Tomorrow is the first day of spring!!!!:) I know, we are supposed to have a huge snowstorm. That is our spring showers that will bring beautiful new life to our world. Spring is such an exciting time of year for me. Here where we live not much turns very green until May and even June. But knowing winter is behind us for a few more months and everything that has rested and been dormmate is waking up brings new energy and hope. I love the seasons. Each play an important part in nature and in our lives. Winter, I enjoy too. It’s a time of slowing down, resting, and preparing for the next 3 seasons that will bring new life from sowing, lots of sunshine, busy times and then a time of harvest. Seasons work in the physical world and in our hearts. Each season is vital in our relationship with our Lord.
This last year was different with the things that happened. There has been a heaviness since last May but we decided it would not win. I knew then and continue to stand firm on that we cannot afford to get down, depressed, discouraged, overwhelmed, in pity, sorrow, confusion, distress, anger or any other ploy of the enemy to keep us from walking through this last year of loss and grief in victory. The enemy stole many things from us last year including the life of one of my precious grandchildren but we will stand strong against his ploys to destroy our family and other relationships. We have to continue to stay strong in the Lord and in the power of His might and let Him guide us through this. There have been broken hearts of loss but our precious Jesus cradles the hurting hearts in His hands. Our heavenly Father hears our cries and holds us close. New life will spring forth in ways we cannot not imagine from the many tragedies of this last year. The secret is that we must remain close to His heart and guard our hearts.
This week the Lord reminded me of having His full armor on. In the last couple years, the Lord has enlightened my eyes to see these verses different than I ever did before. They are about my identity and knowing who I am in Him. I am sharing these verses in Ephesians 6: 10-20 from the Passion Translation… You can also look them up in other translations.
“Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you.
Just these verses alone can change your whole life!
Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser! Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage. Because of this, you must wear all the armor that God provides so you’re protected as you confront the slanderer, for you are destined for all things and will rise victorious.
Put on truth as a belt to strengthen you to stand in triumph. Put on holiness as the protective armor that covers your heart. Stand on your feet alert, then you’ll always be ready to share the blessings of peace.
In every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the evil one! Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword of the spoken Word of God.”
Pray passionately in the Spirit, (vitally important part that gets ignored a lot) as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all his believers. And pray also that God’s revelation would be released through me every time I preach the wonderful mystery of the hope-filled gospel. Yes, pray that I may preach the wonderful news of God’s kingdom with bold freedom at every opportunity. Even though I am chained as a prisoner, I am his ambassador.”
The belt of truth isn’t as much about not being a liar and not being truthful even though that is vital, it’s about speaking the truth of who I am in Him. Speaking words of life and not choosing to speak words of death, hopelessness, condemnation, quitting, discouraged, depressed and being useless. What has He said about me – you? These are the words I am to speak. “Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life..” Proverbs 18:21 – Passion
The Breastplate of Righteousness protects my heart from those words and feelings of condemnation, pain, confusion that I speak, think and own at times. When I know I am righteous in Him I can do all things in Him and be who He has called me to be. I don’t have to protect my own heart with a wall that shuts His Life out but I can guard my heart and minister His love. “So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Then there is having your feet shod with the Gospel of peace. When I walk in conflict and stress in my life, in my mind and heart there is no peace. His peace is not ruling my life. I have chosen to choose peace over stress. It’s a daily choice and sometimes minute by minute but the greatest choice I can make every day. I can share His love with others going through hard times and they don’t know He is the answer. “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:15
The Shield of Faith saves our lives. I can get exhausted from trying to fight through deception, lies, offenses, hurts and cares of this world on my own. When I let down my shield of faith things can seem almost impossible. Walking in His faith protects my heart from the lies of the evil one and I go forward knowing who I am in Him and knowing in His faith I am “able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the evil one! “
Put on the Helmet of salvation. This isn’t just receiving the Lord as your Savior but we have to protect our thoughts and remember who we became when He became our Lord and Savior. “So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.” Philippians 4:8
The Sword of the Spirit is His Word. My intimate time with Him and in His Word is one of the most powerful times of my day. His Word is alive and Truth. As I hide His Word in my heart, I am able to go forward in what He has called me to do knowing I am everything He says I am.
We don’t have time to drop our guard. This week I had times of anxiousness and I wasn’t sure from what. He reminded me to guard my heart with peace and joy so the enemy doesn’t weave hurt and offenses into my heart. The enemy hasn’t stopped trying to bring deathly deceptions into our minds. He won’t win and in this new season of life we will be tending to the new sprouts that will spring up. There are too many lives that need to know Him and His love. I am thankful He never leaves me but keeps whispering, keeps loving, keeps showing me the way. I’m praying the Lord will show us ways to minister to other hurting people that are sometimes harder to reach. The time is crucial to go forward preaching His Love and Good News. The enemy wants to keep us disillusioned and wavering. There is no time for that! Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser! Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you. AMEN