Recently we have announced our core strategy and it all begins with prayer. We are ever dependent on God’s protection and provision. Let’s draw courage from Ephesians this morning.
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. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 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, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak (Ephesians 6:10-20, ESV).
I love this passage; it energizes and motivates me. I won’t tease out all this images here, except for one. In verse 14 we are told to “Stand, therefore…” and this verb is a plural imperative. Given the military images employed, Paul is commanding us to stand in formation – together in a line as the Romans did to create an impregnable wall of defense. This is how we pray – as one; a united, secure barricade of strength!
I don’t fully understand the workings of the spiritual world that we don’t see, but I do know that there is a battle raging over the work of God and our participation in it. The evil one and his cohorts do not want us to succeed and the forces against us are relentless. We must stand together and pray. Don’t allow for even the smallest opening to become an entry point for evil. Today, I want to remind us afresh of the power we have access to. So today, let us stand together and pray for God’s protection, provision, and blessing.
I cannot sign off without commenting on CHS’s presentation of Honk Jr. Well done! It was a great production. Linda and I enjoyed it very much (the desserts were great too!).
Partnering together in dependence on God,