Put the Word of God into Practice

The Schemes of the Devil
Ephesians 6:10-12 ESV

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

We are in a war and our enemy is Satan, the devil, and his many hordes. Yes, this is a spiritual battle to be fought with spiritual weapons of warfare, and our true enemy is the devil, but we also have human enemies, otherwise the Scriptures would not teach us to love our enemies and to pray for them and to do good to them and to say to them what is for their good.

The battle is truly about good against evil and evil against good, and we are definitely seeing that being played out before our eyes most any day in the week now whenever we turn on the news. Especially we are seeing the evil against good, and we are seeing evil being called good and good being called evil, even within the church.

So, we need to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might so that we can fight off these evil forces which are coming against us. But we can only do this if we genuinely know the Lord and if we are walking in fellowship with him in obedience to his commands. We can only do this if we are bathing our minds with the word of God and if we are obeying it.

For, if our minds are being filled with all the junk of the world we are not going to be able to fight against evil because we are giving the devil a foothold in our lives. We can’t fight off Satan if we are giving him any amount of wiggle room in our lives via our activities and behaviors and the things that we watch and listen to on a daily basis.

Also, we aren’t even going to be able to be discerning with regard to the devil’s many schemes he is concocting against us if we are living not much different from those of this world who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. And we will easily be caught in the devil’s traps because we won’t even recognize them for what they are if we are not fully surrendered to Jesus Christ following him in the ways of righteousness and holiness.

So, we need to take this seriously, and we need to armor up, because the battle is getting more fierce day by day.

The Armor of God
Ephesians 6:13-17 ESV

“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 firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

So, what does it mean to take up the armor of God? What should that look like? I used to wonder these things. And I would hear people talk about how they just recited these words thinking that was taking up the armor of God. And I have heard other people claim that our salvation is our armor and thus we are always fully armored, but is that true?

There is a reason we are being instructed to take up this armor of God, so it obviously involves action on our part. It is something we must actively be doing as a means of fighting off Satan’s evil attacks against us. So, this isn’t automatic just because we believe in Jesus. Just like we must daily die with Christ to sin and walk in obedience to our Lord, this is something we must daily be doing, as well.

Well, first of all we must not be walking according to the flesh, doing what the world does, for that is counterproductive. So, again, we must be walking in obedience to our Lord as our daily practice or we are not going to be able to discern the enemy’s tactics he uses against us nor are we going to be able to fight off his attacks, because we won’t be spiritually prepared.

Basically what we are doing here is putting into practice all that Jesus did for us and that he supplied to us for us to walk the Christian life. So, first off we need to be truth tellers and not liars. We are not even to tell what some people call “white lies.” Lying can’t be our practice. Telling the truth in love must always be our practice. And we must always fight off the lies by countering them with the truth.

And putting on righteousness doesn’t mean faking it, either. It is not true righteousness if we are having to fake it or if we are trying to make up our own righteousness. Righteousness is whatever is considered right in the eyes of God, so we are to be doing whatever is right in the eyes of God as a matter of our life practice, in the power of God, and we are not to be involved in doing what is unrighteous and evil and wicked and immoral.

Whenever I think of feet from a spiritual standpoint, I think of that verse in Romans, I think it is, where it says, “Beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news.” So, I believe this is about us spreading the good news of the gospel of our salvation. We need to be talking with people about Jesus and about his gospel, but the full gospel, not this half-truth gospel that many are spreading throughout America today.

A shield is protection and our defense against enemy attacks. And our faith is God-given and not of ourselves, but it is divinely persuaded. And our Lord regards our faith as obedience and disobedience as unbelief. So, faith is not some profession of some religion, but it is dying with Christ to sin daily and it is living to Christ and to his righteousness and it is walking in obedience to his commands, for this is why Jesus died for us on that cross.

And our salvation is not just deliverance from the guilt and the punishment of sin and the promise of eternal life with God. We are saved from our slavery to sin so that sin no longer has mastery over our lives and so that we now can live as slaves of God and of his righteousness. So to put on the helmet of salvation, which is a covering for our minds, is to walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh.

And if we are taking up the Sword of the Spirit, we are not just reading the word of God but we are applying the truths of Scripture to our daily lives by walking in obedience to our Lord’s commands. And we are using the word of God like Jesus did to fight off the temptations of the devil, and to fight off the lies of the enemy, and to teach others the truth of the gospel, too.

Praying at All Times
Ephesians 6:18-20 ESV

“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Some people have this idea that prayer is something you do for a certain period of time in the day and that it is always planned out. But prayer is our communication with our Lord and we should have an open door of communication with him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at any time of the day or night. We should always be listening for his voice speaking to our hearts and we should be talking with our Lord throughout the day.

And we need to be praying for one another. I appreciate it very much anytime anyone tells me that they are praying for me. It encourages and strengthens my heart. So, we need to be lifting up one another to the Lord in prayer because we live in evil times and Satan is on a warpath and we all need help in walking this walk in these troubled times.

And we need to be praying, as well, that the gospel (the true one) will go forth to the nations and to the people in all nations so that all may hear that Jesus came to save us from our slavery to sin and to free us to now become slaves of God and of his righteousness. For, he died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13]

Mary, Did You Know?

Songwriters: Greene Lee Rufus / Lowry Mark Alan

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy
Is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you’re
Holding is the great, I Am

Mary, did you know?

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