Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Be Encouraged This Week

Ephesians 6:11: "Put on all God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies of the devil." (NLT) & Romans 12:2: "Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking." (The Message)

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to wear the armor of God. To truly be prepared for this season of life. It's one thing to read the scriptures on the armor, but it's another thing to actually DO it and understand the meaning behind it. I've learned that there are practical military purposes as well as spiritual warfare application for the pieces of armor described in Ephesians 6. It's quite interesting, but it gets me fired up when I visualize being a soldier in the army of the Lord.

Belt of Truth
Military Purpose: The Roman soldier would place around the waist (loin), and it is the holder for a lot of equipment. The belt was tied in several places to stay in place so no matter which way the soldier fell, the belt was always in place with weapons, ready.
Spiritual Warfare: Just as the soldier placed the belt around his loin to hold his armor together, we must apply the word of God to our lives on a daily basis to hold us together - maintain our defense. The belt was the first thing the soldier put on.

Breastplate of Righteousness
Military Purpose: This armor is attached and anchored by the belt (loins). The belt had to be put on first, then the breastplate. One key area, the breastplate protected the heart.
Spiritual Warfare: When you walk in the righteousness of God, it is a weapon of defense against the strategies of the devil.

Feet Prepared with Peace
Military Purpose: Roman soldiers were equipped with spikes on the soles of their footwear which provided them a strong stance and balance that gave them superior posture in battle.
Spiritual Warfare: Peace will help you stand with your feet planted on the Word of God. It will protect us when we walk through rough laces and keep us steady in eh heat of battle.

Shield of Faith
Military Purpose: There had to be flexibility and strength in the use of the shield. Protection from arrows and spears. Large enough to be knelt behind.
Spiritual Warfare: Faith of the believer. God fights with us and He's there to protect us.

Helmet of Salvation

Military Purpose: The Roman helmet had a chinstrap, visor and came down to cover the back and sides of the neck. A well-designed helmet will protect you from VARIOUS ANGLES OF ATTACK.
Spiritual Warfare: The greatest battlefield is our mind. This is the area that the enemy wants to attack the most. We must have a clear mind to be discerning in all situations. This comes by immersing yourself in God's word and prayer.

Sword of the Spirit
Military Purpose: This one was a two-edged sword with the end turned upward. It inflicted more damage than other swords. It was intended to kill and to rip the enemy's insides to shreds. The two-edged swords were thick and cut in two directions.
Spiritual Warfare: Our sword of the Spirit is the word of God. And, each word is like a sword-blow to satan's strategies. It represents authority and power.

So, to you, whomever is reading this, be encouraged this week. Remember to put on the whole armor of God EVERY DAY. Be strategic. Stay fired up and stay prepared. Never leave home without your armor.

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