By Pastor Bill Rowe
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness 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. (Ephesians 6:10-13)
The Christian life is one of spiritual warfare, evidenced by conflict and challenges. This is hard to believe when we see the joy most Christians have, but it’s true. In fact, it’s that joy in the midst of hardship and conflict that best indicates that one is a true believer, and is prepared for the fight.
33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
This truth came home to me the other day at church. I shared details of a personal spiritual battle, trusting that I would not be judged by my church family. Their response was to come around me, lay hands on me, and pray. There was no judgment, simply unity in our dependence on the Lord our God.
The Revive church family understands that in times of trials, the only place to turn is to the Lord. Prayer is a cry to the Lord, a cry that admits our helplessness without the Lord to survive. Prayers rise from our hearts, up through enemy territory (the “heavenly places”), and find their way into the presence of Lord. Our Lord awaits our prayers!
When we are engaged by the enemy in battle, the assaults come in infinite variety. The devil is endlessly creative and absolutely ruthless in his evil creativity. He tempts us where we are most vulnerable, he attacks our families, he attacks God, he accuses us, he spreads lies, he causes misfortune, he infiltrates our careers, our finances, our health, our faith, and everything we hold dear.
But we need not cower, we need not succumb to the enemy. God has provided an invitation and a promise for His children in need:
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Through Christ, we are invited before the very throne of God! We have the ear and the attention of God! When we approach Him with our prayers and our troubles God hears our prayers; God promises us that here in His presence He will grant us grace and mercy! (This is exactly what I felt when our church family gathered around to pray for me!)
Human instinct in times of trouble, our temptation, is to handle spiritual attacks on our own, to do it our way. God’s Word tells us that victory comes when we are on our knees in prayer. We are strongest from a posture of helplessness and dependence on the Lord:
“…be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might… (Ephesians 6:10)
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:7-8a)
This requires an admission that we are incapable of winning the fight with our own power. It requires us to prepare for battle by falling to our knees. Our war cry is, “Lord, help me!” In our dependence on God, He provides the weapons and the armor that protect us in battle. God brings victory.
“Yet in all these things, we are more than conquerors through (Christ) who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)
It is in the strength of the Lord and the power of His might that we are able to stand before the enemy and to fulfill God’s truth that we are “more than conquerors.”
Today is a good day to grab hold of your victories by falling to your knees and presenting your needs to God. Maybe you have unconfessed sin that God is waiting to hear and forgive:
“If you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Perhaps you are in the midst of fighting a battle in your own strength, and you are tired; Jesus invites you to rest in Him:
“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
I am struck by how consistent Scripture is in promising the Lord’s strength for the Christian who is in need. These Scriptures prove that God is very interested in your battles, desires your prayers, and is willing to bring you victory. The only way to effectively fight the battle, to be victorious, and the only way to prepare for the fight, is through humble prayer and devotion to God’s Word. Then you can assault the enemy in God’s power and God’s might with your prayers to God Almighty Himself.
Finally, cherish Christ’s victory as you rest in Him.