Breaking News: Not everyone will believe in Jesus and agree with God, the Father.
Not everyone will see life God’s way. Not everyone will hear God and want to follow in His ways. As believers, we need to know this and be expectant of those who will not believe with you. Be ready for those who will oppose the Jesus in you. For if we are expectantly ready, armed, as Paul writes to the church in Ephesus, we will prevail without losing ground in our growing and maturing, developing the characteristics of God in our walk with God.
“…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.”
Ephesians 6:10-18, NIV
Our daily battle with evil belongs to the Lord! Notice the verbs in Ephesians that tell us our part in this battle;
Put on God, wear God’s best fit armor, proclaim God
Stand your ground, God’s grounded belief and behavior
Stand firm—in Truth who is the Person of Jesus.
Put on right ways of behavior.
Be ready to proclaim the Good News of peace!
Take up the shield of faith that deflects the arrows of hate, gossip, divisiveness and unrighteousness that evil will throw at us.
Cover your head with salvation from Jesus, the One who died for you and won this battle for you. Develop the mind of Christ.
Take on (lift up) the Sword, God Word, God’s Holy Spirit Handbook for winning the war with evil, not stabbing at others who do not yet know God. Lift up this “sword” as Truth.
And the greatest battlefield strategy of all—PRAY! The battle is the Lord’s!
Nowhere in Paul’s God-inspired strategy does it say to attack at all costs!
Yes, God’s Word prepares us for this battle between God and evil. Every Bible hero had to face the opposition. Every believer in the early church faced opposition along with daily persecution from the government AND the religious elite who crucified Jesus.
What is important for us is to know God, know our true enemy, Satan, know ourselves and know God Message (His Word). Our battles are the Lord’s as David pointed out when he fought Goliath in his youth. Now David is being persecuted for being God’s Person for His people. David is captured, kicked around, spit on, mocked and thrown into jail–like Jesus, our Redeemer! Stop and think about that for as long as it takes to sink in. David writes as if he knew Jesus would suffer in the same ways.
However, Jesus, sent by God, took on all the sins of the world and settled our sin account once and for all. In this condition, God could not face His Son until the work was finished. When Jesus cried out, “It is finished” from the cross, the battle was over. Our debts paid in full. After going to hell and back, defeating death, rising to Life forevermore, the battle was won. But evil did not give up. Evil still throws his limited evil schemes at us. But Jesus, by the gift of His Holy Spirit living in us, makes us more than conquerors in our daily battles with evil. Yes, the battle belongs to the Lord. We pray. God conquers. Jesus knows just what we need in our daily battle. I read the final pages of His Word—we win in the end. So stand firm, In Jesus Name.
Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs
Psalm 56, The Message
A David Psalm, When He Was Captured by the Philistines in Gath
1-4 Take my side, God—I’m getting kicked around,
stomped on every day.
Not a day goes by
but somebody beats me up;
They make it their duty
to beat me up.
When I get really afraid
I come to you in trust.
I’m proud to praise God;
fearless now, I trust in God.
What can mere mortals do?
5-6 They don’t let up—
they smear my reputation
and huddle to plot my collapse.
They gang up,
sneak together through the alleys
To take me by surprise,
wait their chance to get me.
7 Pay them back in evil!
Get angry, God!
Down with these people!
8 You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn
through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
each ache written in your book.
9 If my enemies run away,
turn tail when I yell at them,
Then I’ll know
that God is on my side.
10-11 I’m proud to praise God,
proud to praise God.
Fearless now, I trust in God;
what can mere mortals do to me?
12-13 God, you did everything you promised,
and I’m thanking you with all my heart.
You pulled me from the brink of death,
my feet from the cliff-edge of doom.
Now I stroll at leisure with God
in the sunlit fields of life.
TRUTH: God keeps his promises. Our confidence is in Him. Trust in God. In good times and treacherous times…trust God. All battles with evil belong to the Lord. God so loved us; He sent His Son to save us.
Proverb 19:17-19, The Message
Mercy to the needy is a loan to God,
and God pays back those loans in full.
18 Discipline your children while you still have the chance;
indulging them destroys them.
19 Let angry people endure the backlash of their own anger;
if you try to make it better, you’ll only make it worse.
WISDOM: God is merciful, loving and kind. Leave paybacks to God. We can’t handle revenge, it will only boomerang back and make life worse. God knows. Leave the battle to God.
What a glorious day that will be when the final battle with evil is fought and we see the victory in Jesus for the last time! Our daily battles do not compare with what you did for us. We are mere mortals but you are the King of kings and Lord of lords who wins every battle we face. Thank you for this armor of thinking, being and behaving today. Thank you for always being at our side, in front of us and behind us in battle. You are God and we are not. We pray. You conquer.
In Jesus Name, Amen!
And we’re singing…
“The God of angel armies is always by my side!”