Today's Reading: Matthew 6: 9-15
K E Y V E R S E :
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Mt6:13
As we walk through our day to day life, we often find we are faced with difficult circumstances or challenges, or sometimes even people that bring out the worst in us. We can find ourselves feeling attacked, beaten up and generally feeling quite rubbish about life. God's Word teaches us in Eph 6: 10-20 that the external battles we face are not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces coming against us. The enemy loves to distract us or drag us away from the purpose that God has given us.
Even within ourselves it is clear that we are in a daily battle. Our flesh makes war against our spirit, offering us temptations towards personal comfort, prideful living, or self-gratification, but God's word calls us to resist, to crucify the flesh daily, to walk upright, pure and holy lives.
But we do also battle with an enemy who is a master of deception. He knows just when you are likely to be vulnerable, just when to put temptation across your path, while he whispers in your ear "did God really say....?" like he did to Eve in Genesis 3 - he loves to undermine God's word!
In our own strength we are powerless to resist many of the temptations that will come upon us. But as Christians, with the Holy Spirit inside us, we are not reliant on our own strength. God's Word gives us a clear strategy in how we are able to stand firm against these schemes in Ephesians 6.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength ofhis might. Put on the whole armor ofGod, that you may be able to stand against the schemes ofthe devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritualforces ofevil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor ofGod, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to standfirm. Stand therefore, havingfastened on the belt oftruth, and having put on the breastplate ofrighteousness, and, as shoesfor yourfeet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel ofpeace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all theflaming darts ofthe evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplicationfor all the saints" Eph6: 10-18
We are to put on the whole armour of God. Not just part of it but the whole armour. So, what does this look like?
Belt of Truth - The Bible gives us Gods truth, as we immerse ourselves in the things God says, we can defeat the lies that the enemy will speak over us.
Breastplate of righteousness - The breastplate protects our hearts. Through the blood of Jesus, we have been forgiven and made righteous - no longer can the enemy use our past to accuse us.
Shoes of the gospel of peace - The good news of Jesus, a readiness to share this and a security in what Jesus did on the cross.
Shield of faith - When we are filled with faith, the arrows the enemy fires at us do not penetrate, soak yourself in scripture as "faith comes by hearing. And hearing by the word of God" (Rm 10:17)
Helmet of salvation - An assurance of our salvation and the work Jesus did on the cross, protects our minds from the lies the enemy would like us to believe, as we allow Jesus into every part of our life, he frees us from the strongholds that the enemy tries to use to enslave us.
Sword of the spirit - The word of God, scripture is our most powerful weapon, when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness (Mt 4:1-11). He countered everything the devil said with scripture.
Praying at all times - In hard times, when battles come against us, we need to have the Holy Spirit fighting our corner in the heavenlies. So keep praying!!
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