Devotion for Day 7 (Sunday, June 18, 2006)|
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Devotion for Day 7
1 Peter 5:8-9
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
It is time for us to see ourselves as warriors, but warriors of a different kind than might immediately come to your mind. A typical picture of a warrior is of one who is standing, strong and tall, with weapons at the ready. But we are in a spiritual battle and the battleground is inside the church. “3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
The posture of this warrior is on his or her knees. This will be a battle fought on our knees and with passion for the Gospel and compassion for those who oppose us. The weapons of choice are prayer and oratory. Here, on our knees, we must decide how and when to fight. And then, we must speak out with compassion, clarity, strength and unwavering confidence in the Word of God.
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:10-20)
The Deceiver wants to keep us busy and distracted – running from here to there, scheming, plotting, maneuvering – for this is how he will wage the war. He would have us be anywhere but on our knees. In the days ahead, let us stand firm in the faith while we kneel firmly in prayer and fight the good fight – together, controlled and alert; humble before God, confident in the weapons of our warfare.