He found me. Found me at the beginning of my day fully armored up to do battle. Not with satan himself; he has many demons to do his bidding. Daily they exit their abode of fire and sulfur seeking their assigned victim. So it was with me, as I started my day, the demon given my name sought me out for a day of harassment and "games" (for it anyway). First things first; in order to do battle – to engage in warfare, one must put on the proper gear.
It starts with the belt of truth. Not just God's truth. I must be truthful in all I do since one of satans' minions is a lying spirit.
Next goes on the breastplate of righteousness. No, not a righteousness that says I'm better than everyone else – for I'm a sinner saved by grace. It's the righteousness of Christ which I have access to because of His sacrifice on the cross.
My feet wear shoes of preparation of the gospel of peace – yes peace,
that surpasses all understanding.
For my head is the helmet of salvation. The mind; this is the "killing field" of most spiritual battles. This is the place where many of God's saints have fallen because of the subversive erosion by the enemy'splans. It's also the place where many of satans' minions have been sent to the abyss.
The evil one has flaming arrows of temptation which I have protection
from by way of a shield of faith. Faith in Someone I can't see you say.
Better Someone I can't see who is everywhere than in any one person
limited by space and time who's bound to fail me.
I am not without a weapon; a sword, which is God's Word. It is sharper than any two edged sword; piercing to the division of soul and spirit, able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. It's in God's Word that the promises are found. It's these promises that disable anything the evil one attempts to do.
The final piece is less tangible, but all the more what gives each piece
of the armor power and authority to work against the gates of hell – prayer.
What good is a chainsaw if it has no gas; what good is a stove or microwave
if it's not plugged in. With prayer the armor gets "plugged in".
For prayer to work I must have accepted Jesus as my Savior;
for He is the Source.
Why is all this necessary? Because when hell comes looking for me it's like a roaring lion, he (satan) seeks whom he may devour.
Well, it doesn't take long as my day starts before I find myself "face-to-face" with my adversary. You see, while we sleep, demons are busy studying our weaknesses and scheming ways to hinder and harass us. Unfortunately, when I put the armor on it seems I forget to fasten it, making me an unworthy opponent for the predator who trails me. Take Monday mornings. It's not long before I'm rolling out the driveway; a spirit of heaviness rolling out with me, as I grumble about going to work.
Truth says I'm adopted as a child of the King and have an inheritance beyond measure. I know, I know, that's set aside for the future; when I get to heaven. You want to know how it applies now. Jesus said we are to be salt and light to this world. My light doesn't shine when I'm grumbling about Monday mornings or other people not doing what I want them to do, etc. Truth is, when I focus on what I have, I need not grumble; therefore my light shines brighter.
Is that all there is? No, the occupants of hell have spent the night planning a variety of subversive activities to undo my day. Next, it's the shinny red Hummer pulling up next to me at the traffic light. A spirit of jealousy eases its way up the back of my seat and whispers in my ear, "You've worked hard and deserve a little something to show for it.
You should have something like that." So, up wells within me covetousness. The light turns green, the thought leaves me, but a "stain" has been left on my conscious. A "stain " of inadequacy acting as a reservation for the spirit of jealousy to return at its convenience. If my shoes of preparation of the gospel of peace had not been so loosely fastened I could be at peace with my current situation; not being distracted by the noisy whispers of discontent.
Later that day, at work, that reservation gets called in. It seems I'm not much of a challenge for this foe as I'm unaware that it's even taken a place in my consciousness. It seems I "left the door open" by getting caught up in comparing myself with this woman at work who does the job better than I do. I find myself competing to show I'm better than her.
When I allow myself to get caught up in this I usually perform worse since my focus is on out performing a co-worker rather than paying attention to what I'm doing. Not to mention the nonsense that demon is whispering in my ear, "You've been here three years longer than her and you're having trouble with that! You need to show yourself to be a better worker; otherwise the other guys are gonna start taking about you."
What's the big deal you say. Remember that sword and what it
represents – God's Word. Well, if I were to use it I could say to the
spirit of jealousy that I can do all things through Christ who
strengthens me; as well as, I'm doing my work as unto the Lord.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. You see, there's nothing wrong with the armor. When hell finds me and sees the belt of truth not tightly buckled and is hanging around my thighs – they know.
When the workers of evil see that the breastplate is too small and they can strike a vital "organ" – they take advantage.
When the devils' minions see the shoes of preparation are loose and I walk right out of them having no peace – they set traps of noisy disillusionment.
When the followers of the enemy realize the helmet is loose with doubt – they cast accusations.
When the powers of the air see my shield is too small – they launch bigger flaming arrows.
When the rank and file of the adversary see me clumsy with the sword (because I'm too busy watching TV to read the Bible) – they reap a victory.
And prayer? How can I be heard if I'm disconnected with the Father due to my disobedience.
So what about tomorrow? What about the midnight hour when the employed of hell "fall in" for their assignments whom they will plot their strategy for the day. When they get your name will they say, "Oh no, not them. They're going to beat me with their shield and cut me with the sword. Can I trade?"
Or will they say, "Oh good! I can be done with this one by noon and get back to the lodge for lunch."