Warfare

There’s a rap song and for the life of me I can’t remember the artist but the gist of the song is “There’s a war going on outside, nobodies safe from.” This phrase sparked something deep within me quite a while back and it’s been a resounding topic of internal debate that’s also been gnawing at me during these past few months. It’s the threat of attack. Everything we go through is spiritual, whether we know it or not and whether we acknowledge it or not. It is. Now this is a sore topic for some people as I get push back quite often but my response to that is as it’s always been. If it’s not all spiritual why does Ephesians 6:12 say it is? 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 the heavenly realms. A lot of people who are going through this fierce change are under heavy attack. So here is the full context surrounded that verse.

The Armor of God
Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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 the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 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 Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
The past year and a half of my life has been a constant tear down. A positively motivated one though. God has been tearing the crap outta my life that I put before Him. He did say “There will be no other Gods before me” right? Being mentored has been a saving grace through this process and I am thankful for that in a way that I can find no words for the gratitude deserved. When you are working hard for a cause there will always be resistance. Many of us see that at work, at school, or most of our day to day lives. There’s that one person, or many, that give you a look that says I am taking you down. Yes, this is a spiritual issue again. Remember it says, our struggle is NOT against people but against the DARKNESS inside of people (my paraphrase). John 10:10 says the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. So why would he not want to take this joy from you. Question is how do we fight it? I can only answer that in how I’ve been taught, coached, and fail at times with fighting it. This is a daily fight. Let’s walk through the Armor of God and I’ll give you my take on how we do this. Well my interpretation of the verses.

So, Ephesians 6: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.> Throughout this time I’ve spent so much time complaining of what I could and couldn’t do. Where I could and couldn’t go. If the Lord has called you somewhere, to someone, or to do something then simply be strong IN the Lord and HIS mighty power. As strong as we may seem outside of Him we are but a candle to the sun when we stand firm in what He has asked us to do. He has asked because He knows better than we what we are capable of. He also knows better than I what tomorrow holds and how His mighty power and only His power can release it into our life.
Ephesians 6: 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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 the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full 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.  The beauty is that we’ve been given armor to fight this ceaseless war that has been waged. This is a fixed fight. Jesus died on the cross and defeated death. We have nothing to fear. If God is for us whom can be against us. These are the lines that run through my head on a daily basis each time I get into an argument, a fight, and most confrontations. In being honest here I slip up often and do not remember that it is not this person in my face that is attacking me but the darkness that lives in them. Unfortunately we are all susceptible to this infiltration. So for me, especially in days such as these, the fight has been fierce and because I know what awaits me outside my front door I try to be sure that I wake up, remember, and pray the armor of God daily. I’ve gone so far as to mimic putting on the armor physically. As silly as I felt in the moment I can’t describe for you how much it impacted my spirit in the knowledge that I was fitted and ready. Notice that verse 11 and 12 are not maybe statements. It doesn’t say just in case the day of evil comes, it says when. Be ready. God has given us the tools and gone before us and defeated Him already. Know this and live from that place. Stand your ground and when all else has failed and you’ve exhausted your resources STAND!

Ephesians 6: 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. How amazing is it that not only have you been given protection from your head to your feet but you’ve also been equipped with a shield and a sword. Your belt of truth is simply that, truth. So let me jump forward to your sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. The bible and all it contains is its incredible truth. So if we think about where you would sheath your sword it would be fastened at your belt. You’re sword and your belt are both derivatives of truth. This truth will help you fight this war. When we pray against attack, pray with the word. Speak the word into prayer and watch it come to life in your life and contagiously affect the hunger that surrounds us. Your breastplate of righteousness, hmmm, this one is a struggle for me honestly because by definition both biblical and secular it means to be without guilt of sin. To be deemed righteous. My struggle is the outside perception of a person’s righteousness can be counterproductive to how they perceive their own. My encouragement to you as well as myself is do not let anyone and I mean anyone tell you what goes on with you internally as well by hear say. Stay right in the dark as well as the light is how I would say it. Therefore wear your breastplate proudly and protect your heart from the attack. When you’ve done all else, stand! Now how much more comfortable would standing be if your feet were fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Your shield is your ultimate protection. Faith is a muscle that takes work. Your faith begins to increase as you exercise it and see fruit from it. Then so doth your shield expand.

Ephesians 6: 18 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 Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Now this is the part that really rings aloud for me. This is the point in which Paul is ending out this portion of his letter with such a life giving commission to the church of Ephesus. See we are often told to pray about this or pray about that, but the best part about this is that Paul is saying not only to pray but to pray IN THE SPIRIT on ALL occasions with ALL kinds of prayers. Very rarely do we hear this in our modern day language. Or honestly I can only speak for myself, so very rarely do I hear it from others. Learning to pray in your Spirit can be the most powerful tool that you have. It is in your Spirit with God resides. It is a direct communication to the Father. So pray, pray, pray, and pray some more in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

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