Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Ephesians 6’

Doing All to Stand

The dark cloud of trial
looms large overhead
again

I know the signs
I want to circle my wagons
okay–my wagon

my heart says it’ll be hard
my enemy whispers, “He’s left you”
everything in me
wants to circle the drain of my past
shouting, “alone! I’m alone!”

But God–
Your patient hand steering me,
through perilous forests of loss and
seemingly endless quagmire of sorrow,
has taught me:
I am not alone
I am never alone
I was never alone
I will never be alone
this young lion remembers

But the winds of adversity still blow
there’s still more in my heart
You’d have me know
my adversary whispers in my questions
“this will be hard,
you will suffer loss”

everything in broken me wants to cut bait
jump ship
throw out the baby with the bath water
move into crisis mode
find a solution

on come my plans
contingency plans
plans for protection
plans for the future
plans to stay busy
but not Your plans

You say, “Lift your head, sweet child
I have plans for you
good plans
future plans
hope-filled plans”

I don’t need more of my plans
I need faith
to believe Your plans

I must stand
doing all to stand
just stand
just wait
just be

He’s coming
He’s watching
He sees
He knows

It’s Him willing and doing
for His good pleasure

I am His
I am accepted
I am beloved
I am adopted
I am under the blood

this young lion rests

 

Read Full Post »

[S]o that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. Ephesians 6:11b

We’re told in Ephesians 6:11a to “put on the full armor of God,” and now in Ephesians 6:11b, we’re given the reason–that we might be ale to stand successfully. To understand Paul’s meaning we must consider that in this passage, Paul is speaking of the armor that a Roman soldier would wear into battle. When he tells us to stand, his meaning is that we might be still standing at the end of the battle.

What is it that would oppose us? What would cause us not to stand? Paul tells us that there are schemes, strategies and deceits of the devil all of which will threaten and undermine our ability to stay standing.

A scheme is a secret, dishonest plan or underhanded plot. The schemes of the devil involve discrediting God through discrediting the work on the cross, the transforming power of the blood and the sanctifying power of the indwelling Spirit. The devil has a scheme. We don’t know exactly what he will do next, but it will be underhanded. He will not fight fair.

A strategy is a master plan; a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. A strategy is the art of war, military tactics, a plan for a military operation and movement during a war or battle. Why would we be at risk when the battle has already been won? In the spiritual battle we are not taking ground, but rather we are holding ground–standing not advancing. The strategy of the devil is to steal, kill and destroy by taking with him as many as he can–keeping them from the abundant life here and eternal life with God.

A deceit is a trick; the action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth. A deceit is the act of causing someone to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid; an attempt or device to deceive. The devil will try to substitute the false for the truth. He will shave the truth, bend the truth, distort the truth, but he will never tell the truth. Therefore, that is how this battle must be fought–with the truth–the Word of God. Against that, the devil will never prevail.

DSC_0200

Read Full Post »

Considering the battle that takes place in the mind, we are continuing our look at the weapons of our warfare . . . which are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”   From 2 Corinthians, we then proceeded to Ephesians 6 to review the weapons which are described by Paul there.  We pick up with the shield of faith.

  • Shield of Faithabove all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Faith is seeing what is there when it is unseen or hidden by the fog or chaos of battle. For a believer, faith will protect him or her from the lies of the enemy, aimed at undermining belief in the God who cannot be seen, but to whom all the evidence clearly points.  When negative thoughts persist, the believer needs to put the shield of faith between him and negative thoughts.  Faith will affirm that the promises of God are true and will come to pass.  For example, God will never leave us or forsake us, and God will never temp us beyond what we are able.  Believing these things is an exercise of faith.  It puts the shield of faith between us and the temptation or negative thinking.
  • The Helmet of Salvationtake the helmet of salvation.  No solider can fight in the LORD’s army without receiving the work of salvation. Jesus said, you must be born again. When we receive salvation, it is a helmet, a protective covering for our thoughts. Without the helmet, we might receive a mortal wound that would take us out of the battle.
  • The Sword of the Spiritthe sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.   The word of God is a weapon we wield.  It can be used to answer the lies of the enemy.  Our example is Jesus, who when tempted three times in the wilderness by the devil, was able to answer each time from the word of God.  As we study, meditate on and memorize the word of God, we will be able to use the word as an offensive weapon to counter the lies of the enemy.
  • PrayerPraying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.  The tool that helps us to apply the weapons and know their effectiveness in our battles is prayer.  It is our communication with God, the Supreme Commander, and it allows us access to the wisdom of the creator.  Prayer is ongoing and never-ceasing.

When you are plagued with negative thinking, consider the weapons of your warfare.  Be reminded that they are not of this world, but of the eternal realm.  They are might of God.  Review and study and apply.  You will have victory in Christ.

Read Full Post »

This series of posts (When Negative Thoughts Persist) looks at the scripture in 2 Corinthians 10:4 “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”   From 2 Corinthians, we then proceeded to Ephesians 6 to review the weapons which are described by Paul there.

All this that we might effectively battle persistent negative thoughts.  As followers of God, we need to forgive those who wrong us.  However, even after we have forgiven someone, we may experience occasional or even recurring thoughts reminding of what the wrong, how it hurt, how unfair it was or the like.

 The mind is a battlefield, in this post, we will consider a few more of the weapons we have available to us:
  • The Breastplate of Righteousness –  having put on the breastplate of righteousness  The breastplate is a defensive weapon that protects our vital organs, those essential to life. The breastplate protects the warrior from attack aimed at the heart, lungs or other nearby organs.   We must allow Christ, His righteousness to protect us.  We are not righteous in ourselves, because no work of the flesh could ever save us or make us righteous; however, we are righteous as we stand in Christ, who provided the required sacrifice and who is our substitute, our righteousness by faith.
  • The Gospel of Truthhaving shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace   Know the Word of God.  Let it give you sure footing in battle allowing you to stay standing until the end.  When plagued with negative thoughts, review, recite, and/or meditate on a scripture promise or truth that counters the lie that the enemy would tell you.

Read Full Post »

In our last post, we began our discussion of how to deal with persistent negative thoughts.  If we are obedient to the command of God, we know that we need to forgive those who wrong us.  However, even when we have forgiven someone, we may experience occasional or even reoccurring thoughts reminding of what they did to us, how it hurt, how unfair it was or the like.
The mind is a battlefield, but we have weapons which are mighty in God according to 2 Corinthians, which we discussed in the last post.
In this post, I want to take a closer look at some of the weapons to see how they can help us in the battle with recurring or persistent negative thoughts (sometimes known as Stinkin’ Thinkin’)
  • The Whole Armor of God – Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  No one weapon will protect a solider in battle from injury.  That is why Paul exhorts us to put on the whole armor of God.  Leaving one piece of the armor off can expose the soldier to great injury and render him or her ineffective in battle.   Leave no weapon behind.
  • The Belt of Truth –Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth  Let truth be like a belt to keep your movement uninhibited and allow you to move quickly and easily in battle.  The belt can seem like a frivolous accessory until you get caught with your pants down.  Living in the truth and having truth as our belt keeps us from being susceptible to the devil who hates truth and is called “the father of lies.”  It may be hard to always tell the truth.  Even some of the Fathers of the Faith, like Abraham were caught in lies, but they always paid a price for the lies.  Whenever we fail to put on the belt of truth, we make it harder for us to be successful in battle for the important things.

Read Full Post »