Closing the Gap 8.21.18

By August 21, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 33 Day 2

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

Eph. 6:10-18 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 saints.

Reflect:

Some people are under the impression that “putting on the armor of God” is merely verbalizing the process.  They might say, “I buckle truth around my waist and I take up the shield of faith right now.” This may be fine if they are actually doing those things and not just saying words.  In a real battle, soldiers don’t talk about their armor and weapons, they use them. They don’t prepare for battle by saying they are putting on their body armor; they prepare by actually putting it on.  Do not turn this into a magic incantation. The battle is real and so are the protections and weapons that we use in the battle. You put on the full armor of God by the lifestyle choices you make. You must know and apply the truth of God to your circumstances.  You must live in the realm of God’s righteousness in the actual decisions of your day. You must be prepared to share the good news with others and you must live fully in the gospel yourself. This is not spiritual “mumbo jumbo.” This is reality. The protections are real, the weapon is real, and the battle is real.  Do not go through the motions of preparation for your day. Prepare! Don’t merely “say your prayers and have your quiet time.” Prepare in real ways for a real war. If you heard bullets and bombs outside your home right now, you would have a heightened sense of awareness. In fact, many do hear those sounds right now and they do not casually and sleepily prepare for another “yawn” day.  They are in a real fight and they know it.  You are as well, but do you know it? Rouse yourself.  Sit up. Be prepared. Put on the full armor of God. How?  Are you surrendered to him? Is there any part of your life you are holding back for yourself?  Surrender is primary. Are you in a position of a “ready yes”? Soldiers thrive and survive in combat conditions by obeying the orders of those in authority over them.  In a battle there is no discussion with your commander, because victory requires ready submission. It is likely you won’t hear the sounds of war in your day, but nevertheless you will be in a war today.  It is very important that are you prepared. Surrender. Say to God right now: “The answer is ‘yes’, whatever you ask from me.” Don’t play at this. If your heart is not actually there, cry out to God to help you get there.  Close the gap today between your perception of the battle and the reality of the battle. Put on the full armor of God.

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)

Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

 

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