Monday, October 29, 2012

The Armor of God



"Satan, you're so GROSS.  GET AWAY FROM ME."

This is what I've been saying when the deceiver whispers little reminders of past hurts and failures in my ear.  He's vile.  I'm becoming much more aware of his schemes and tactics to get my eyes off God and away from my dreams.

Do you realize Satan has no power over you except what you allow him?  It's true!  When your eyes are focused on God and His plan for you, when you're relying on Him for everything, when you believe in Him and have faith that all things work together for your good, Satan is powerless.

But beware.  He's a tricky one.   

You'll find yourself focused on the right stuff, doing great things with good intentions, when suddenly your thoughts begin to shift to something negative from your past.  It might be some hurt from a past relationship, a failed attempt at losing weight or working out, piercing words from someone who was supposed to love and care about you, heartache from losing a baby or loved one, words you wish you'd never said, or a multitude of other pains and regret.  Two words... inferiority and insecurity.

Although these thoughts are normal, they aren't just coincidences.  They're intentional.  They're crafted carefully and delivered at precicely the right moment, when it will hit you hardest... or so he thinks.  The more you understand how he operates, the easier it will be to withstand these attacks.

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God tells us in the Bible exactly how we can overcome these attacks... we put on the full armor of God!

Ephesians 6:10-18
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  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.  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.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  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."

Here's how you break it down:
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Belt of Truth
God is real.  God loves you, and Jesus died for your sins.  God is on your side - that is the Truth!  Hold on to the Truth, and like a good tight belt, the truth will hold you up and keep you strong when Satan attacks.

Breastplate of Righteousness
Guard your heart. Always do what is right and good. That way, Satan won’t have anything to grab onto to worm his way into your heart.  You'll be able to stand straight and tall, with your head held high.

Shield of Faith
To protect yourself from Satan’s flaming arrows, take up the Shield of Faith!  The God of the Universe is on your side.  God is your protector.  Put your faith in Him and Satan cannot hurt you!

Sword of the Spirit
God has given us a weapon to fight back against Satan’s lies and accusations.  Our weapon is the truth of God’s Word.  It is the Bible.  God’s Word can cut Satan’s lies to pieces.  Use God’s Word to fight Satan just like Jesus did when Satan tempted Him in the desert.  The words of the Bible are your sword.

Helmet of Salvation
You are saved!  You are God’s child!  Satan has already lost, death is already defeated, and nothing can ever take you away from God.  Keep your thoughts always on that!

 
No doubt we have some work to do, but let's suit up and tell the devil to get behind us!  Then, let's get on with our day and make our dreams come true!


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