Good morning my friends. It is good to get the occasional note from people from time to time. I am surprised to discover how many people are using this as their morning devotions. I am always blessed to hear your responses. We are continuing with Ephesians 6.
I do not understand Christians who continue to portray themselves as victims. You hear them complaining and using excuses about their various circumstances and about who did what to them. I often hear them blaming the enemy for their lot in life and for the circumstances they are facing. Personally I do not know if the enemy orchestrates anything or if he just uses the opportunities afforded him by this fallen world to work on our weak wills. Yet, one thing I do know; no Christian on the face of this planet is a victim unless they choose to be a victim. The Scriptures tell me that we are more than conquerors because of Jesus. They also say that he who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. If we choose to allow the enemy to use the circumstances we face to prevent us from living a life of victory in a fallen world that is a choice we have made. We have chosen to be a victim.
We have to be proactive to avoid a victim mentality. Praying, studying God's Word and worshiping every day is a good start and are good examples of being proactive. We must be prepared before the things of life wash over us. One of the more famous passages about being proactive Christians is found here in Ephesians 6. Note how it starts:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. vs. 10-11
We are not being instructed to be strong on occasion but at all times. We are not being told to be strong in our own ability but strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. We are told to do something, to be proactive, to be prepared so that we can take a stand against the schemes of the enemy. Victims are those who pray only during the hard times, who seek God's face for favour only in trials, who turn to the Word only as they feel themselves being swamped by life. They are victims, they see themselves as victims and they portray themselves as victims. They see life as a struggle as they fight against the things of the flesh. But conquerors know it is not about the flesh:
For 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. v. 12
There is no person on the face of this planet who is our enemy. Our enemy is he who uses the actions of others to try to separate us from the love of Christ. He can not separate us from this love by force so he tries to use the actions of others to destroy us. We come against these people contrary to the Spirit and the enemy's victory is already at hand. When we see ourselves as victims we have fail to respond in love. Victims do not understand we can stand against anything in this world in love. We only face defeat when the enemy fools or provokes us to respond in the flesh contrary to the fruit of the Spirit. We do this as victims when we fail to see the true nature of the battle. The battle is over the hearts and minds of the lost and this is often where God's army, us, are attacked as well. Unprepared, living a victim's mentality, we will be defeated. Recognize the battle for what it is and get proactive.
Therefore 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. v. 13
As a proactive army we should take this on as our personal motto: prepared to stand. What does he mean by "after you have done everything"? Some take this to mean, after we have done everything to rescue ourselves, or after we have done our part to get out of our circumstances. I believe Paul is saying, after we have taken our proactive action of putting on the full armour of God every day we stand our ground, not giving one inch to the enemy. He shall not possess my mind; he will not feast on my heart. I refuse to be the victim of his schemes. I refuse to be a victim of the circumstances of life in a fallen world. I refuse it by being prepared to stand against it.
Tomorrow we will consider the equipment our Father has arranged for us so that we will be equipped to take our stand. For today it is enough that we agree not to live the life of a victim. No more victim mentality. We will decide every day to be proactive in our relationship with Jesus Christ so that no scheme of the enemy will ever lead to our defeat. Remember in all of this there is a larger purpose than just our own salvation. The Father wants to use his proactive army to rescue those who are victims of the enemy's schemes. Let us not waste the time that we have been allotted; prepared to stand!