May 24-25

We are told in Eph. 6:11: "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." We hear this piece of scripture mentioned many times realizing the importance of "PUTTING ON THIS ARMOR." What I would like to point out, or mention though, is the importance of "KEEPING ON THIS ARMOR." Why should we always be putting on this armor when we think that we should be guarding against the schemes of the enemy? To be sure, we should "HAVE IT ON," but why should we take it off? Why should we give the enemy an opportunity to test our armor? If we CONTINUALLY have it one, we will have on "the shield of faith." We will have with us, "the sword of the spirit." We will have on "the helmet of salvation." We will have "girded our loins with truth." We will have on the "breastplate of righteousness," and we will have "shod our feet with the gospel of peace." With all of this armor on, we will be ready, and will not be taken by surprise. We will go to bed with our armor on. We will wake-up with our armor on. Although we can rest and trust in the name of the Lord, we will still be able to wage war against the enemy because we won't be caught unaware. We will be ready and we won't have to "pick up" each of these weapons.

How will we do these things? How will we be able to keep our armor on? We must realize that God has already given us these weapons. He has already given us this armor. We can "pray in the spirit always." The enemy walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He will not devour us because we will be ready for him. But we must "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ." We must meditate on the word daily. Then we will be like a tree planted by the water.

Lastly, we must remember that God will fight for us. He wages war with his angels in the heavenlies. Our war is against the spiritual hosts of wickedness. The war is not against flesh and blood. It is a spiritual battle. When we have "the shield of faith," the "flaming darts of the enemy will not hurt us." With the "sword of the spirit," the word will be in us, and "one little word will fell him."

We change our clothes daily, so that we will be clean and fresh. We however, don't need to change our spiritual clothes. Leave them on, then you won't always have to be putting them back on. Our physical clothes get dirty from the grit and grime of the world around us. Our spiritual clothes, or weapons, don't get dirty because of their use. They may develop cobwebs or dust because of "lack of use." Perhaps battle scars will be seen in our shields as the flaming arrows of the enemy are diverted off of them. But this will just increase their effectiveness. A muscle becomes stronger and stronger as it is exercised. So it is the same with these spiritual weapons. Just as we grow in our spiritual gifts with maturity and use, this weaponry will also become more effective with use against our foe. Years of slicing and stabbing with the sword of the spirit, will perhaps be seen on its edge. It will not damage the blade or even mar its beauty. For it was forged in the heavenly armories and hammered into existence by the Great Blacksmith. He knows how important each of these pieces of equipment are.

We must realize that we are in a spiritual battle--the war is waging around us always. Greater is He that is "in us" than he that is in the world. The battlefront is in the mind; that is where the war is taking place. We need to renew our minds daily and have them transformed by the word and spirit of God. Then that territory, even though it is a battlefront, will be a bright and shining place. The enemy of our souls will be vanquished. He is already defeated. Don't give him an opportunity. Keep your armor on. No matter what the time of day or what the occasion is. Then the battle will be won, and you will rise to victory, again and again.

Amen, Stephen Hanson