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Be Strong
Ephesians 6:10-12 NIV

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.

When we follow Jesus Christ with our lives, Satan, who is the enemy of God, will come against us to try to discourage us, to frighten or confuse us, and to attempt to get us to give up. His goal in this life is to destroy us, and to also defeat the gospel of our salvation via his lies, his tricks, his manipulations and his twisting of truth.

So, we must arm ourselves with weapons of righteousness so that we can fight off his evil schemes against us. Although he uses human beings as one of his weapons of warfare against us, he is our real enemy, i.e. he is the one behind all that they do to us. Thus, the weapons we use against our enemies are not the weapons of warfare of this world. They are not physical weapons, but they are spiritual weapons that God gives us to defeat our enemy Satan.

Full Armor of God
Ephesians 6:13-17 NIV

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.

So, how do we put on this armor so that we can stand our ground against our enemy Satan?

When Satan comes against us with his lies, we counter his lies with the truth of God’s Word, and with the truth we know about God and about the things God has done in our lives. He will try to twist the truth, so we have to be wise to this so that we are not caught in his trap of deception. He is the author of confusion, so he will mess with our minds to try to plant doubts within, so we have to be filling our minds with the Word of God so that we can counter his lies with the truth.

Satan will try to get us to sin against God, too, so he will put temptations in our way, and he will even disguise them as truth or else he will twist the truth so that he convinces us that we don’t have to follow the truth. We have to recognize his tactics, too, so that we are not caught off guard by his trickery. He will even try to convince us that once we believe in Jesus that God no longer sees our sin or is concerned about it, so that we can keep on sinning against God, and still have the hope of salvation. But, that is a lie, so don’t fall for it! If we live in sin, we will die in our sins.

The way we combat Satan’s temptations is that we put on righteousness, but not a false righteousness created in our own flesh, but rather the righteousness of God. We put this on through obedience to our Lord, submission to his will for our lives and a yielding to the Holy Spirit when he prompts us to do something or to not do something. Daily we must be in the Word and then following what the Word of God teaches us – the words taught us by Jesus Christ and by his NT apostles.

But, to put on righteousness, we have to put off the flesh, by the Spirit. We can’t put on righteousness, in other words, if daily we are taking the filth of this world into our minds and hearts. They are counteractive. So, by the power of the Spirit within us, we must be ridding our lives of the things of this sinful world, and we must throw off the sins which so easily entangle us and all hindrances to our walks of faith and things which lead us into sin, so that we can run the race God has set before us to run with perseverance.

We must also be the Lord’s witnesses in sharing Jesus Christ and his gospel of salvation with the world about us. But, we do this not in words only, but by our lifestyles, too. If we are speaking one thing but living the opposite, then our testimonies are null and void, for we are being hypocritical. This is not saying we must be perfect, mind you, but this is saying that our lifestyles should match our talk and our talk should match our walk. If we have “I love Jesus” on our bumper stickers, for example, but then we speed, and we practice road rage, then our actions speak the opposite of the message we are trying to portray. So, we not only must speak the truth of God’s Word to others, but we must live the truth before them.

Basically, if we walk according to the Spirit, we will not gratify the sinful cravings of the flesh. If daily we are putting on God’s Word by applying its truths to our lives, and we are resisting Satan, fleeing temptation to sin, and drawing near to God, then we will be able to be victorious over Satan’s evil schemes against us. When we feel fear, we must respond in faith, even when we can’t see what we are believing God for. When Satan throws doubts our way, we combat those doubts with the truth. But, we must live in the truth and walk in the truth and we must forsake the ways of this sinful world if we expect to ever be victorious against our enemy Satan.

Pray for Others
Ephesians 6:18-20 NIV

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. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

We need to be in prayer for one another, too, for we are all in this battle against our enemy Satan who is fiercely attacking the Lord’s servants and messengers, because his goal, again, is to destroy us, and to defeat the gospel message. So, he tries to soften the gospel message to make it more appealing to human flesh, and thus he vilifies those who are teaching what is truth. So, we need to be earnestly in prayer for the servants of the Lord throughout the world who are giving out the truth, because so much is coming against them (against us). Yet, despite Satan’s efforts to undo us, we must persevere.

On March 19, 2012, I was talking to the Lord about stuff going on in my life. I had just written out my devotions from the book of Amos, chapters 1-2. I was thinking about how Amos was just a shepherd when God called him to be a prophet and to give out his messages. I thought about all the prophets from the Old and New Testaments who had to give out difficult messages, confronting sin, calling for repentance, and often warning of judgment. I thought about the calling of God on my life to share what he teaches me each day from his word, in all practicality in applying Biblical truth to today’s world and church, and to my own personal life, too.

I talked with the Lord about all of this, and how I sometimes weary of giving out such difficult and unpopular messages, and wish I could share happier messages more often. I often identify with Jeremiah who sometimes lamented over the weight of the messages and the responses of the people to the messages. Yet, as I prayed through all of this, I told the Lord, “Yet, I can do no less than obey you in whatever you have called me to do, say and be.” And, from that, he gave me the words to this song, “No Less.”

No Less
An Original Work / March 19, 2012

I can do no less than praise You,
Lord, for all You’ve done for me.
You died for my sins to save me,
So I would be set free.
I adore You! Lord, I praise You!
Jesus, Savior, King of kings!
You provided my redemption.
Your grace has pardoned me.

I can do no less than serve You.
Lord, Your witness I would be,
Telling others of Your love,
And why You died on that tree.
Tell of how You gave of Your life,
So from sin we’d be set free,
So we could worship You forever,
And live eternally.

I can do no less than love You,
Lord, for You have first loved me.
You gave of Your life so willing,
Because You cared for me.
Turn from my sin! Obey freely!
Live for You each passing day.
Read Your word, and follow Your lead,
Lord, as I humbly pray.

Thursday, March 22, 2018, 7:00 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this message from Your Word today. Make it real to our hearts, I pray, in Jesus’ name.

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