Staying in Spiritual Style

At our women’s retreat this year we had the best time laughing around the campfire as one of our talented (and very stylish) ladies helped us all figure out how to dress for our body types.  She helped label us as “sporty natural,” “gamen,”  “romantic,”  “dramatic,” “bohemian,” and several other terms I can’t even attempt to spell.  Now when we see each other at small group, church, or out in the community, we comment how very “sporty natural” we are looking today (meaning we are in sweats).

As I’m studying for the Bible Study I’m writing on the armor of God (Modern Wardrobe 6), I find God has important clothing for us that never goes out of style.  He wants us to be equipped for the battles that we face every day.  Today’s encouragement has come in realizing that He has provided everything we need to fight discouragement, deceit, accusations, and temptation.

He tells us in Ephesians 6:14-17: “Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

I have only begun to study each piece of this spiritual wardrobe, but this week as I’ve considered the enemy tactics, I praise God that we don’t have to live in fear of Satan.  God has provided what we need to stand.  We need a healthy appreciation for Satan’s limited schemes; however, we should never fear him more than we fear God.  When I first began to hear God calling me to write about God’s armor, I had nagging fears at the corners of my mind.  “I might get attacked if I write about this.”  “My dearly loved Bible study gals might get attacked if we study this.”

However, as I meditated on these verses, I realized why we should not be quaking in our shoes of peace:

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” Romans 16:20

“But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.” Matthew 12:28-29

“Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, ‘It has come at last—salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth—the one who accuses them before our God day and night. And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.” Revelation 12:10-11

“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” 1 John 4:4

Satan does maintain a position as the ruler of this world.  He accuses, deceives, and puts a target on our back when we draw into close relationship with Jesus.  He looks for weak links and attacks us where we are most vulnerable.  Yet in the midst of that, we cannot forget the “rest of the story.” God’s victory over Satan will come to fruition.  We must never fear him more than we fear God. We stand on the winning side of the stadium even though we are only partway through the game.

As Paul finishes his letter to the Ephesians he says in verse 10, “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Just before he implores us to put on all of God’s armor, he reminds us to be strong in God’s power.  “Grammatically, this instruction is in the present imperative tense and the passive voice.   That means it’s an order and a matter of obedience, yet it’s a passive obedience – something we have to allow someone else to do for us.” (Ingram 26)

We can be strong in God’s power against the enemy.  We can take our fears to our Maker knowing that He will supply the weapons, protection, and the power to bring victory.  Our job is to stand firm in faith as we rely on His strength and actively wield His weapons.  I pray we will become better equipped for our modern warfare with the same old enemy as we put on the six pieces of the wardrobe He provides – which always stay in spiritual style.

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