I already had an inkling from the Holy Spirit that this could be the next step in my walk with Christ, here in His church on this island, but readily admit I was unsure if I had indeed been gifted by the Holy Spirit in this area of service. However I am committed to trusting in, & obeying, what the Lord asks of me. I was aware there would be attack from satan. In fact I had already been subject to an attack on my physical health & strength with a persistent flu virus combined with the need to digest the blessing of my Dear sister's, Denise, acceptance of her call home to Jesus.
Most can relate to these times as part of life's journey. However as a Christian I *stand on the Word* & firmly believe that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. [1 John 4:4]
Still, when I started to put together a paragraph or two, that niggling, treacherous, malicious voice would be there, questioning, accusing, living up to his title as the great accuser!
- Are you really ready enough for this? After all, you're not a teacher.
- Where are your qualifications? What college have you attended?
As often as I would demand, Get thee behind me satan! he just didn't seem to get the message ~ or so I thought.
In truth it was I who was missing the obvious. Why hadn't I put on my armour?
Some may be wondering , What armour am I speaking of?
I reread a passage from a study we did of author & evangelist, Perry Stone's book: There's a Crack in Your Armour, Perry writes: Anyone who is a Christian is also a soldier ~a concept I, myself, am not unfamiliar with as I was raised by parents who loved God, & served & worshiped as 3rd generation *Christian Soldiers* within the Salvation Army.
Perry goes on to state: In the book of Ephesians, written by the apostle Paul,who was very familiar with Roman soldiers, Roman guards, their military training, equipment & methods of battle. Perry describes the book of Ephesians as being divided into 3 sections, the 1st section being Ephesians chapters 1~3, relating to the work of God in the life of a Christian. The second deals with the walk of the Christian, described in chapters 4~5 followed by the 3rd which is the warfare of the Christian in chapter 6.
Verses 10~18 says: Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord & in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh & blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, & having done all, stand.
Paul goes on to describe this armour.
Stand, therefore, having girded your waist with truth... girded refering to what we would know as a girdle or wide belt made from strong leather...having put on the breastplate of righteousness...The Oxford Dictionary gives us a challenging insight into the values attributed to the word which is a verb ~ or as my grade 3 English teacher taught us an *action* or *doing* word.
TAKE A MOMENT TO THINK ABOUT THESE DEFINITIONS:
wise, moral, just, virtuous, upstanding, upright, good, honest, ethical, honourable, fair, reputable, of good reputation, trustworthy, justified, appropriate, worthy, fitting & apt~ a list only obtainable by the Lord's grace.
That mocking voice of satan laughs: Do you think you have all these attributes? then that still small voice deep in my soul says: He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. Get thee behind me satan!
Paul goes on to say: And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one & take the helmet of salvation & the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer & supplication in the spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance & supplication. [pleading humbly]
One of the greatest battles in history was fought by a simple shepherd boy named David. King Saul was anointed by God & God was very generous to Saul. The Lord had told Saul to destroy King Agag & all he owned but Saul disobeyed God. He took king Agag alive & his people he totally destroyed with the sword. Saul & the army spared Agag & the best of his sheep & cattle, the fat calves & lambs ~ everything that was good, these they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised & weak they destroyed. Because of his sins of deceit & rebellion the Lord eventually rejected Saul as King.
The Lord sent Samuel to Jesse of Bethlehem for He had chosen his youngest son, David, to be anointed as future king. The Lord does not look at the things that people look at. People look at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. [1 Samuel 16:7]
Since the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul an evil spirit had been sent to torment him. David, who was a shepherd, calmed his sheep in times of stress by playing his lyre. Now he eased the pain in Saul's heart with music. Saul like him very much. As David played his lyre Saul would feel better & the evil spirit would leave him. God, who is merciful, showed mercy on Saul in his hours of despair despite the depth & horror of his sins.
How blessed are we in this age of Christianity that the gentle hand of Jesus can lead & direct us through His Holy spirit & will ease our heart, body, mind & spirit, renewing us with this reminder found in Romans 12:21: Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good & How beautiful on the mountain are the feet of those who bring the good news, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, Your God reigns. Isaiah 5:7
The word of God to Jeremiah when he was sent to the Potter's House was: Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does? declares the Lord. Like clay in the hand of the Potter, so are you in my hand.
Jesus came to this world & paid for our sins on the cross @ Calvary so that we too, as Gentiles, are included in God's promise of eternal life: Whoever has the son, has life; whoever does not have the son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:12
Prayer: Heavenly Father, for what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people ~ all you deem worthy through the love of your son, Jesus, & I will hope in your name for your name is Good. Amen.