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We may forget at times but one thing is true - this world is a battlefield. Day by day, hour by hour, we face a spiritual war and an enemy who’s real. He wants nothing more than to bring defeat, for his main aim is to steal, kill, and destroy.
God has a plan for our lives. The enemy has a plan for us too. We just have to decide which voice we’re going to listen to, and who we're going to choose to follow each day. And chances are, if we don't make a determined choice to follow God, we may eventually fall into the evil one’s trap.
God gives specific instructions in his Word, he gives us all we need to stand strong in this life. Yet all too often we race through busy, full days, ill-equipped, unprepared, or simply not aware of what we’re up against, or who the real enemy even is.
The forces of darkness don't wait for us to be ready for their attack. They're ruthless, determined, and cunning. The devil could care less if we "feel" prepared, or prayed up for our day. In fact, he prefers we're not.
If you're a believer living like salt and light in this dark world, you won't go for long without encountering obstacles and attacks he'll hurl straight your direction. This battle is real, it’s intense.
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God has given us his Word and Spirit, powerful and true, so we'll have the wisdom and protection to stand against the enemy. As I read these verses this morning, the reality struck me again that Paul wrote them while in chains, in prison. But Truth says - this enemy we face, no matter how cruel and vicious his schemes, can never chain our spirits that have been set free by Christ. Paul was not silenced by the attacks from dark forces. Neither should we be.
Focusing here today, putting on His armor, staying alert, and praying, that God will equip believers everywhere to "stand strong."
"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 sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Eph. 6:10-18
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We thank you that you hold the victory over sin and death in this world. We thank you that you came to set the captives free. We thank you for your redemptive work you’ve done in our lives. We thank you for freedom and the hope you bring.
We hold your Word of Truth as weapon against the enemy’s schemes, and proclaim he does not have authority over our lives for we’ve been set free. Give us wisdom and discernment to recognize his traps and to stand strong against his work. Fill us fresh with the power of your Holy Spirit.
Today we put on the full armor to guard our lives against attack. We put on the belt of truth to protect against lies and deception. We put on the breastplate of righteousness to protect our hearts from the temptations we battle. We put the gospel of peace on our feet, so we’re ready to take your light wherever you send us this day. We choose to walk in the peace and freedom of your Spirit and not be overcome with fear and anxious thoughts. We take up your shield of faith that will extinguish all the darts and threats hurled our way by the enemy. We believe in your power to protect us and choose to trust in you. We put on the helmet of salvation, which covers our minds and thoughts, reminding us we are children of the day, forgiven, set free, saved by the grace of Christ Jesus. We take up the sword of the Spirit, your very Word, the one offensive weapon given to us for battle, which has the power to demolish strongholds, alive, active, and sharper than any double-edged sword.
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We ask that you’d remind us to pray, constantly, for all believers.
We ask for your help to stay alert in a dark world.
We ask for your help to be salt and light, that we’d be loving and gracious, yet unyielding to sin.
We ask for your help in remembering to put on your full armor every day, for you give us all that we need to stand firm in this world. Forgive us God for the times we’ve been unprepared, too busy to care, or trying to fight and wrestle in our own strength.
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Thank you that we never fight alone, for you are constantly at work on our behalf, shielding, protecting, strengthening, exposing deeds of darkness, bringing to light what needs to be known, covering us from the cruel attacks we face even when we’re unaware.
We love you Lord, we need you today.
In the Powerful Name of Jesus,
Remembering this day that the battle we face may be more about what is unseen than what we see before us. And when we resist the enemy, God's word tells us he has to flee. James 4:7
You're never alone.
He loves you.
He fights for you.
“Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” Deut. 3:22
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives.
Find her also at http://twitter.com/debbmcdaniel and http://www.debbiemcdaniel.com.