Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11 ESV
It’s wintertime here in the U.S. Thoughts of “what do I need to wear today” come more often prior to going outside. We pay more attention to the weather conditions. We prepare ourselves before going out. These days, that includes a mask, which now that it is wintertime, doubles to keep your face warm.
The times that we go out without our coat, or hat, or gloves, or fail to check the weather can get us into situations of mild uncomfortableness or can even be dangerous if conditions worsen more than anticipated and we are caught out in a storm unprepared.
Hiking in the wintertime is something that I enjoy. The leaves are off the trees, you can see further into your surroundings, fewer bugs or snakes to have to deal with, and it is often less crowded on the trails. After many years of hiking, lessons learned come into mind.
What if the weather changes unexpectedly? Experienced this on a 6,500+ foot elevation mountain peak when a sudden storm came in dropping the temperature drastically with high wind, pelting rain, and lightning that literally forced us to run down and off of the mountain; we had not packed gear for that situation and limped back to our vehicle wet, cold, and tired, but alive.
Have I let someone know where I am hiking and when I am expected to be back and have a planned check-in time? Have both not done this and then changed to doing it after an unexpected slip and fall on a rock and partially into a creek when on a solo hike. Bumped head, bruised back side, and wet and cold on one side, dry on the other.
What if I have to spend the night on the trail due to injury? Have not had to do this but think about it after the aforementioned creek experience and always pack headlamps, fire starting tools, first aid gear, and extra food / water. These are things that I think about and prepare for because of experience on the trail which requires applying lessons learned, planning ahead, and packing accordingly. Though the burden to carry is slightly greater, the confidence of preparedness helps to make for a much more enjoyable experience.
We should be thinking in a similar fashion when it comes to our daily life and walk with the Lord. He has prepared us for the weather conditions by giving us His Word that tells us what to expect and what is to come. He has supplied us with His full (whole) armor, which includes His Word (the sword of the Spirit).
When you get up each day, your first battle order is to “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:13 ESV
As my pastor often says, when you see a “therefore” you need to stop and study what comes next as it is “there for” a reason.
In Ephesians Chapter 6, God’s Word goes on to describe each piece of the armor of God – the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, as shoes for your feet the readiness given by the gospel of peace, the shield of faith (“with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16 ESV), the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
My pastor also often says, when you see an “all” in scripture, “all means all!”
Daily Battle Order:
Kingdom Men, we are living “in the evil day”. We are called to put on God’s Armor. We are called to “stand firm.”
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
Putting on our winter clothing will not protect us from what is against us. Putting on God’s armor will. If we get up each day and do not submit ourselves to the Lord’s call to armor up and stand firm, we are starting that day unprotected, unprepared, susceptible to not being “able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
Take the time to read Ephesians Chapter 6:10-18 and apply it throughout this week. Post your experiences to the TJC website or on social media. Armor up and lock shields with your brothers to stand firm for the Lord. He has given you what you need to do so. Heed His battle order call today.
Join us next week when we will focus on our Holy weapons.