March 15, 2016
Standing Firm When Your Faith Feels Flimsy
Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. (Ephesians 6:10, NIV)
Friend to Friend
In his letter to the believers in Ephesus, the apostle Paul talked straight about the spiritual battle of faith. He exhorted them to:
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. (Eph. 6:10–13 ESV)
In recognizing that the battle is real, I’m motivated to prepare for the fight. The Bible maps out my rules of engagement and holds my trembling hands until they calm. I have to keep in mind that the battle is ultimately not mine. It is God’s. And when I suit up in His strength, He goes before me and fights on my behalf.
What help do I have to stand firm against attacks from Satan and his cronies?
Truth: Protects me against damaging lies.
Righteousness (by faith through grace in Christ): Annihilates my sin.
Peace: Guards my heart and mind. Motivates me to share the hope of Jesus.
Faith: Protects me from attacks and extinguishes the flaming darts of the Evil One.
Salvation: In Christ alone. Conquers death. It is finished. Team Victory wins.
The sword of the Spirit: The Word of God. Inherent. Flawless. Guides me in all truth.
Pray in the Spirit: Connects me to God’s power.
How do I invite the Holy Spirit to lead me each day? By putting on the armor of God in prayer and stepping up in faith to stand firm in His power. (Note to self: review that list when I feel exhausted, intimidated, and battle worn.)
Let’s connect another power dot here. When Jesus promised to send His disciples the Helper, He linked the Holy Spirit to truth: “When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you in all truth” (John 16:13). Truth has to lead my battles. When I believe lies, I choose to join Team Defeat. (No thank you.)
Jesus went on to pray for us, His followers, that the truth would protect us from Satan:
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth (17:15–17).
God’s Word is truth, and truth protects us. It sanctifies us. Helps us grow in holiness. Helps us recognize the difference between God’s ways and the ways of the world.
The Holy Spirit leads me to a faith with greater power because the Spirit of God will always lead me in the ways of the Word. Toward knowing, obeying, loving, and trusting Jesus in everything. I want that. So I pray with the psalmist, “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Ps. 25:5).
Yes. Faith is a tug-of-war, but I’m not without hope, help, or power.
And neither are you.
When we call upon the Holy Spirit, who is the anchor of all things truth, comfort, guidance, and power, He helps us gain traction in every battle of life.
Lord, thank You for the presence of Your Holy Spirit in my life. Please open my eyes wide to all the courage, strength, and wisdom You have for me in Christ.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
In what area of your life do you feel the enemy is attacking you? What is one thing you’ll do or believe today to help you stand firm in the power of God? “Today I will ...” (Tweet your answer to me @GwenSmithMusic or leave a comment on my Facebook wall.)
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