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. 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. 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17
"Guys....he's not moving!" Panic set in as we surrounded our lifeless friend. Each one of us dropped our pillows realizing we were in trouble. Eventually, Andrew began to groan and roll around, and we all breathed a sigh of relief, but then someone asked the question everyone was thinking: How were we going to explain Andrew's concussion to our youth pastor? It's not every day someone is knocked out cold from a simple pillow fight at summer camp.
The culprit was a surprise weapon tucked away in my friend Josh's pillowcase: a Bible. And weren't not talking about one of those skinny copies, it was his grandmother's old King James version that weighed a ton. Andrew had an encounter with Scripture that day, but not in the right kind of a way.
There is more to reality than the circumstances we encounter. Time and time again, Scripture speaks of an epic war taking place for the throne of our heart. We live in a world with two parts - one is visible while the naked eye can't see the other. Our attention, energy, and focus tend to gravitate to the part we can see. But, in the midst of the battle, there are forces at play that are against us. They are trying to distract our heart and mind because they cannot touch our soul.
When we are facing fire from all sides, we are prone to lose hope and confidence in God’s faithfulness. During these times, we can't wave the white flag in surrender. Instead, we fight our feelings with faith.
We use the Bible as a weapon to combat the lies the enemy tells us. We prepare for the battle and utilize everything in our arsenal: prayer, scripture, community, etc. Rather than retreat, we go on the offensive by putting on the full armor of God. To withstand the attacks, we rely on God's strength, trusting He has already won the campaign. His will for our lives is that we would trust this reality so much that it would shape our words, actions and perspective.
Even though everything around us may be falling apart, something is happening that nothing or no one can touch. The body may be struggling, but our hearts are being changed and transformed. They are growing into the image we were made for and the significance we long to experience.
Where do you need to stand your ground against the lies of the enemy?
How can you go on the offensive by guarding your heart and mind in God’s truth?
God, may I have eyes to see and faith to trust that You are preparing me for the battle ahead. I will not lose hope because I know that You are shaping my character and transforming my heart. When I step foot on the battlefield, I will do so with courage and boldness. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.