Friday, March 22, 2013

Invisible Weapons are not Imaginary

You have access to everything the Father has....
A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

The Reformation Study Bible commentary "The Christian duty of unity and purity is complicated by the presence of hostile spiritual powers. Christ’s cross and resurrection are the devil’s undoing (Col. 2:15 note), and at Christ’s Second Coming, Satan’s defeat will be completed (Rom. 16:20). But the peace of the Cross is experienced in the meantime in the midst of spiritual struggle. The forces of darkness are defeated, but not yet harmless.

When you decide to join the military you are issued a uniform and then you are sent to boot camp for training to learn to be a soldier and to use weapons or tools you will need to be able to do your particular duty. Then you are sent to a place where you will serve. 

It is easy in our day to want to discount anything that can not be seen and tested by scientific method as the stuff of fiction or over active imaginations. Here in this passage we are told to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. That is the power that raised Jesus from the dead - be strong in that power. Know that you serve the God of the Universe and that He is powerful. He does not wisk us out of this world at the point of conversion. He leaves us here and while we are here we are to know we are not left alone. He has given us the Holy Spirit to comfort and to train and equip us.  In this passage of Ephesians we are warned that the devil plots and that we should be take our stand against them wearing the full armor of God. 

So you have been given robes of righteousness. Your sins have been forgiven. Like the prodigal son returning home, you may hope that the Father will allow you to be a servant in his kingdom. 
He sees you coming down the road and he leaps from his seat and runs out to meet you. You try to tell him how unworthy you are but it is eclipsed by his joy that you have come home. He calls for the servants to bring the best robes, sandals for your feet and the family ring for your finger. Then he sets in motion a hugh celebration to which you are the guest of honor. To be so fully accepted and embraced is difficult for most of us. We remember the things we've done and we think if the father or his people really knew they would not treat us this way. Out of mercy they might give us some menial tasks to do and a corner some where to lay our head at night. We think maybe over time we can earn their trust and work our way to better standing. So this reception from the father twists our brain and it can also rub some of the Father's faithful people the wrong way. Those who have stayed and been faithful never got a party and here you the unfaithful lout have returned and you get a party - really what gives here.  

We have a big church plant that has rented our building for Sunday evenings. I have to admit I feel a bit like the faithful son in this story. Here this other church shows up and put up a sign and they expect to get a building full of people to show up for their first Sunday. How is that fair when we have been on this corner faithfully ministering to the neighborhood's hurting and broken people and have yet to see a packed out crowd on a Sunday.  Here is God's message to me in regards to these seeming inequity from Luke 15. 28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Some of us forget everything the Father has is ours. We leave much of what he has for us sitting on the shelves of the Kingdom. We have armor set aside for our use and protection but because we can't see it and touch it we think it is simply imaginary.  Yes the war has been won and the devil and his gang have been defeated at the cross. There are still snipers and renegades that are still fighting and looking to do as much damage as they can before they are finally captured and sent to prison.   

You have been given invisible weapons, they are not imaginary because you can't see them. 
Here is what you have available. You need to put them on and keep them on. You still live in the war zone.

Ephesians 6:14-18

• Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist...

• The breastplate of righteousness in place....

• With your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace...

• Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

• Take the helmet of salvation.....

• The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God....

You need to put on truth, righteousness, the readiness of peace, faith, salvation, the sword of the Word. This is your armor - wear it. With it on Pray in the Spirit and be alert.

• Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests...

• Be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

You may not understand the power that was able to raise Jesus from the dead but it is this same power that gives you these invisible weapons to put on. They are powerful!

2 Corinthians 10:3 - 6
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

God has not called you to just sit around and be entertained until he returns. He has left you here to make a kingdom difference. You have been given tools to root out the enemy and to help set captives free, to pull down strongholds, cast down arguments and anything that rises up against the knowledge of God. You are to take you own thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. 

Here is a warning to all of us. Examine the life you are living and ask yourself what kind of a servant are you being?

Matthew 24: 45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Get your armor on and get into the game - stop sitting on the bench wringing your hands.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post. It is encouraging to not grow weary in doing good and sticking with what the Lord has told you to do by faith

    ReplyDelete