Saturday, January 18, 2014

(40 Days of Focus) Day FOURTEEN: "Ready to Fight!"

Read: “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:13-17).
Think About It: Long removed from his childhood in the ‘down home’ south of Mississippi, a battle-worn hero prepares to set foot once again in the all-to-familiar scene. His fourth tour in this middle-eastern nation of seemingly more foes than friends, the aging warrior readies for engagement. He has suited up, focuses in, calms down, breathes in, and looks out. Kevlar helmet on his head, boots on his feet, and weapon in his hand, it’s “game-on.” Whether the fight comes to him or he takes the fight to his enemy, the mission remains the same. Victory is his goal. Defeat is not an option. He relies on the excellence of his training and the integrity of his equipment. He’s in the fight. He’s in to win.
Going Deeper: When you step foot onto the battlefield, you go fully trained, prepared, clothed, and equipped for most every scenario that has been considered. You’re fitted with weapons of both defense and offense. Ephesians uses this practical illustration and applies it to your everyday relationship with God. Every day you wake up and step out of bed, you are stepping onto a battlefield and into a war. You need to be readied with both defensive and offensive weaponry. Salvation in Christ covers your mind as the helmet guards the head. The peace of God envelops the steps you take as boots equip you to march forward into enemy territory. The Word of God is both a weapon of defense, but aslo a powerful tool to live life advancing into every area God has set aside for you. When there are attacks “incoming” with lies, confusion, and doubt, you don’t just have to sit and defend. You can counter with truth. Consider the temptations of Christ. He was tired, hungry, thirsty, and had been left alone for forty days in the desolation of the wilderness. Satan brought the fight to Jesus with temptations that would have compromised the integrity of who Jesus was and what He came to do if He had chosen to give in. Jesus took the fight back to Satan with a weapon so skilled and sharp there was no defense Satan had and no recourse left for him but to abort mission and retreat. Jesus quoted the truth, the ancient Scriptures, the Word of God. God’s truth will always be your greatest defense and most effective tool for moving forward.
Next Step: Where are you most susceptible to negative thoughts, enticement and temptation, or old habits and mindsets? Are you still linked to imaginations of “what could have been?” Do you find yourself unable to move forward due to the weight of all that is behind you, but still has a hold on you? Is there a certain battle you find yourself fighting time and time again, unsure of how you will ever overcome? Use the sWORD. God’s word will equip you to do real and effective battle every time your enemy tries to attack you. Write down where your greatest struggles are currently. Find a few Scriptures from the Bible that speak to those areas. When you find yourself in the thick of the fight, meditate on them, speak them out, and believe that they are truth and that they are key to you living as the overcoming conqueror that Jesus has already declared you to be!

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