Paul admonishes us to “Be strong — not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource. Put on God’s complete armor so that you can successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack. For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organizations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore you must wear the whole armour of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when you have fought to a standstill you may still stand your ground” (Ephesians 6:10-13).
Look at that! The first words said it all: “Be strong!” Okay, how? Not in our own strength, I hope, because sometimes we might think we are strong and mighty, but I’ll tell you what, we are no comparison to the Lord.
No, we are to be strong and empowered, through our union with the Lord; we are to draw our strength from Him; a strength which His boundless might provides.
Then we are to clothe ourselves, to actually “put on God’s complete armor.” Do you remember the story of David when he went out to fight Goliath? Saul offered his armor to David and he looked at it, and there was no way it would fit him. He would have looked like the little kid who tries on his dad’s suit. Pretty silly, isn’t it? But we are called to put on God’s whole armor, the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which Yahweh supplies, and it will be custom fit to our very shape and size! What I want you to notice is that we are to put on this armor; we are to clothe ourselves. No where does it say that He will clothe us. No, we put our arms in the tunic; tighten the breastplate; pick-up the sword and hold the shield . . . okay, so why are we doing all this? “. . . that you may be able to successfully stand up against all the strategies and deceits of the devil.
What in the world is this all about? “We are not wrestling with flesh and blood, but against the despotism, against the powers, against the master spirits who are the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly sphere.”
Folks, Jesus told us to resist the devil and that he would flee, but I don’t know about you, but personally, I have no resistance. Now He has all the power and resistance we will every need, but in ourselves? No way.
That’s right, Jesus has all the power and resistance we will ever need, but this armor we are to clothe ourselves with . . . is His armor. It was created for Him . . . yet, it was custom tailored to fit us perfectly.
But here’s the thing . . . yes, He will give us the power to resist. Jesus said that we could cast a mountain into the sea with just our word and faith the size of a mustard seed . . . yet, I will be honest here, sometimes, my mountain won’t move. Even though my faith in Him is tremendous, I am sometimes walking a difficult path without any illumination along the way.
Sometimes I want Him to move the mountains aside; sometimes I get tired and weak and cannot stand . . . what do I do? I know that I am to “Flee the very appearance of evil,” but sometimes I ignore that instruction.
Sometimes I run the race of faith hard and maintain my stand . . . but sometimes, sin overtakes me. I know that I am to stand strong and clothe myself with that armor . . . but sometimes . . . I don’t have the strength to do that . . .
As Rich Mullins sang:
If I stand, let me stand on the promise that you will pull me through . . . and if I can’t, let me fall on the grace that first brought me to You . . .
That’s where I find myself lately, falling on the Grace that first brought me to Him. I know I’m supposed to have all of the answers and give you the needed inspiration to maintain your own trust . . . but sometimes I . . . no, I always find that I must rely on His Grace and Mercy. And I hope you will too.
With these Morning Messages, I take you on guided tours to, as Bunyan described, the Celestial City. At times we linger at corners familiar and unseen. And explore the depths of our faith along the way.
The trail is long, but there’s no hurry. Though we do need to stock up on supplies for the way, and that’s where I need your help. If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.