Be Ready, Stand Firm, Be Alert and Always Pray!
Ephesians 6: 13-18
13 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.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray 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.
What jumps out to me from these wonderful descriptive verses, is the urgency to ‘Be Ready, Stand Firm, Be Alert and Always Pray’.
This is our part, practical things we must do to get prepare for the battle.
So, when is the “day of evil”?
Everyday! Day and Night! 24/7! 365 days a year!
When should we be ready? Always!
How do we stay ready?
The only way we possibly can be… by living in the Spirit of Jesus Christ!
By following Paul’s instructions on being ready, as illustrated with putting on the full armor of God, we will be able to stand firm against the attacks of the evil one.
These attacks are on all fronts; physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It comes in various ways, and at anytime! It can be slow and subtle or it can be a sudden unexpected event that opens the door to temptation, and then it’s up to us to choose to follow the evil one and sin, or to follow Jesus and stand firm and steady in our faith and the truth.
The evil one is always lurking around us, ready to jump in anyway that he can. And when we let our guard down even for a second, he takes that as an open invitation to try and get us to stumble and sin.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”
As Pastor Delton shared with us on Sunday in his message and in the notes, “The battle is real! Temptation is a given!” “Jesus says to pray to the only One who can lead us …and can actually deliver us from the evil one who tempts us.”
What areas do you struggle with in “Standing Firm”?
What are your weak areas?
One area I struggle with is procrastination! Ignoring stuff I don’t want to deal with – ever! Also with things I don’t know how to do. I put things off for as long as possible or waiting for someone else to come and take care of it. I let my feelings and attitude guide my actions. This feeling of dread would come over me when I looked at the task in front of me. I would look at the whole ‘imagined’ mountain in front of me, and feel a heaviness, and rebellion. I also had a feeling of self-pity, ‘why me?’ ‘I always have to do this,’ ‘why doesn’t someone else come and help?’ I wasn’t able to stand against the evil one, because I was working in my own strength and not by the Holy Spirit who lives in me, but who I was ignoring!
Though I’ve been a faithful follower of Christ for many years, I have not always been as committed. I would justify my attitude, and give into temptations to do my own thing, because I was tired or lazy or just wanted time off from doing good. I felt I needed a break, I would look at others, even other Christians who didn’t seem to care, and I became complacent in just serving God on the outside, not to please him, but to please others and to get the praise and recognition I wanted. Over time I became just a shell, dead inside, performing on the outside. I became depressed and felt that there wasn’t any meaning or purpose for my life. I understood what Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1:2 “Meaningless! Meaningless! … Everything is meaningless.”
I still battle with this when I’m feeling overwhelmed because I’ve taken on too many commitments. As I recommit my life to God, my old self dies, and my new self in Christ is growing stronger! I am truly living for God, through Jesus Christ, by the power of his Holy Spirit.
This is a life long process, and there is still much room for improvement. God is retraining me in His ways, and helping me to let go of my old ways of following him. Being Righteous through God, instead of Self-righteous by my own strength! Letting go of prejudices and judgment of others. Learning to be more patient and accept the things that I cannot change, but must seek the Lord’s will to work it out for his glory!
With the armor of God protecting me, I am able to stand firm, and strong against all that the enemy throws at me.
Daily I ask God to protect me, and my family. I pray Psalm 91 over us, and Trust God that no matter what happens, good or not, that everything will work out. It may not always be the outcome I expect, but it will be part of God’s perfect plan. God’s plan is always right and the best.
“pray the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. “
also we are to “be alert and always keep praying for all the Lord’s people.”
There is no time off in the Lord’s army!
We are always training, and /or serving!
When Jesus calls, will you Be Ready to follow?
When God gives you a command, will you obey?
When the evil one comes will you be able to Stand Firm?
Are you Alert and are you Always praying?
Our Heavenly Father,
I ask you to help me to be ready and willing to serve you daily. Please help me to overcome my weaknesses, and to let go of my selfishness. I love you Lord with all my heart, help me now to love you Lord with all my strength, and all of my mind and all of my soul. I am ready to follow you and obey you, right now! In all that I do, Lord, BE GLORIFIED! Amen!