Finally, Be Strong in the Lord

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We are in a battle. Does that thought cross your mind very often? I have become more aware of the spiritual battle that is going on as Satan tries to hold on to the darkness in the world. He knows he is losing but that does not prevent him from trying his best to keep out the Light.
I have never been the kind of person to see a devil behind every bush, behind every trial whether big or small. But, I think particularly in the US we are either naïve or choose to ignore the spiritual realm and the battle taking place. Are we ready to do our part in the battle?
Ephesians 6 is our go-to passage for the equipping needed for fighting the darkness. I have been going to this passage over and over lately trying to understand how I can fight for God’s reign more effectively.
Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord<sup value="(M)”>and in his mighty power.<sup value="(N)”>11 Put on the full armor of God,<sup value="(O)”>so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,<sup value="(P)”>but against the rulers, against the authorities,<sup value="(Q)”>against the powers<sup value="(R)”>of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.<sup value="(S)”>13 Therefore put on the full armor of God,<sup value="(T)”>so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,<sup value="(U)”>with the breastplate of righteousness in place,<sup value="(V)”>15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.<sup value="(W)”>16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,<sup value="(X)”>with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.<sup value="(Y)”>17 Take the helmet of salvation<sup value="(Z)”>and the sword of the Spirit,<sup value="(AA)”>which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit<sup value="(AC)”>on all occasions<sup value="(AD)”>with all kinds of prayers and requests.<sup value="(AE)”>With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying<sup value="(AF)”>for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me,<sup value="(AG)”>that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly<sup value="(AH)”>make known the mystery<sup value="(AI)”>of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador<sup value="(AJ)”>in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Here are a few thoughts that came to mind as I journaled through this passage:

·         “Be strong in the Lord” and “Put on the full armor of God” are commands to obey, not just suggestions
·         God doesn’t say, “Run away”, but rather “Stand your ground”
·         Belt of truth- God’s truth of who He is and who I am in Him. We should ask, “What is true?”
·         Breastplate of righteousness- Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life
·         Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace- Go! We are to walk in obedience out of love for God and because of the urgency of getting the message out
·         Shield of faith- instead of worrying, pray and step out into the heat of the battle in faith
·         Helmet of salvation- protecting our minds, turning to God and remembering his way of salvation
·         Sword of the spirit- speaking God’s Words aloud, it is powerful!
·         And pray- Keep praying; pray for the battle, pray as the battle, be alert and always on guard, pray for other believers, pray for boldness and for the right words to say. 
What can you do today to join the spiritual battle against the darkness?

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