Google+ 03/22/13 Educated and Equipped!

Ephesians 6:10-11

 

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 

 

I read this passage of Scripture often, particularly as we build By Your Side Ministries.  When we are working for God, the strategies of the devil increase and multiply.  I often give people the advice that if they are feeling like they are particularly alone and under attack, there is a very good chance that they are doing great things for God!  Satan simply leaves us alone if we have nothing to stand for in our lives.  Some people believe that because Satan is the devil, he is also stupid.  That simply is not true.  Satan, like God, chooses people that can make a difference for him.  The difference is that Satan wants to lie to you, steal from you, cheat you, and manipulate you for his own purposes.  God calls to us in His still small voice and encourages us, supports us, and loves us into doing the right thing.  This is were we need our Scripture today.  We must put on the FULL armor of God.  If we do not, we will be vulnerable in some area of our life.  For instance, wearing the belt of truth is not enough.  We are defenseless against Satan's attacks if we are only armed with the truth.  We need our helmet and our breastplate also.    That is why God lays all the pieces out for us to use as we need them.  The problem is that we will never know when we need what part.  This is part of being equipped for the ministry of Jesus Christ.  Satan is always throwing a new wrinkle at us that we have not seen before.  As I have mentioned before, we rarely recognize Satan when he shows up in our lives.  Let's use money in churches as an example of something that sounds okay on the surface, but will destroy a ministry quickly, if it is out of God's will.  When churches are having giving problems, it is never about money.  It is about spiritual maturity and ministry.  When income is down, you will often hear the "governing committees" of churches say "let's save that money and not spend it on ministry now."  On the surface, this seems like a prudent, worldly statement.   Worldly is the key.  There is nowhere in the Bible where "saving for a rainy day" is ever discussed.  Most often when times are tough, we need to spend MORE on ministry in order for God to bless what we are doing.  Remember the man who had so much that he had to rebuild his storehouses to house it all?  Then what happened?  The man died and as the saying goes, "you can't take it with you!"   As soon as Satan puts the thought in your mind that we should "save" rather than "minister," the church begins to really decline.  See, we need all of the armor of God to defeat the devil every day.  So, before you go out in the world, equip yourself.  Get ready for battle and Satan's strategies.  Watch your tongue and guard against "worldly" ideas that on the surface sound okay.  Run all ideas and strategies through your "Bible filter."  If we do all this, we can be like Paul and be "Strong in the Lord!"