Put on the armor of God with today’s lesson, “Suiting up for Battle.”
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:10-12, NLV)
My Marine son has a Latin saying tattooed on his arm – SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM. It means,
“If you want peace, prepare for war.” I’ve thought long and hard about that statement.
If a country desires peace they must have an army, armed and prepared, to protect its citizens from those who desire to overtake it.
Soldiers rigorously train for battles they may never face, in order to keep their country secure and safe. But what happens to a country when its army is ill-equipped, poorly trained and undisciplined? It is left vulnerable to attack. In order for peace to be achieved a country has to be ready for war in every way.
During my son’s 12-week Marine Basic Training his drill sergeants wanted their platoon to be the very best at everything they did. That meant that every man had to be excellent. If one member fell behind, they all would pay the price. My son’s platoon would drill 8-9 hours straight in order to achieve best platoon in drilling. They were right on track for taking first place for top platoon overall but when they got to the rifle range something happened – their shooting was off and they finished in second place. Their drill sergeant lined them up in their barracks and began to scream and yell at them for taking second place. He was so mad that he took their second place trophy and threw it out the window! And then he said, “There is no second place in war! You are either first or you’re dead!”
As followers of Christ, we are in a war!
We have an enemy that hungers for our souls and preys on our weaknesses. He seems to find all the places that we are vulnerable, or ill equipped. One of his best tactics is to get Christians to think they are at peace when they really are at war, to catch them unprepared and untrained for battle.
We need to be prepared for the battle. We cannot let down our guard, we must be strong and alert! But what does that look like in our life as a follower of Christ? We must train just like a soldier does – we need to learn God’s Word and be ready to use it. Jesus used Scripture in defeating Satan when he was tempted. We need to not just read it but apply it to our lives. God’s word needs to be an integral part of our everyday life!
We must develop our relationship with God. We need to know who He is so that we can place our trust in Him even when we don’t understand what’s happening or can’t see the way. The Bible calls us to walk by faith. Notice that in the first part of those verses it says that we are to be strong in the Lord and that we are to draw our strength from Him. We cannot do it on our own – we need His power, His strength and His might.
If you want peace in your life as a Christian, you must prepare for the battle.
Father, My strength is in You alone. When I am tempted to believe that I can handle this on my own, gently remind me that the battle is Yours. Help me to faithfully study Your word so that I can know You better. Amen
Question: Are you aware and ready to fight spiritual battles in your life?