Posts Tagged ‘armor of God’

Stand Fast

February 8, 2020

We have been serving this church now for almost 29 years.  A lot has happened during those almost three decades.  A lot of good, and some things, not so good.  We are still here.  We are still standing.

Philippians 4:1

Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

I read this verse in my devotions recently.  It made me think of people whom I have known over the years.  Some have remained faithful to both God and this church.  Some have left the church, but remained faithful to God.  Some have left both the church and God.

I was then reminded of Galatians 6:10-20

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

I am so grateful that our strength comes from God.  We do not have to fight this battle in our own strength.  We were never meant to do that.  God is our source of strength.  It becomes ever more evident as the years go by that God is the source of our strength to do His work.

People are not the enemy.  Actually, the battle is for the souls of people.  We must always keep in mind that no person who is still breathing is beyond the ability of God to touch their heart.  We are not fighting them.  We are fighting for them.

It is a spiritual battle.  I know some people who make it a regular part of their prayer time to spiritually put on the armor of God.  I do not have a problem with that practice.  If you have found it to be beneficial for you, by all means, continue the practice.  However, even though our battle is fought in the spiritual realm.  We live in the earthly realm.

In order to gird our waists with truth, we need to be people of truth.  This means that we need to learn what is the truth.  We need to speak the truth.  We need to live in the truth.  By the way, that applies to your income tax!  No cheating!!  Render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s.

To put on the breastplate of righteousness, we need to live righteous lives.  God will help us to learn what is right and to do what is right.  We will not be perfect, but we should be growing in righteousness.

We should be people of peace.  First, at peace with ourselves.  Then at peace with our families.  Then at peace with our neighbors, or co-workers and even with people of the opposing political party!  This can be challenging at times.  As much as you can, live at peace with all people.

The shield of faith is able to protect us against the attacks of the enemy.  We must be able to hold fast to the belief that God is able to deliver us.  That in the end we will win.  That God is able to make all things work out for good for those who believe in Him.

For quite a while a wondered about the helmet of salvation.  Then I remembered that at the core of our salvation is our relationship with God.  We have the Spirit of Christ within us.  We live in a relationship with God almighty.  Maintain that relationship through the standard Christian devotions of prayer, scripture and worship.

The sword is used both for defense and for offense.  I hope that you are regularly reading the Bible, studying  it, committing it to memory, and meditating on it.  It is ‘living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword.”  (Hebrews 4:12)  We should watch for opportunities to share its truth with both believers and non-believers.  We can plant the seed of the word in our conversations.  God can then confirm that word by His spirit.

Finally, pray!  Pray about anything and everything!!  Prayer can accomplish more than we realize.  It is not our prayers, but the God who hears our prayers that makes the difference.  Yet God has directed us to do our part.  We are to pray, often, fervently, in faith believing that God is able to do even more than we ask or even think.

By the way, pray for me.  If you want to hear better messages in the future, pray harder!

 

These are the sermon notes from 2/2/20.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.  All scripture quotes are from the New King James Version of the Bible. 

Spiritual Battle

January 29, 2015

Once upon a time, I served our country in the Marine Corps.  When I made the decision to not reenlist and to return to Bible college instead,  I told people that I was transferring to the 1st civ div.  I was in the Lord’s service and was being transferred.  My time in the military had been TAD (temporary assigned duty) but that it was time to get back to the calling God had on my life.

Ephesians 6:10-20

 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

I.  Be Strong in the Lord

Physical strength was very helpful in the Marine Corps.  In serving God a different type of strength is needed.  Spiritual strength comes from spending time in the Word and time in prayer.  It comes from God.

We are involved in a conflict.  This conflict is not fought with guns, planes, and tanks.  This conflict is fought with faith, prayer and the Word of God.  The conflict is spiritual.  We are not fighting for a country, or oil, or even physical freedom or prosperity.  We are fighting for the eternal destiny of souls.  All people will one day stand before the Lord.  Those who have rejected the salvation offered in Jesus Christ will go to hell for all eternity.  Our goal in this conflict is to bring all that we can into the kingdom of God.

It is a war worth fighting.  It is worth the cost.

II.  The Armor of God

I have known many people who believe that this armor is spiritual.  They get up in the morning and say a prayer, spiritually putting on the armor of God.  I do not have any problem with this practice.  It reminds people of the spiritual nature of our warfare.  However, I also believe that it will do little good to say this prayer if you are not actually practicing the articles of faithful living.

We should be people who speak truth.  Our culture is filled with lies.  The “little white lie” is considered harmless, or even helpful. As Christians, we must resist this influence and speak the truth.

We should have a good knowledge of the gospel so that we may be able to share it with those who are searching for hope in a world that desperately needs a solid foundation.

We should live lives of righteousness.  We are called to be holy.  I understand that we will not obtain perfection, but that is not an excuse to remain in our sins.  We are to be growing in godliness.

Our faith in God extends beyond simple salvation.  We trust God to guide, provide and protect.  When things are bad we remember that “all things work together for good, for those who love God”.  (Romans 8:28)

Our salvation is rooted in our relationship with God through our faith in Jesus Christ.  We must keep God first in our lives.  Do not allow yourself to drift away from your first love.

Jesus himself rebuked the devil with the Word of God.  We should be people of the Word.  We should read it, study it, memorize it, meditate upon it and make it a central part of our lives.  “It is written …” is much better than “I think…” when dealing with spiritual matters.

III.  Prayer

I suspect that many people underestimate the power of prayer.  Prayer has an impact beyond what we see.  It can also be an effective evangelistic tool.  People often like to share about their problems.  We can offer to pray for their needs.  Even unbelievers will gratefully accept prayer when the need is great.  It can reach into their lives and touch their hearts helping to make them more receptive to the gospel.

It has been many years since I served in the Marine Corps, but I have been on the front lines of spiritual battle for decades.  I encourage you to join me in this spiritual battle.

Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might!

These are the sermon notes from 1/4/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.