God has His best in mind for us. However, our situations have a way of clouding our view which results in a skewed perception of who we are and whose we are. Although we may not be quick to verbalize it, many believers find themselves in positions where they do silently ask themselves the same questions that the world is quick to raise. For example, "If God is really such a good God, why would He allow...?" or "How could such a 'loving' God sit by while so many people are suffering?" Listening to the voice of the world, which speaks so loudly, and approaching these questions from a carnal perspective would definitely result in the questioning of one's faith. The point that we often miss is that doubt is just one of the many schemes that the enemy has learned he can use against us. Often times he is successful because many Christians tend to leave themselves open and unprotected.
God gave us many directives in His word, one of which is to put on His whole armor so that we will be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). Why is it important that we clothe ourselves in His armor, you ask? Well, the short answer is we are in an ongoing spiritual war. Isaiah 14:12-17 provides us with some insight as to the rebellion that was started in heaven by Lucifer and resulted in the fall of 1/3 of the angels. In Revelation 12:7-12 a picture is painted of the enemy's defeat and we are provided with a warning in verse 12, "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." The devil is furious, and those of us who are brave enough to turn our backs on the ways of the world to follow after Christ are his targets.
What does this mean for believers? Let us revisit the idea of warfare. Warfare means that there is a conflict in which one party is trying to overpower another, and someone has to win. We have victory because Christ has already won the war, but if we are not careful in our approach, there can be casualties. We need to recognize who the enemy is and learn as much as we can about him so that we will know what we are up against and how to defeat him. First, it is important to understand how the enemy works. The enemy works by planting seeds or thoughts that may appear to be harmless, but fall short of being pleasing to God. When thoughts come, we must measure them against God's standard or else they can seriously harm us. Second, what is the purpose behind the attacks of the enemy? 2 Corinthians 4:4 reveals that the enemy first aims to keep us from knowing Christ. If he is unsuccessful in that effort, he then tries to keep us from being effective in serving Christ (1 Peter 5:8).
God wants us to advance His kingdom through the power of the Holy Spirit and obedience. Because the enemy is organized, God requires us to be fully armored and properly protected at all times. This will enable us to stand. We have to also understand that while the armor protects us, it is also given to help us cover others that are around us. Our stand in the Christian walk is not for ourselves; we are standing for a reason. We need to be offensive (have an outward focus) and not just defensive (inwardly focused). When we are inwardly focused, we are ineffective. The enemy wants us to be caught up in our own problems. However, there is an entire world of spiritually ignorant people out there that also need the blinders removed from their eyes. The world sinning is the world we have to win. God has called us to a position of victory; He wants us to live victorious lives, and we should want the same for those around us who are drowning in sin with no idea that there is a better way.
So, what must we do to be victorious? We must actively use the last piece of armor listed in Ephesians 6 which is the sword of the Spirit or the Word of God. We must learn how to apply the Word of God to our lives. The Word is our medicine for a spirit that is constantly trying to be infected by the flesh. We should not go even one day without a "dose" of the Word. The application of it, making it personal to ourselves, is how we keep our minds renewed and actively feed and build our faith and spiritual muscles. Revelation 12:11 says, "And they overcame him [the enemy] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony...." The blood has already been applied. It is now up to us to start speaking the Word into and over our lives and the lives of those around us.
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