Arm Yourself in 2021

The enemy doesn’t need to destroy you, though that’s his ultimate goal. If he can’t destroy you, he’ll defeat you. If he can’t defeat you, he’ll discourage you. If he can’t discourage you, he’ll distract you. I know a great number of people that are at various stages of the enemy’s strategy against them.

The Apostle Paul draws a contrast between life apart from Christ and life in Christ so as to magnify the power and grace of God in salvation. In so doing, he tells us that the devil is not our only enemy. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are at war with “the course of this world”, “the passions of our flesh” and “the prince and the power of the air”.

Ephesians 2:1-4 ESV
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins [2] in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— [3] among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. [4] But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

Colossians 2:13-15 ESV
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, [14] by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. [15] He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Sometimes our greatest enemy is our own fallen nature, which Christ has subdued. It is a resilient foe, however, that remains until we are completely conformed to His image…which won’t be complete until the Resurrection. The world doesn’t have to tempt us and the devil doesn’t have to ensnare us. We (our flesh) are often our own worst enemy. We must mortify (crucify) the flesh. There are ungodly trends in the world — materialism, naturalism, desire for instant gratification, and more — that once ruled all of our passions but are now defeated in Christ. No longer our ruler, the world still appeals to our remaining sin, so we must maintain our guard lest we fall back into bondage. Satan is the leader of all that opposes God stirs up trouble all over the world, and he even endeavors to infiltrate and disturb the church. The devil is fierce but easily sent running when we resist him by the Spirit, as Jesus has triumphed over him.

1 John 2:15-17 ESV
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life— is not from the Father but is from the world. [17] And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

ARM YOURSELF as we end this year and begin 2021…a GIFT from God that we must not take for granted. Victory is in JESUS…the power and the presence of His Spirit through submission, obedience and commitment to His Word and His Way.

Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. [11] Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. [12] For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. [14] Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, [15] and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. [16] In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; [17] and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, [18] praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

I highly encourage folks who find that they are often engaged in battle against the world, the flesh and the devil to make a regular practice of praying on the armor of God. You would be amazed at how actually walking out this prayer (not just saying it aloud or to yourself) but actually stepping it out will secure who you are IN CHRIST.

1 John 5:5 ESV
Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

John 16:33 ESV
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

James 4:6-10 ESV
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” [7] Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. [8] Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. [9] Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. [10] Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Romans 6:12-14 ESV
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. [13] Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. [14] For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

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