Courage in Battle

As early as I can remember, my parents read me Bible stories.  You know, the Creation; Adam and Eve sin; Cain and Able; David faces the Giant; Daniel and the lion’s den; Joseph and his colorful coat… the list could go on and on. They taught me biblical principles from the time I was a tot even we were not a “church going family” or as some would say a “religious” family. My parents and my Nannie (grandmother) taught me the importance of living my life based on God’s Word; that He was always with me and that He knew and saw everything that happens. They taught me the importance of prayer and that God answers our prayers. By the time I was five or six, I was in a very frightening situation, and I put it to the test. This timid little girl prayed and prayed hard. Did I say I was terrified?? That evening I promised God if I made it out of that situation alive, I was His, forever. As you can see, He saw me through! My family had set the stage by teaching me God was faithful every time they read those stories of His faithfulness to me! When I found myself in a pinch, I remembered and held fast to those stories, and He answered in a mighty way that has affected my life ever since that evening.

There was one thing back in the day; it seemed no one ever told us. At least I never heard it once even after I started attending a church nearby a couple of years later. The truth is I was an adult before I realized that a decision to believe God and accept Jesus brings a Declaration of War against us! Many of us were told a decision for Christ was the greatest, most important decision we would make and it is. Many of us believed or were taught once that decision was made it is smooth sailing from then on. Let me just tell you; nothing is further from the truth! The battle between good and evil and light and darkness began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit to “be like God”.  This age-old battle has raged ever since!

Jesus came to give us life and life abundantly, but the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10)  Jesus came to set us free from bondage/captivity; heal us and heal our brokenness; and bring us wholeness: “The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the Lord to glorify Him.” (Isaiah 61:1-3 HCSB)  Once we choose to join Team Jesus, we are no longer off the radar of His enemy; we are now a threat because we have chosen sides. Jesus Christ has already paid the price and won the victory over sin and death. Satan refuses to admit defeat and uses all means possible to keep us distracted and deceived about our worth and our standing so that we find it difficult to walk in the abundant life and freedom Jesus has already made available to us.

It is important for us to know the truth and that begins with understanding the Word.  “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” (Ephesians 6:12 HCSB)  “Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little. The dominion belongs to Him forever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:8-11 HCSB)  The priority is to know whose side we are on. Next, is knowing that there’s an enemy and a battle going on; we are targeted.  Third, that person who doesn’t seem to like you; who lied to you or about you; who betrayed you…it is not about them. Perhaps they have misunderstood you or been deceived about you; they may be a pawn in the battle of the ages, but it is really not about them.

So what do we do with this info? Ephesians 6 tells us:

“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil.”

Because of this, you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith; with it, you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alerted in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:10-11, 13-18 HCSB)

•    Be Strengthened by the Lord’s immense strength; don’t fight in our

strength!

•    Take up the Full Armor of God.

•    Stand Firm.

His Armor:

The Belt of Truth – ” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6) The belt holds the armor together and gives stability!  Likewise, Jesus is the truth; He is the One who holds us together and gives us confidence. Colossians 1:17 says. ” He is before all things, and by Him, all things hold together.”

The Breastplate of Righteousness –  “We are Christ’s Ambassadors…Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21) This piece guards our heart!  Above all else, guard your heart for it is the source of life.(Proverbs 4:23)

The Gospel of Peace –  “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” He (Jesus) said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” which is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend  on these two commands.” (Matthew 22:38-40)

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” (Romans 12:17-19 MSG)  Just as the sandals protected the warrior’s feet from the terrain, keeping peace with others helps us keep our walk safe.

The Shield of Faith – “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. (Hebrews 11:1-2 MSG)  Our faith is our shield that protects us. It is a huge barrier that protects our full body and quenches the tactics of our enemy!

The Helmet of Salvation – guard your mind!  Our greatest battles are fought in our minds. Our mind is where we form strategies and plans. It is where we reason and decide how to move forward. It is where the battles between fear and faith are either won or lost. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)
Romans 8:37 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

The Sword of the Spirit (God’s Word) –   “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.(Hebrews 4:12) This is our one offensive weapon and it is powerful!  God’s Word has an answer for every question; a solution for every problem!

Pray at all times – “Pray constantly.  Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Don’t stifle the Spirit. Don’t despise prophecies, but test all things. Hold on to what is good.  Stay away from every kind of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:18-22)

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.…” (Luke 11:9-10)  In the original,  this passage really reads ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking, knock and keep knocking indicating perseverance in our  prayers.   Our battles will be won not by using earthly weapons but by walking in faith using the spiritual weapons He provides us!

May grace and peace be yours!

Note: You can find many additional scriptures by using a concordance or Google to search keywords about this or any topic. I highly recommend that you are sure to keep them in their original context and always check out the accuracy for yourself rather than relying on what any individual may say. Part of being armed is knowing God’s Word for ourselves. How else can we be on guard and not be unintentionally or for that matter, intentionally deceived?

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