Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 14, 2012

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:10-18

I'm sure you have noticed how easily things that are significant become familiar to us. The challenge is to always keep the "main thing" the MAIN THING.

For example, this familiar portion of Scripture about the armor of God is so important that every time I study it I come away with something new. But just recently I recognized something that should have been obvious. The context of this treatise on spiritual warfare comes at the end of a teaching on marriage and parenting (Ephesians 5:21-6:4).

Duh! Think about it! Where do most of your spiritual battles come from? Marriage and family relationships, right?

Because I live in the world of preparing 35-40 minute sermons I tend to focus on the micro and often miss the macro. Maybe that is an occupational hazard. But, anyway, recently I saw the context for this spiritual warfare teaching. I am going to challenge our dads with it this Sunday because it shows how to fight like a man - a man of God, that is.

God's plan is for the man of the family to be the warrior for the family and that means putting on the armor to stand guard against the relentless evil assaults against his personal integrity, his marriage, and his children.

When you put this whole teaching together it looks something like this:

Serve Your Wife - Ephesians 5:21-33

Shape Your Children - Ephesians 6:1-4

Stand Guard - Ephesians 6:10-18

Take some time today and read this portion of Scripture in this context and see if it makes sense. Then take the challenge to fight right!