Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Ephesians 6:10
You feel a little weak? A little unmatched? No worries! The strength of the Lord is where it’s at.
Put on the WHOLE armor of God. Some won’t do. A piece here and there won’t cut it in this fierce battle. We need the WHOLE armor of God.
All of this SO THAT you may be able to stand against schemes of the devil. He’s very good at his job. He has a ton of experience. He has a proven track record. Know your enemy.
For we do not wrestle against the flesh and blood, but against cosmic powers and spiritual forces of evil. It’s not the person to the left or right. It’s not your boss or your employee or your co-worker. It’s not that girl who left you out or that guy who left you heartbroken. It’s not the politician in Washington, DC or the person behind the screen. It’s not your neighbor or your worst enemy. It’s not people who look differently or think differently or vote differently. It is the devil. HE IS THE ENEMY. He is waging war in places unseen to us using his weapons of lies, manipulation, oppression, comparison, critique, differences, strong opinions, entitlement, unforgiveness. Don’t waste your fight on flesh and blood. You’ll be fighting the wrong fight.
Suit up, friend! Your battle gear is there…it has always been there…but you need to take it off the shelf, dust it off and PUT IT ON.
The belt of Truth. The breastplate of righteousness. Shoes of the readiness given by the gospel of peace. A shield of faith able to extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. A helmet of salvation. The sword of the Spirit. With lips of prayer. And eyes wide open.
This is how we fight the battles waging around us and in us. We have to be battle-ready, friends. Fully covered in the armor of God. There is no other way to win this war. Suit up!
Question: How can you put on each piece of armor today?
Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called. Ephesians 4:1
As Christians we talk a lot about eternity; about being saved and secure. Indeed, we eagerly wait to enter our forever home. But we also have purpose while we are here. Our lives aren’t about simply patiently waiting it out until we die or Jesus returns, whichever comes first.
We have been called. For here and now. Those ideas the Spirit plants in us, that passion to make a difference, that thing we love to dream about…God calls us to these things. It is part of the work He has prepared in advance for us to walk into. It’s often different in different seasons, but there is always work to do. A patient mom, a dedicated employee, a start-up entrepreneur, a student, a volunteer, a caregiver, a small group host, a teacher, a writer, a musician, an encourager, a doctor, a photographer...
Our purpose is to glorify God and one way we do this is by completing the work He gave us to do. By walking into our calling. John records a prayer of Jesus speaking to His Father, “I glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:4)
Though we weren’t born to save the world through our death on a cross, we do have work that has been given to us by God. Stepping into this work – completing it – is how we glorify God. We miss out on glorifying God when we miss out on our calling – because of fear, insecurity, false humility, busyness, distractions, worrying about what others will think. We often miss our work because we are following the masses and chasing after others’ callings.
Our callings are worthy of some intentional walking. Let’s boldly walk in a manner WORTHY of the calling to which WE HAVE BEEN CALLED!
Questions: Are you walking in a manner worthy of YOUR calling? Are you walking with confidence that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do? Are you doing the things you need to do related to the work given TO YOU from God? Are you preparing the way you need to prepare? Are you tapping into the power of the Spirit for wisdom and discernment and guidance?
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
The one who created us has also prepared good works for us. Who better to create us than the one who knows what we need to be equipped to do; what we were created to do?
So often we spend much of our time comparing ourselves to other people. We want what they have or what they can do. And if you’ve ever fallen in this trap, you know it is only exhausting, depressing, and unfulfilling.
We don’t know everyone else’s story. We don’t know what everyone else has gone through or what God’s purpose and plans are for them. Believe me, no one has it easy. Everyone has trials and burdens and obstacles they have to overcome.
When we waste our precious time and energy comparing or trying to copy someone else’s looks, talents, personalities, achievements, social media life, etc., we miss out on who God created us to be. Because other peoples’ callings don’t quite fit us right.
God has good works – good things -- that He has set out for us to do. These things require a unique skill set that only we have. When we ignore the development of these things by trying to be someone else, we miss out on really wonderful, God-ordained things prepared for us.
The good works have already been prepared by God...for us to do. Our job? To not miss them. To WALK IN THEM. Let’s do this!
Challenge: Pay close attention to your thoughts over the next few days. When you find yourself comparing or jealous, let this be a prompt for you to pray. Ask God to show you what unique gifts and traits He created in YOU that He wants you to further develop or put into practice. Ask for wisdom in walking in the good works He has already prepared for YOU.