Day Four – Extinguishing Flaming Arrows

Ephesians 6:16 NIVIn addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 

“Paul is not saying that faith in itself has remarkable defensive power against Satan. Rather, he is saying that faith protects us from Satan’s attacks because faith takes hold of the power and protection of God himself… Throughout the Old Testament, it is God, not faith, that is repeatedly described as our shield. In Genesis 15:1 the Lord tells Abraham, ‘I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’ Proverbs 30:5 says, ‘[God] is a shield to those who take refuge in him.’ God is our shield and refuge; he is our hiding place in the day of difficulty; his faithfulness will keep us safe when we are being shot at by arrows, flaming or otherwise (Psalm 91:4-5). Faith becomes our shield in Paul’s imagery because it is the means by which we flee to God for refuge.” (Iain Duguid, “Sacred Weapons for Spiritual War”, Desiring God.org)

“Apparently, the shield was quite big, almost the size of a door. And it was covered in leather…It was very big, and it really protected against the arrows. The leather also put out the fire from the flaming arrows…Faith is a gift from the Lord. It is faith in the Lord’s goodness and in his deliverance. Our dependence on him protects from the fiery arrows…When you and I are faced with challenges, like needless and chronic doubts, lust, greed, hate, these come like fiery arrows and what will shield against is faith.” (From P. Mark’s message)

Prayer:  Father, when flaming arrows of chronic doubts, lust, greed or hate seem to come my way, help me to put on the shield of faith to depend on your full protection and deliverance.  You, God, are my strength, refuge and shield.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s declare how we will put our faith in Jesus and depend on the deliverance we have through the cross as we sing “Divine Exchange” by Charity Gayle (click here).

– EK

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Day Three – Not Giving A “Foothold” 102

Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV – “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. 

In his book Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis wrote a fictional account about Screwtape, a high-ranking officer in the army of the devil, who writes letters of instruction to his nephew, Wormwood, who is learning effective strategies at steering people away from God. Here are some instructions from Screwtape regarding the strategy of distraction:

“…distract his purpose and benumb his heart…We thus distract men’s minds from Who He is, and what He did…The use of Fashions in thought is to distract the attention of men from their real dangers…” (pp. 12, 23, 25)

Later, Screwtape addresses Wormwood’s failure at this:

“…but you reveal what poor use you are making of it when you say that the whole question of distraction and the wandering mind has now become one of the chief subjects of his prayers.  This means that you have largely failed.” (p. 27)

It is eye-opening to see the ways that we can allow “distraction” to have a foothold, but we can also say “I don’t think so” and instead, put on prayer, being alert in the Spirit so that we can guard against distractions and a wandering mind.

Ephesians 6:18 NIVAnd pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, would you fill me with your Spirit afresh today? Would you help me stay prayerful and watchful from any distractions or from allowing my mind to wander? Would you enable me to remain clear and to stand firm in your strength for your purposes today?  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s fix all our hearts and minds in worship to our Lord Jesus as we sing “Worthy” by Elevation Worship (click here).

– EK

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Day Two – Not Giving A “Foothold” 101

Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV – In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. 

Ephesians 4:14 NIVStand firm…with the breastplate of righteousness in place…

We are taught by scripture to not stay angry so that we “do not give the devil a foothold.”  Let’s read what Dr. Grant Osborne said about “foothold” in his commentary, Ephesians: Verse by Verse:

“The term topos (‘foothold’) means ‘place,’ and the picture is of letting the devil into our house and allowing him to inhabit a room. A similar term is used in Romans 7:8 for sin as an invading army that seizes the opportunity (aphormē) to gain a foothold in our lives. Aphormē is a military term for a bridgehead from which forays may be sent out to attack the enemy. This metaphor has much the same force. We do not want to permit Satan the opportunity to use our anger to gain control over us. Rather, we must gain control over our tempers.”

“Have no room and give no opportunity for the influence of the enemy…What does it mean in a practical way? If you dwell on the things like anger, depression and fear, all these can trip you and influence you, but to not give a foothold is to stop at the beginning, dead in its tracks… Don’t give a foothold, say ‘I don’t think so.’” (From P. Mark’s message)

Let’s consider all the ways that we can “dwell” on things like anger, depression and fear.  How do we allow these to trip us?  We have the full armor of God to be able to say, “I don’t think so.” Particularly, the breastplate of righteousness where our hearts are guarded in the truth of who we are as dearly loved and redeemed children of God.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that I can say “I don’t think so” to anger, to depression and fears because my heart has been made right and whole through your redeeming work on the cross.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s we receive the truths of this song, “Strong in Us” by Bethel (click here).

– EK

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail

Day One: “Soldiers of Christ, Arise”

1 Soldiers of Christ, arise,
And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies,
Through His eternal Son;
Strong in the Lord of Hosts,
And in His mighty pow’r,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror.

2 Stand then in His great might,
With all His strength endued;
And take, to arm you for the fight,
The panoply of God,
That, having all things done,
And all your conflicts past,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone,
And stand complete at last.

3 Leave no unguarded place,
No weakness of the soul,
Take every virtue, every grace,
And fortify the whole.
To keep your armor bright
Attend with constant care,
Still walking in your Captain’s sight
And watching unto prayer.

4 Pray, without ceasing pray,
Your Captain gives the word;
His summons cheerfully obey,
And call upon the Lord:
To God your every want
In instant prayer display;
Pray always; pray, and never faint;
Pray, without ceasing pray.

5 From strength to strength go on;
Wrestle, and fight, and pray;
Tread all the powers of darkness down,
And win the well-fought day:
Still let the Spirit cry
In all His soldiers, “Come!”
Till Christ the Lord descend from high,
And take the conquerors home.

This hymn written by Charles Wesley (1707-1788) was originally titled, “The Whole Armor of God.”  It was an encouragement for the Christian to “rise up and put on God’s armor, so we can face the challenges of each day.” (Victoria Schwarz & C. Michael Hawn, “History of Hymns: ‘Soldiers of Christ Arise,’” Discipleship Ministries)

Ephesians 6:10-11a NIVFinally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God…

Prayer: Lord Jesus, no matter what challenges I may face today, enable me, by your Spirit, to be strong in you and in your mighty power, putting on the full armor of God. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing the first three stanzas of the hymn and may we continue to be filled and strengthened by the Spirit to stand firm in the Lord (click here).

– EK

FacebooktwittermailFacebooktwittermail