This Day in History: 0000-12-31

December 31 – Ephesians 6:10-13 

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the times of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 

Precious friends, there is nothing I want more for you than to find that after this battle that rages around you has ended, you are still there – standing firm in your faith! I want you to experience the victory Jesus Christ offers to you. And so, I implore you – put on the FULL armor of God! Don’t miss a single piece. Be equipped as you march out onto the battlefield! 

The strategies of the enemy (the devil) are strong. They have the capacity to beat us down, bloody us, and even defeat us – IF we try to fight them on our own. However, they are no match for the warrior dressed from head to toe in the armor of the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies! He’s given it to us freely, so let’s put it on, and fight with everything we have! 

Ephesians 6:14-18 – 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. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. 

As we prepare for battle, let’s get dressed in the right order, and lay truth as the foundation. Let’s gird ourselves in it so that every other piece of our armor will fit securely into place. This means we will be wrapping ourselves daily in the Word of God (truth) so that we will be prepared when the lies of the enemy tempt us. 

Next, we’ll fix our armor to that belt of truth – the body armor of God’s righteousness. Friends, if we’re counting on our own good deeds to win battles for us, we are sure to fall. Our impenetrable armor is the humility to understand we are only regarded as righteous because the King of Kings sees us through the filter of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. His sacrifice has covered all our filthy sins and made us pure. And THAT is the strongest armor there is – to know that we have been forgiven and can stand completely righteous and pure before the throne of our gracious God. There is no trial in this world that can eclipse the confidence of that truth! 

Next, we need to put on the shoes of the Gospel – which brings us peace. The Gospel is simply this – Jesus – fully God and fully man – came to earth, lived a perfect life (though He was tempted in every way just as we are), sacrificed His perfect life as payment for our sins, died, was buried, and three days later rose again to new life conquering both sin and death. Anyone who trusts in that truth, repents of their sins, and accepts His free gift of salvation is secure forever. We cannot be taken out of His hands, and the peace that comes from that knowledge is a MIGHTY, mighty weapon that keeps our feet firmly planted, no matter what attack comes at us. We cannot be shaken! 

Once we’re dressed, we need to grab our shield, which we’ll hold up to stop the fiery arrows of the enemy as they come at us. This shield is our faith.  Faith is a rare treasure, and a gift from God. Yet so few of us have accepted it, and even fewer of us are using it! A faith properly placed in God is unshakable! It is the confidence that says, “My God is good, and His love for me is great. I don’t always understand Him, because He is God, and I am not. But I KNOW that if He has brought me to it, it is going to ultimately be for my good and His glory, and He will fully equip me to get through it and will walk by my side (or carry me) all the way. So I won’t question this, or try to apply my own reasoning. I will simply trust my Lord, obey His leading, and wait for Him to do His work.” There is no arrow that can penetrate a faith like that! 

The last thing we’re going to put on is our helmet – the thing that is going to protect our head. It will guard our minds from all those nagging thoughts that tend to shift our focus from the battle. It is our salvation. No matter what, we are saved. We are destined for eternity in heaven with our Lord. Every evil thought can be brought into submission to that truth – I do not ever have to give in to them. I am saved! 

Finally, we cannot even think about stepping foot onto the battlefield unless we’ve grabbed our sword, and know how to use it. Our sword is the Word of God (the Bible), and it is most effective when wielded through prayer. So let’s be so well practiced in Scripture that when an attack comes, we’re ready with the right verse on the tip of our tongues. Let’s unleash its truth upon the enemy coupled to the mighty power of prayer and watch as strongholds tumble!  

Precious friends, let’s always, ALWAYS stay alert – ready and on guard to fight every attack by remembering to pray continuously. May prayer become as common to us as our breath, and the words of Scripture as necessary as food. As we grow in our knowledge and understanding of our precious Lord, may we be fully equipped and filled with His hope. Each and every day, may He give us what we need for today. His hope for today.