the whole armor of God, which we will be talking about soon.  We do not want to leave any part exposed so the devil can sneak in and do us harm.  And believe me, he knows where you are vulnerable.

Let’s take a simple thing.  A diet.  Isn’t it funny how when you are on a diet, you crave the very foods you are not supposed to eat?  That is not coincidence, my friend.  The enemy lurks in mysterious places.  If he cam get you to trip up in one place, and put guilt on you, then he can come in and get you there.  He is very wily.  So prepare yourself accordingly with the whole armor of God, not just parts of it.

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.

And here’s the reason we need the armor of God in the first place. we cannot fight the battles that will come our way and win without God on our side.  These battles are not of this world – so they cannot be won by using the tactics of this world.  Right now in our country, there is literally a war going on in government.  Our president is doing things and people are reacting with outrage.  It is obvious he is not doing things the way they have always been done, and he is a little sloppy on somethings, but all of these things need doing.

The enemy comes against us, our city, our  country all the time. there is only one weapon that will defeat him, and that is prayer.  we need to suit up with the armor, and start to pray for our country, more now than ever.  The intolerance, disobedience, dissatisfaction, disharmony and dismay everyone is feeling is not going to go away until the Christians fall on their knees before an almighty God and really start to exercise 2 Cr 7:14.  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  

Even with the whole armor of God on, without this key element, it won’t be enough. The church needs to take these steps to bring this nation, which was founded based on a reliance on God.  It’s really up to us – putting on the armor individually and fulfilling the call of 2 Chr 7:14 corporately.  We have a lot of work to do!