This morning was a foggy one. As we ventured out on our normal walk, it was difficult to see up ahead. This would not be such an issue; however, Max has post-traumatic stress disorder. If he encounters another dog, he sometimes gets very fearful and the situation escalates. This is not normally an issue on morning walks as no one else is crazy enough to walk their dogs so early. However, every so often there is a chance encounter. Being able to see, allows me to prevent Max from having to undergo a stressful situation. It is hard to properly prepare for something you cannot see.
As believers, we are commanded to be prepared. Paul tells us to, “Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers” (Ephesians 6:18). Peter warns us to “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). This coming week, I will be preaching about the devil and his demons. Some people believe it’s unnecessary to discuss this topic. Whether it be fear, disinterest, or something else—the truth is we need to stay alert, and we need to know what we need to stay alert against.
The devil has been defeated. He has already been condemned (John 16:11). Victory is with Jesus. Even so, the devil is the prince of this world and he is still out and about trying to spread his lies, because he is the father of lies (John 14:30, John 8:44). We need to remember our battle is not of this world (Ephesians 6:12). In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray for deliverance from the evil one (Matthew 6:13). Put on your full armor of God and pray continually. Do not let the fog prevent you from knowing what is Truth and what is a lie.
Yesterday I had to spray the weeds. It is one of my least favorite activities. Though I am not too fond of dusting, I can understand the reason. Things are happening all around—my family is doing things that helps the dust to collect. We are living life. But with weeds, they just come. We don’t do anything. We even put mulch all around hoping to have a barrier of protection.
When it comes to our walk with Christ, it is important to understand that Satan is like those weeds, sneaking up and ready to cause havoc. We may think that we spray the weed killer and we will be fine; however, that is not the case. With Satan, the father of lies, he doesn’t turn away easily. He will do whatever he can to thwart your walk with Christ.
So what can we do? Put on the Full Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). This includes the Helmet of Salvation, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Sword of God’s Word, the Shield of Faith, the Belt of Truth, and the Shoes of Peace. DAILY. Every day. Remind yourself that within you is the fullness of God—the Comforter, the Helper—the Holy Spirit. No matter what comes your way, you have the power to overcome through Christ. When Satan comes at you, tell him to leave in Jesus’ name and watch him flee. You will slip up. Some weeds will sprout. But Jesus has already won the battle. Claim His promises. Cling to His Word. Embrace Him.
This time of year the mornings are a bit darker. I make note of the spiders beginning webs on my evening walk with the dogs. My hope is to duck each web on the morning walk. I cannot stand the feeling that follows when you walk through a spider web. Instantly you become a ninja warrior, arms flailing in all directions trying to remove the sticky, gross web. Then you feel like something has to be crawling on you somewhere so you continue to move your hands and arms to search. Minutes later you are still feeling on edge. What if there is a spider on me? Do you see a spider on me?
Some mornings I underestimate the spider. I think by ducking a certain amount or by moving in a certain direction that I will miss the web. That spider won’t get me. But I am wrong. The spider’s web was bigger than imagined. Then the “definitely not a black belt” part of me takes action. Sadly, we also many times underestimate the devil. Flailing arms do no good when that happens.
In Genesis, we are told that the serpent was “MORE CRAFTY than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made” (3:1 ESV). Now if the devil is more crafty than all others, it is therefore important that we protect ourselves and put on our full armor of God. We cannot duck and dodge. We need to be armored up—protected with each piece of armor. One piece won’t work. A few pieces won’t cover us. We need to be fully armored. Today, armor up. Tomorrow, armor up. Each day, armor up.
“And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” – Ephesians 6:10-18 [MSG]
My children can always get me laughing. They have this secret talent which I’m sure will never be a claim to fame. They can sing all of the commercial jingles for all of the restaurant establishments that appear on television. From Subway’s, “Five Dollar Foot Long Jingle,” to Chili’s “Baby Back Ribs Jingle,” they know the words and the melody. So what do you like to eat? The Bible says we are to eat the Word.
Some people hear that and find it puzzling. Who eats the Word? It’s written on paper. Well it was good enough for Ezekiel. God said, “Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you“ (Ezekiel 2:8b NASB). Ezekiel ate a scroll fed to him by God, and “it was sweet as honey“ (3:3). When Jeremiah was praying to God, he said, “Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16a NASB).
So are we to eat the Word? Deuteronomy 8:8 states, “that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD” (NASB). We are to ingest the Word, so we must eat it. The question then is how do we eat the Word, because we aren’t supposed to follow suit in the manner of Ezekiel. Ephesians 6:18 tells us the manner to follow this directive is through prayer and petition. Simply put, we pray and read our Bibles.
We can get busy with our daily lives. It seems like when we are not working, we are still busy with something to keep us occupied or on the move. At times we neglect to read the Word enough. Now Jeremiah said that when He ate the Word, it was “the delight of (his) heart.” I feel the same way. Every morning I aim to start my day off with my daily devotionals and my own personal Bible reading. If I get through the reading and the devotionals, I have a good start to my day. I feel better. It’s like I had a spoonful of honey. If something came up and my plan was derailed, my day starts off bad from the beginning, and the rest of the day is a steady decline until I get my Bible open.
Perhaps you are making some pasta for dinner tonight or maybe you treating the family to some fine dining. Maybe you have a lot on the schedule and you will have to sneak in a quick meal at some fast food place. No matter where you eat, take some time to eat the Word. The Word is great for your body, great for your mind, and it’s always good to chew on.