Dear Friends in Christ,
Thank you for your consistent commitment to pray for our prodigals and for revival. Prayer is enjoyable because is communion with our loving Father, but it is also a difficult work that requires diligence. Prayer is essential in the fight against evil.
God has given us the necessary armor for daily victory in this fight. Writing about this armor to three separate churches, Paul reminds us of its great importance and value. First, to the Romans, it’s the armor of light. Second, to the Ephesians, it’s the armor of God. Third, to the Thessalonians, it is the armor of faith, love, and hope.
Paul instructed the Romans, “The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom.13:12). The armor of light is necessary because of the dark days in which we live. The night season is this present period of time in which Satan actively seeks to influence our values, beliefs, mindset, and behavior. We are being bombarded constantly by this evil and need to wake up to the truth that this oppression is subtle, strong, and dangerous. Paul also reminds us that this dark age is nearly over.
He told the Ephesians, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the devil” (Eph.6:11). The armor of God speaks of the comprehensive nature of our sufficiency in Christ. Paul makes it clear that we need the whole armor of God. It is complete and is all that we need for victory. There are six distinct pieces that should be securely fastened before our feet touch the floor each morning: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the readiness of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. This full armor of God will enable us to fight effectively.
To the Thessalonians, Paul wrote, “But since we belong to the day, we must be serious and put the armor of faith and love on our chests, and put on a helmet of the hope of salvation” (1 Thes.5:8). These three qualities or virtues— faith, love, and hope summarize how the Christian life works.
Faith is toward God and is visible in the outflow of our lives. The goal of the enemy is to shatter our faith and render us ineffective in honoring God with our lives. He tried with Job and Peter, and he will do the same with us. As our confidence in God deepens and grows, so will our strength for victory over evil.
Love comes from God and we show forth His love in our treatment of one another. As we consciously allow His love to fill us up, it will overflow in our relationships with one another. Life is not lived in a happy, secluded bubble, and when sickness, sorrow, and distressing circumstances occur, our resources become depleted. We must continually return to Him for a fresh filling of His love. He has no limits and He is not stingy. He will give us all that we can hold and more. In fighting the good fight today, allow the love of Jesus not only to fill you, but also to touch someone around you.
Hope is linked to our future and gives us the needed encouragement that there are better days ahead, much better! The mindset of the world is that this present time is all we have. This is from the devil! Paul reminded the believers in Thessalonica as they grieved over the passing of their precious loved ones, that their sorrow was not like the sorrow of those who have no hope. However dark, however bleak, however distressing our lives become, never forget that we have hope. Our hope is in a living God, a risen Saviour, who has made many promises about our future, and they are all amazing. Let’s continue to put our hope in Him!
Enjoy His presence today.
Bryan and Rachel
Photo Credit: Benjamin Joyce