As I woke up, I needed to admit that yesterday’s problem was still bothering me. It was the first thing that I thought about the moment that I opened up my eyes. Has this ever happened to you? A problem has lingered on as well as your negative condemning thoughts about it? You continue to stew and worry even though you know it won’t help. I wrote about this problem yesterday in my journal and I prayed about it, so I am expecting it to be gone. However, even after I prayed for peace and believed that I was victorious over it, I still woke up with thoughts of worry and strife.
In my mind, I know that there is absolutely nothing within my human capabilities that I can do to fix this problem. Have you ever had a problem like this and you try to fix it anyways, only to realize after a period of time has passed, that there is nothing humanly possible that can be done? I have been guilty of this many times. Therefore, I knew that instead of worrying and analyzing and trying to come up with a plan, I needed to make the conscious decision to continue to pray for peace, wisdom and guidance regarding this problem. I knew that I also needed to command the problem and the worry to leave. I then needed to praise God for all things and for His victory. This is easier intellectualized, than actually practiced.
I needed to see by faith that the battle is already won, the victory is mine. I decided to come up against the worry by beginning my daily devotions. As I sat down on my sofa and opened up my bible, I came across Paul’s writings in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (NIV).
As I read this scripture it confirmed in my spirit that I am not fighting with people in this world, but with powers and principalities of darkness. The only way you and I can combat strongholds such as these is to fight with the weapons that are not of this world. God, through His son Jesus has given us divine power to demolish strongholds. Amen and Amen!
Remember, God has not given us a spirit of fear, to be afraid when troubles come our way. Instead He has given us a spirit of power, love and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV). He doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed with our problems and with all the stress that life brings our way. God wants us to have a clear mind, filled with His wisdom and His understanding. We need to remember that God can and has defeated our problems and we can enjoy the victory.
In order to enjoy victory, we must understand that our struggles are not with people, but instead our struggles are against the evil forces of the dark world. We are continually battling the devil’s schemes. You know those wars that come upon us when we are at work and people say something humiliating to us in a meeting or when a spouse criticizes our efforts. We immediately want to take our bow and arrow and strike back. However, this type of a defense only escalates a situation. As a result, daily we need to put on the full armor of God, Ephesians 6:13 (NIV) instructs us to prepare ourselves for the battles and wars that wage against us in the spirit world. Putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-17, NIV) must be a habit that you and I need to form and need to do every single day!
Start today by claiming victory over the devil’s lies and accusations. Daily, form the habit of having the mind-space of a warrior by dressing yourself in the full armor of God, as found in Ephesians 6:13-17 (NIV); the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit.
- The belt of truth which helps you to live in and by the truth of the Word of God. In the ancient times, the soldier’s belt kept his armor in place and it also helped to protect his kidneys and other vital organs. The belt of truth holds our spiritual armor in place so that we are not exposed and vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy.
- The breastplate of righteousness is a key piece of armor for the soldier. The breastplate provides protection for vital organs such as the heart and lungs. Without a breastplate, any attack can be fatal. By wearing a breastplate an attack from the enemy becomes ineffective as the weapons glance off of the armor. To be righteous is to do what is right in God’s eyes. Without righteousness, you leave yourself open to lawlessness and sin, which inevitably leads to death. With righteousness as with the breastplate, the fatal attacks of the enemy are thwarted.
- The shoes of peace help you to endure the hardships. They also help you to stand steadfast walking in a peaceful confidence. The type of footwear a soldier wears determines their stability as well as their mobility. The wrong choice of footwear can affect how far a soldier can walk or run and it also determines whether the journey is comfortable or uncomfortable. Ensuring that the footwear fits properly will enable you to withstand and endure the journey. In the same way having the endurance of peace in our life will ensure that you are equipped and prepared for the long run.
- The shield of faith is to be “taken up” by you as a Christian. The shield is not to be strapped on such as the belt, the breastplate and the shoes. Instead you must ‘hold the shield of faith up’ and use it. A solider uses a shield to deflect attacks from their enemy. The purpose of the shield is also to guard. Depending on how large the shield is, will depend on how much guarded protection a soldier has. As a Christian you already have faith if you believe and trust that God will fulfill His promises to you. A physical shield protects the soldier physically however faith is your spiritual shield in the midst of trials. God is capable of delivering you from any fate you just need to have faith to believe and to hold it up at all times against the attacks of the enemy!
- The helmet of salvation protects you as a Christian from the spiritual arrows directly attacking your head, such as discouragement and doubt. The helmet is a necessity used by a soldier as it protects the head from injury. By putting on the helmet of salvation you are experiencing the freedom from the dominating power of sin as you are protected by God’s grace through salvation in Christ. Sin no longer has dominion over you.
- The sword of the Spirit helps you as a Christian to always remember to Just Say It! by speaking the truth found in the Scriptures. The soldier’s sword is both an offensive and a defensive weapon. The sword is used to protect soldiers from harm and it is also used to attack the enemy. In the Scriptures Paul is referring to the “sword of the spirit” as belonging to the Holy Spirit. All Christians are in a spiritual battle with the enemy, so you need to know how to use the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, as an effective defense against evil and an offensive weapon to demolish strongholds.
By daily clothing yourself with the armor of God, it is a conscious decision that you make, it is a habit forming decision that will equip you on a daily basis to overcome any trap that the enemy is trying to set for you.
Paul continues on in the next verse by encouraging you to say in the spirit, as he reminds us in Ephesians 6:18, “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 saints” (NIV). Paul is telling you that in order to defeat the enemy you must daily put on the full armor of God and you must always continually pray in the spirit throughout the day. He is instructing you to constantly be praying in the spirit whether you are at home, at work, on a walk with a neighbor, buying groceries or participating in a sporting event. You are to pray in the spirit without ceasing so that you are always on alert and always protected.
I do not know your beliefs with regards to praying in the spirit. What I ask of you is that you give this problem over to God. I encourage you to ask Him to guide and direct you and to show you the way. If you totally submit to His will for your life, He will answer your question. Try not to debate this matter with your fellow Christians, instead, turn this problem and query over to the Lord.
Questions to reflect upon
- Are you in the habit of putting on the full armor of God every single day?
- If not, how are you ensuring protection over the attacks of the enemy?
- I encourage you to say it to God every day, by praying and claiming that you are clothed in the full armor of God.
Find a pen and your journal. If you do not have a journal, I suggest that you purchase one, or make one. Begin writing about a problem that is plaguing you. What have you done about it? What can you still do about it? Are you worrying unnecessarily? Are you willing to give this problem fully over to God, so that He can guide and direct you? Or what parts of it are you willing to give to God, and what parts of the problem are you refusing to let go of? How is holding on to parts or all of the problem helping you to resolve it? Do you even want to resolve the situation? Do you feel totally powerless about the problem, and therefore by holding onto part or all of it you feel that you have some control? Is this a wise strategy?
Scripture to reflect upon
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground” (Ephesians 6:13 NIV).
Prayer to reflect upon
Thank you God for being our Father and for always loving us no matter what! Help us to continue to speak words of truth into our lives and daily help us to put on the full armor of God!
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father Which Art in Heaven
Hallowed Be Thy Name
Thy Kingdom Come
Thy Will Be Done
On Earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this Day our Daily Bread
And Forgive Us our Trespasses
As We Forgive Those who Trespass Against Us
Lead Us Not Into Temptation
But Deliver Us From Evil
For Thine is the Kingdom
And the Power and the Glory
Forever and Forever
(Matthew 6:9-13 KJV).