We had a bible study at work yesterday that I thought I would share with you. I’ve covered this many times before, but I always seem to need reminding about it myself. From one day to another. In fact, we are instructed to pray without ceasing. This is a good set of scripture to use throughout your day. See if you don’t agree. It’s all about staying under the protective wing of our Father.
First, I must get my head straight as to my situation. You may call this taking a strategic assessment. It’s very, very simple.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
That’s it. Nothing else to analyze. Any time Satan is around, he intends to cause severe harm. He doesn’t sit quietly in the corner and behave himself. On the other hand, God is everything you could possibly need or want. It’s simply amazing how I can forget the difference between the two.
It’s all a matter of what I choose to focus on within the confines of my skull. The thoughts I choose to dwell on make a big difference. Where my thoughts go, my body goes.
Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Notice the phrase “spiritual worship.” I wonder if this isn’t what Jesus was talking about to the woman at the well when he said, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) Food for thought.
Here’s another passage like it.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk according to the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
Almost all of the arguments and lofty opinions I encounter are my own thoughts. Indeed, I can control my thoughts because I have divine power available to me – all for the asking.
How do I ask? Well, how about trying this verse on for size?
James 4:7-8 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
I can’t resist the devil OR draw near to God if I am actively and willfully engaging in sinful behavior. God sees the crossed fingers behind my back. Yes, I may fail time and again, but if I am truly repentant, God is there. Don’t let failure hold you down. Then, again, don’t expect protection if you aren’t sincere. I think that is easy enough to understand.
Now, I am prepared for my equipment.
Ephesians 6:10-13 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. 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. 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.
I find that it is very helpful to stand in front of a mirror and role play putting on my armor while speaking about what each piece represents. Sound crazy? Try it and see how empowering it is!
Finally, I should pray for protection using the words of Jesus himself.
Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
God has control over our encounters with Satan. He can limit these. Jesus said so right there. Do you believe him or not? Oh, and don’t forget about the very next verses, Matthew 6:14-15. It’s related to James 4:8. Look it up.
I have used this routine many, many times and am always greatly relieved when I do. It’s not a formula or empty prayer. I have to be active in this, mentally going over each step and word of God. These are promises of his. I speak them back to God. I remind myself of them, and I remind him of them, as well. Yes, I ask God to honor his promises. I see this example throughout the pages of our bibles. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think God likes it – a lot! Why? Because it proves I am paying attention and trusting him at his word. That’s called faith, and faith is all I need. Right?
Father, thank you for giving us this wonderful owner’s manual that we call the bible. In it is everything I need – for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness – so that I may be competent and equipped for every good work. Just like Paul said to Timothy. Amen!
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers