Prepare for Battle! Day 1 ~ Armor of God for Moms Intro
Weekly Manna for Memory
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.
Additional verses if you’d like a memorization challenge 🙂 …
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.
Wow! What a passage! I love the drawing done in the image above by Nadene over at Practical Pages. She does such a great job of capturing a strong, graceful woman ready for battle, praying humbly over the task at hand.
So why Ephesians 6:10-18 this week? Why a passage about fighting the forces of evil? We’re moms. Our job is to stop fights, not go looking for them! Our houses may look like a war-zone at times but it’s not intentional 😛 !
But we are in a war. The Bible is clear that we are in a spiritual battle for our souls and that is a weightier battle than any on this earth—our actions have eternal consequences.
(Check out The Christian Faith – Why Does It Matter if you’re unsure about your own eternity…or why it matters.)
As mothers, we are extremely influential in our families and, therefore, in the spiritual realm.
Satan cares about the eternal destiny of our children, our spouse, our spheres of influence. He knows an effective way to ruin a person’s soul is to destroy their relationships with those that are supposed to love them the most. How many people are walking in darkness, brokenness or bondage today because of a broken relationship in their childhood or youth?
Does it make sense that if the devil can weaken or destroy our relationships then it weakens our support system and sets us up to reject God? Does it make sense that without feeling love on this earth people struggle to understand their heavenly Father’s love for them? So does it make sense that the devil’s schemes in our day and age might possibly be to destroy families and friendships through discord, jealousy, pride, selfishness, materialism, busyness, individualism and isolation? This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but just a few areas off the top of my head that can interfere with building strong loving relationships of trust with those closest to us.
You, Mom, are extremely important in this battle!
…whether you like it or not…
So the most important part of this passage is the first verse: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” It is through God and with His armor that we are fighting any battles. It is never intended that we fight battles alone.
But it is a choice to prepare ourselves to fight. We need to “put on” or “take up” or “take unto you” the full armor of God. Why? So that we can “stand against the devil’s schemes…resist in the evil day…stand firm”.
We need to take action. We need to prepare and take action.
You are either taking action or you are letting the devil do what he wishes.
Over the next two weeks, we’ll look at what specific actions we can take, but for today we want to just focus on three things:
- We need to acknowledge that there is a battle and make the choice to prepare for it.
- Our battles are NOT against flesh and blood…no matter if we feel we are in direct combat with our spouse, our children or the woman across the street. It is the devil’s schemes we need to stand against.
- Most importantly, it is by GOD’S power that our battles need to be fought.
Dear Jesus, thank you so much for promising to walk with us through our life here on earth. There are so many ways in which I feel I’m in a battle. Most days I don’t see eye to eye with my spouse, or I get so angry with my children as they press their independence. There are others in my life with whom I feel so frustrated or to whom I compare myself all the time. Jesus, show me how to engage in the battle in different ways, by YOUR power, not my own, and with YOUR grace. Change my perspective this week so that I can love as You love and be a light for you in my sphere of influence. I want to give my battles up to You. Amen.
Meal of Manna
What are some of the battles you are currently fighting against “flesh and blood”? What are the frustrations with other people that litter your busy days?
Take some time to bring them to Jesus. Journal the struggles you have with people around you so that you can look back in the next two weeks and apply what you are learning to them. You will also then be able to gauge how your perspective is changing as we allow the truth of God’s Word to work in our hearts and minds.
When Paul wrote the passage above to the Ephesian church, it came on the heels of a bunch of verses that spoke about how we, as believers, are to live in a way that is set apart. This includes living as a unified body of believers, living as a moral and upright individual, and seeking to be loving and servant-hearted in our closest relationships.
Read Ephesians 5-6 in its entirety. Remember that when Paul wrote this letter to the Ephesians, he didn’t put in those nice little subheadings to separate how we should treat others from this discussion about a spiritual battle. Rather, he expressed how God wants His people to be set apart in order to bring glory to Himself: we need to live righteously, love and serve those around us and, in order to be set apart, we will have to stand up against the devil’s schemes.
So over the next couple of weeks, we will look at how this battle impacts those we love the most and how we can battle against the “wiles of the devil” in our homes and our spheres of influence.
Take-Away for Today
Print off this image for today’s devotional. If you enjoy coloring, you can color it in over the next couple of weeks and post it somewhere to aid you in memorizing our passage for the week.
Take some time today to ponder on the various parts of the armor and how they might relate to the personal battles you journaled about.