Here is REAL Devotion number 7. If you came to REAL last weekend, have you still got your little sword? This is a great reminder of why we need to be battle-ready at all times...
It doesn't take long to recognise that life can feel like a battlefield. Our perfect career can be experienced as a battlefield of failure. The fairy tale of a wedding can turn into a battlefield called marriage. The freedom of being single can feel like a battlefield of loneliness. The dream of childbirth moves into a battlefield called parenting.
It’s easy to recognise the battle our spirit’s go through living a human existence. We have moments of realisation that this life can be defeating, discouraging, and downright depressing at times. So, what do we do?
Paul writes to the church and encourages them on this very topic. In Ephesians 6:10, he says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” Sounds like the perfect antidote to our conversation, right? We long to rise above the battle and find a way to courageous living.
Paul continues in the scripture to describe three things. The Battle, the Armour, and the Sword. The distinctions he makes are important for our journeys today. It is in theses distinctions that we find the courage to follow His advice.
Of the battle, he states in verse 12, “For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood.” How many times in our lives do we miss this distinction? We enter our lives and accidentally think that people are our enemy instead of allies. We find ourselves fighting the wrong battle and the wrong enemy. No wonder we are worn out and battle weary.
First, we must learn to embrace our allies. The people that surround you, however imperfect and flawed, are your allies on this journey called Life. They are not your enemy, no matter your emotions or experience of them. Finding the courage to embrace people as allies is a tangible expression of Paul’s advice.
Of the armour, Paul says in verse 11, “Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm.” What is God’s armour? It is things like Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Faith, and Salvation. How many times do we beg for peace and truth? And yet, Paul is clear that we are meant to put those things on ourselves. Sometimes we accidentally ask God to do what He has clearly asked us to do.
Secondly, we must learn to actively pursue our protection. What does it look like for you to put on Truth in your challenges? What is it for you to put on Peace in your relationships? It is in our pursuit of these pieces of God’s armour that we find our firm footing in anything life throws our way.
Of the sword, Paul says, “and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Paul makes it clear that our best offensive strategy in the battlefield of life is the Word of God. It is in our offensive choices that we gain ground in any battle. We are to take God’s Word, as we would a sword, and allow it to cut through the limiting beliefs and thoughts that hold us back.
Lastly, we must learn to gain ground in God’s Word. We live in small spaces and have an awareness that God made us for so much more. Our offensive strategy is found living in God’s Word. As we find wisdom, truth, and insight on the pages of the Bible, we find ways to gain ground in our battlefields.
I echo Paul and challenge you to Be strong in the Lord and His mighty power in the battlefield of your life!
Reflection: How can I embrace my allies? How can I pursue protection? Where can I gain ground in God’s Word?