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Ministry of Defence

Ephesians 6:11
Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. (NIVUK)

Wise Christians are realists.  The idea that we live in a wholesome world, run by the great and the good for the benefit of ordinary society - is an illusion.  While the devil does not trouble his captives too much, he tries his hardest to inflict as much damage as possible on Christians.  However, none of his schemes has escaped God's attention.  The Lord provides every believer with personal defence that needs to be applied before the attacks come.  In other words, God expects us to be in a permanent state of readiness to resist Satan's attempts to seduce our minds and ensnare our hearts (1 Peter 5:8-9).

This verse starts with a command, "Put on ...".  Although some Christians assume that God does everything, and we can passively float under His protection, that is not true to the Bible.  God is Sovereign, but His Sovereign commands are directed at us - we have the responsibility to be active.  God has provided the armour, but we must decide to put it on.  As Romans 13:12 says, "The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light."  God's armour is complete provided we keep facing the enemy (there is no backplate). It is designed to enable us to withstand whatever is thrown at us ... simply by standing still (Ephesians 6:13).

The devil's schemes are all based around the lies that he inserts into our minds (2 Corinthians 11:3), and the fear that he encourages as other people speak/act out their dark threats (1 Peter 3:14). Few evil ideas are original. Most temptations are based on getting us to believe that God is not interested/powerful, that God is not personally engaged with our circumstances, or that God will not keep His promises (Genesis 3:1-4).  We are then tempted to find our own futile solutions (James 1:13-14), which also deny God the pleasure of meeting our real needs and thus displaying His glory.

Often, we may be duped into activity when God wants us to stand; or into running away when God wants us to face the lies and the liars.  All too frequently, the lull in-between spiritual battles takes us off guard and we fail to surround ourselves with God's armour.  We even allow prayer and Bible devotions to be relegated to time when we will not be so busy: but that time comes all too late, because we step out to work (and into satanic traps) unprepared, each day. As you read Word@Work, we hope that it prepares for the day ahead; a day in which you are under sinister observation: Satan is waiting for the moment you lose your direction, shame yourself and discredit your Saviour.  So, please, stop and put on God's gracious protection and be ready to face whatever comes in the Name of Jesus.

Prayer 
Dear Lord. Thank You for knowing the spiritual dangers which surround me, and for providing protection for me. Please forgive me for being so blasé about the spiritual dangers I face each day. I know that I need to be prepared to face these challenges. So please help me to accept the responsibility of being prepared and protected with the armour that You provide. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams

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