Friday, June 25, 2010
Ephesians 6:10-20 (The Message)
And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
And don't forget to pray for me. Pray that I'll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out.
The heading of the above passage in the Bible was so pertinent that I used it as the title for this post. “A Fight to the Finish” is what we need to understand that we are in.
What we also need to understand is that it doesn’t just apply to us individually, but to us as the Body of Christ. Matthew 11:12 says, “And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the
has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it.” This applies to both the saints bombarding Heaven with our prayers, and the enemies of God attacking with almost overwhelming force. Kingdom of Heaven
We have to remain steadfast in prayer, listening for the sound of God’s voice instructing us in each and every step. In these times, we cannot afford to misstep or miss God. Lives depend on it, and not just those with whom we are closely connected. This goes worldwide. While we’re in our individual prayer times, we cannot just confine ourselves to individual prayers; we must uplift all who are affected, remembering that there are others who are going through far worse then we are all over the world.
Amos 3:3 admonishes, “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” The Body of Christ is fractured because of all the in-fighting between the “so-called” denominations and between individual church members. When we stop fighting amongst ourselves about these temporal, fleshly concerns, then we’ll begin to resemble the Church that Jesus is returning to receive unto Himself; the one without wrinkle or blemish. How can we do anything constructive in the
if we can’t even come together here on Earth? Kingdom of Heaven
If we are to roust the enemy, if we are to bind the strongman, we have to be in agreement to do it effectively. Otherwise, we’re just shuffling him around, passing demons around to each other. We cannot keep fighting amongst ourselves or we will be defeated. Matthew 24:24 warns us: For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. Those false ones are already running rampant throughout the nation, deceiving even the very pastors, preachers and prophets we trust. They are being used of the enemy to cause divisions and factions within the Body, and distract the people of God from our true purpose: to lift up the Name of Christ, so that He can draw all men to Him.
We have to arm ourselves with the weapons of our warfare moment by moment. Our hands have been taught to war and our fingers to fight, but we are still to answer to THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF, JEHOVAH GOD HIMSELF! When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of The Lord will raise up a standard against him. A standard is a rallying flag, and it’s our job to line up behind it, prepared to shout unto the Lord with a voice of triumph. But in order to be ready to shout, we must be ready to endure until the end, and we can only do that through fervent, effectual prayer.
Prayer will always be the key to winning this battle. It will be in prayer that we receive the instructions for each step we must take, or each test that we must endure, or each rest stop to which we are to retreat. Saints of God, we are in a critical time and our prayers must go up before God as incense and perfume the air, so that He will lean His ear toward us. 2 Chronicles 7:14 states it completely, “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and PRAY and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”