We are far too independent. It's not a good thing. We were created to be dependent on our Father. Unlike human fathers who's purpose is to help train their children for independent adulthood, our heavenly Father never wants us to become independent from him. In fact, he has made it impossible for us to be independent.
We died with Jesus on the cross. It is the only way that we could be separated from sin, breaking our slavery to it. In dying we had to be raised to life again so we were raised in Jesus. There is life as long as we stay in Jesus. Away from Jesus there is only spiritual death. We are absolutely dependent on him for life and everything we need to be victorious.
There is nothing in us that is of any use except the Holy Spirit. We have nothing to offer Jesus except our emptiness. It is our emptiness that he can use and that he gladly excepts from us. If we think we have anything to offer God we have not yet matured to the point of understanding this relationship. This is a truth that is important for us to understand if we are going to be effective warriors.
The armour of God is not natural to us. There is no part of it that comes from us. All of it is provided by God. Underline this fact in your thoughts so you will understand that fighting the darkness of this world is not natural to us and in our flesh we would rather just hide under the covers. But in Jesus we rise up as mighty warriors, heroes of the faith, putting on the full armour of God. From Ephesians 6:
- belt of truth: it holds everything together. If we allow falsehood to be part of us it unties the belt and everything falls apart. We cannot fight without truth. Not ours. God's.
- breastplate of righteousness: God's righteousness has been declared over us. It is ours and it covers our heart. Regardless of what the enemy may accuse us of, truth or fabricated, it is covered by this breastplate. Learn to depend on that fact and let the sins of the past go. Do not allow those things to cripple you when God has declared you clean and innocent. This needs to be settled in you or the enemy will squash you in an instant.
- gospel of peace: which keeps you ready to move, to take action. This peace is not world peace but is the declaration of what Jesus has done in bringing peace to us in our relationship with God. That is the good news that we hold out to the world and you must be prepared to share it wherever the Spirit sends you. As a soldier is ready to move out in an instant when the signal is given, so must we be prepared to share as the Spirit signals.
- shield of faith: protects us from all those flaming arrows flung at us from the enemy. Arrows of fear, doubt, anxiety. The shield is our declaration of trust. Jesus said it so it is. This is what so many potential warriors try to go out into battle without. It's crazy. We are open to every attack of the enemy when we leave behind our shield. Faith must be with us daily. It is given to us by God, not natural to us at all.
- helmet of salvation: covers us. It protects us. It keeps our head in place. It protects our mind which gives us perspective. We do not get lost in the perspective and values of this world. Our salvation reminds us that we belong elsewhere and that we get our values from a different source. Salvation keeps us grounded in God's perspective, especially as we are reminded of his love, mercy and grace.
- sword of the Spirit, the Word of God: which we use to strike back at the enemy. Remember what Jesus did when faced by the enemy. The Word of God was his defence. It is our defence. Philosophies and clever ideas from our own mind already belong to the enemy. It is only the Word of God that has any effect on our foe. Know it well. Learn to use it. Become an effective warrior.
I will talk about prayer in all of this tomorrow.
For today, if you have any desire to stand for Jesus, to take your stand, to be the mighty warrior you have been called to be in the army of Jesus Christ, then you better understand God's armour well. You better make sure it is in place every day. Without it you will not succeed as you have been called to succeed. With it, no evil force or influence can come close to touching or harming you. With it, you are a giant walking on the face of this earth. Make sure you have it in place before you start your day. Rise up mighty warrior of God.