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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)
Men, every day is a battle. The minute our feet hit the floor in the morning, the assaults start. Fortunately, God gives us the tools we need to fight. But in order to fight, we first have to be aware of the battles, and we must be aligned with God in order to fight them. The outcomes depend on just that. So the question is not “if” you will face a battle today, the question is “how” will you face your battles today.
There are basically three necessary components for a battle to be successful. First, we have to have the right tools. Second, we have to have a good commander. Third, we have to know who we are fighting. If one or more of these components are missing, we will lose. Let me give you an example of what this looks like.
A week or so ago, my wife and I got into an argument. As a friend of mine puts it, we had an extended period of “intense fellowship” with each other. And as a man of God, I take responsibility for this. Before you pat me on the back, I need to add a disclaimer. I take responsibility now. If I would have taken responsibility at the time, our fellowship might not have been as intense. Looking back, I can see what I did and what I didn’t do.
I put on the wrong armor. Instead of putting on the full armor of God, I put on my armor. I wrapped myself in the Cloak of Pride. I grabbed my Sheild of Stubbornness and held it tight. I secured the Belt of Selfishness around my waist and tucked in Twin Daggers of Anger and Self-Righteousness. And I topped it off with the Helmet of Immaturity. Anyone had this armor on before?
If that wasn’t bad enough, I clearly didn’t follow the right commander. As I look back at things I said, and the way I treated the most precious person in my life, I can clearly see I wasn’t following Jesus. And because I wasn’t following Jesus, I lost sight of who my enemy is. Instead of recognizing Satan’s attempt to tear down my relationship with my wife, I chose to see her as my enemy instead. We know that Satan wants to tear apart marriage relationships. The marriage relationship is a representation of the relationship between Christ and the Church. We are definitely on the radar.
And so the results of putting on the wrong armor, and following the wrong commander into the wrong battle were awful. My wife and I ended up wounding each other instead of loving each other. Fortunately, we recognized what was happening. Maybe not as quickly as either of us would have liked, but we did. And we have endless grace for each other. And so we live to fight another day!
Learn from my mistakes. Put on the full armor of God. Follow Jesus and recognize who the fight is really against. Recognize when Satan attacks and draw your precious wife close to you. We are made to lead our wives and our children. But we can’t lead them if we aren’t following Jesus. We have to be in alignment. When we are in proper alignment, we remember this:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
Walking Tall through Christ,