In case no one has noticed, we are in a fight that requires us to use every weapon in our spiritual arsenal. The current state of our world can leave many feeling helpless, but believers are called to be a light in the darkness. We are called to the front lines of faith. However, to fight we need to be prepared (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
Being a retired Soldier, I understand that there are three major components to preparing for war: the right uniform, right equipment, and proper training. I also understand that the best time to prepare for war is all the time. The greatest fighting forces in the world train during times of peace. They study the tactics of their enemy and review their own weaknesses in past battles to prevent future defeat. We have to recognize that God can use every situation and trial that we’ve faced in our past to prepare us for future battles. It may have felt like a defeat in the past, but God can turn it around for our good (Romans 8:28).
Uniform and Equipment
In the natural world, any fighting force understands that each battle requires a specific uniform and specialized equipment. A Navy diver has no need for an Abrams tank and an Army Soldier wouldn’t go onto the battle in a diving suit. They understand that each mission calls for a specific uniform and equipment. As children of God, we are in a daily fight against our flesh and against a very real enemy of our souls. The amazing thing is, our heavenly Father has equipped us with the right uniform and equipment to win every battle! (see Ephesians 6:13-17) As believers, we must put on the whole armor of God. Why? Because we need his power and guidance to stand firm in times of trouble. Ephesians 6:10-13 says,
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. “
A soldier doesn’t go to war without training. You can have the finest uniform and the best equipment, but if you’re not trained to use it you’re still ineffective against the enemy. As children of God, he’s given us His authority and power. His written Word gives us instructions for how to use that authority and power and the Holy Spirit shows us when to use it. Galatians 5:16-17 tells us to “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so you are not to do whatever you want.” When we walk by our flesh (thoughts/feelings) we find ourselves outside of God’s perfect will for our lives.
What are the works of the flesh? Galatians 5:19-21 tells us “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.’ Paul also warned that ‘those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Here’s the deal, we have already been made heirs to the Kingdom when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The devil cannot take away that inheritance, he can only tempt us to forfeit it. We keep our inheritance by living a life led by the Holy Spirit, fully submitted to God. This is a life that produces the fruit described in Galatians 5:22-23.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. “
The fruit of the Spirit are the answers to every lie and stumbling block that the enemy throws your way.
Truth vs. Lie/Trap
Love vs. Hatred/Selfishness
Joy vs. Depression
Peace vs. Anxiety
Patience vs. Impatience
Kindness vs. Mean/Callous
Goodness vs. Petty, Vengeful, and Unforgiving
Faithfulness vs. Quitting/double-minded
Gentleness vs. Rudeness/Fits of Anger
Self-control vs. Irresponsibility/Impulsive behavior
We’re going to spend some time digging into these truths, so come back and share. Until next time, be blessed! Khafia
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