Written by Dallas Pepper on May 29th, 2017.
"You know you are being attacked in that area. Why are you leaving it unguarded?"
We are told to put on the full armor of God. But armor is only preventative and it isn't permanent. Armor prevents or lessens injury, it doesn't heal injuries once they are inflicted. Jesus is the Great Physician that can heal all wounds. But isn't it so much better to not have those injuries in the first place? Putting on armor once doesn't protect you for all time. It has to be put on everyday, before every battle. After being reminded of these things God asked me, "Why are you unguarded?"
Not only was I not always putting on the general protections, I was leaving areas I knew would probably be attacked unprotected. If you know you are going to interact with someone who has a habit of offending you and throwing you off spiritually, guard yourself. If you know the enemy has been moving through your work place or family or church attempting to create division, guard yourself. If you know a certain temptation might lie ahead this day, guard yourself. Seems obvious yet I wasn't always doing this. Instead I was limping to God with injuries from attacks I could've seen coming miles away with a few seconds of thought. I do not believe I am the only person that has done this.
What does it look like to guard yourself? What does it look like to put on the armor of God? Prayer.
Discuss with God spiritual strategy to get you through the day. Pray asking for protection, reminding yourself of the past, and pre-deciding the future.
Pre-decide anything that person says doesn't matter. Pre-decide you won't respond with reactive rage rather than rationality. Pre-decide you are going to meet your family or coworker or church member with patience and kindness. Pre-decide you are not going to do that thing today.
Lord, I put on your belt of truth. You are the all-powerful creator and I am Your beloved. You have ransomed my life from sin. I wrap the truth of who You are, who I am, and what You have done for me as the substance that holds everything together.
I put on Your righteousness, underserved, and obtained by grace through faith. I am covered and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. My heart is free of guilt and shame. I will not accept accusation to the contrary by the enemy.
My feet are ready to carry the Gospel of peace. What ever rough terrain may come my way my feet are secure on the foundation of the Gospel. I will go where ever you call me to deliver that Good News to others.
I pick up the shield of faith. You are who You say you are and will do what You say You will do. Your ways are good and wise even when I do not understand them.
I guard my mind with the your salvation. I take every thought captive. Your salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ is truth and I reject any doctrine, emotion, or deception that says otherwise.
I pick up the word of God, the sword of the spirit, with which I am able to deflect and counter the attacks of the enemy. I will study Your Word and hold it as the ultimate authority of truth. I cut down all strong holds and demolish all arguments that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints - Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. - 2 Corinthians 10:3-5(NIV)
10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. - 2 Corinthians 2:10-11(NIV)
37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” - John 18:37 (ESV)
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. - John 14:6 (NIV)
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. - John 8:32 (NIV)
4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. - 1 John 5:4 (NIV)
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. - Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV)
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 (NIV)
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. - 1 Peter 5:6-10 (NIV)
11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. - Hebrews 11:1-2 (NIV)
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! - Romans 10:15 (KJV)
"We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed" - 2 Corinthians 4:8-9(NIV)