By Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries
The life of a soldier at war is difficult. They live under the constant threat of attack. Each day they must prepare for battle. Each day they must make sure they are properly dressed to face the enemy.
In a very real sense, we are ALL at war! Every child of God faces an enemy who is determined to engage us in battle each and every day. These battles will not look the same as those we see reported or those we see with our own eyes; "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" (Ephesians 6:12). But the enemy we face is just as real and the attacks are just as damaging. Many of us feel defenseless against such attacks - we feel defeated with no hope of victory - but Paul tells us how to get properly dressed and stand through the battles.
"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."
Yes, the attacks are going to come. But we cannot wait for the battle to begin before getting dressed and putting on our equipment. Each day (without fail!) - before the enemy has an opportunity to attack - we must "put on the full armor of God" (Ephesians 6:13).
The belt of truth protects us from the enemy's deceptive lies which pull us down the path of worldly priorities and temptation. The breastplate of righteousness protects our heart from feeling unworthy - we are made completely worthy through faith in Jesus (Romans 3:22). The gospel of peace on our feet prepares us to share the good news of Jesus and "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). This is our mission as we go into the world.
We hold up the shield of faith - which is "of greater worth than gold" (1 Peter 1:7) - to remind us of God's faithfulness in previous battles and protect us from the constant arrows of fear. The helmet of Salvation protects our mind from debilitating doubts - "so that we may know we have eternal life" (1 John 5:13). Finally, we pick up the sword of the Spirit - the Word of God - and directly engage the enemy when necessary.
The enemy is determined to steal our joy and cause us to be ineffective soldiers for God. Let's ruin his plan! Let's defeat the enemy before the attacks even begin by starting each and every day with getting fully dressed for battle.
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