the Armor of God: Prayer [Really???]

What is the armor of God and truthfully, do we really need it?

Have you ever wondered why we need to fight or for that matter ‘wear’ such spiritual garments? Why we must do this so-called fighting that quite frankly we do not even ‘see’ – or do we?

I believe we all would say that we have fought a battle or two in our life time whether it was with our kids, our in-laws, our parents, possibly our spouse, or maybe even God.

But one of the most troubling battles we face [more than we care to realize] are not the things that we ‘perceive’ with our five sense – but rather everything else that is unseen. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly wrestle here on earth and it’s directly related to the visible and invisible, but we must not forget that the invisible is REAL – much more than we care to reckon. So before we disregard its presence, let’s take a little look.

My Pastor, who is also my husband, said a few months ago in a Sunday morning worship service, “Remember who your REAL enemy is! It is not those sitting next to you here at church; it is not those who live in your home or extended family members; it is not the workplace, the store, that slow driver in front of you that is ‘making you late’; it is not people; it is not God – it is the DEVIL. Your real enemy is the devil!” [Pastor Richard Woodruff] We must remember who the real enemy is!

The devil (aka: satan – who is the great deceiver) wants you to ignore the spiritual reality behind your physical reality. Why? It is to his best interest and your greatest destruction; for he knows that as long as you are focused on what you physically ‘see’ with your eyes, he can continue his dirty deeds and run rampant underneath the surface. This only happens when we are personally distracted, unfocused, (mind, heart, spirit) on the things that do not matter most.

Isn’t that so wicked – oh wait a minute…he is wickedness, he is not our friend…he is the greatest deceiver! Following me, yet?!

My friends, it is not for us to live in fear over the devil, but rather live in wisdom, knowledge and understanding of who and what our enemy is and capable of – but more importantly resting in the power of knowing who our God is and who we are through Jesus Christ.

Remember we have already won the battle, but don’t live foolishly – the enemy may be invisible, but he is not fictional. He is present. Real. He wants to destroy you! He is persistent. Consistent.

Do not think for one moment that because you are a believer in Jesus Christ you have immunity; quite frankly you have a bulls-eye on your forehead. You are the target. Don’t allow this to scare you but rather remember WHO resides within you? GOD! This means you are fully loaded; fully empowered; 100% equipped, power-filled by the Father Himself [now if that doesn’t give you goosebumps] to defend anything and everything, even when we don’t understand — yet we trust. [what God-love. God-grace. God-comfort!]

So, how does one defend, reload, and stand strong?

  1. PRAY! [Yep] Pray! You may be laughing at me right now, but it is true. You may be thinking “how in the world does praying help you win the battle?” For starters, read Ephesians. Paul highlights one of the most important [yet most overlooked aspects] spiritual armor – PRAYER! Without communicating with God over the battles – you’re done! Without His inward strength coming through us from time spend in prayer and in His Word – you’re done! Prayer brings His plan. His vision. At times His purpose. We cannot do what He wants if we do not know what He requires. Communication! Paul esteemed prayer so critical to the victory over satan’s power in our lives/during these battles – maybe we should take note, just maybe! [what do you think?]
  2. Study out the armor of God – allow it to become you!
  3. You want to see personal victories – PRAY – for there is victory in spiritual warfare when prayer is practiced. Don’t be afraid of it – just do it!

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, [19] and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might [20] which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, [21] far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come”

Ephesians 1:18-21.

a Picture of Hope

‘Tell Your Heart to Beat Again’* – the first time I heard this song/testimony of the heart surgeon was about two or three weeks ago through a Facebook tag from my middle sister. I listened. Then listened again and again. It was so powerful to my soul that I couldn’t even repost it because it brought such tears to my eyes – especially with the recent last of my Dad, it ripped into my soul in ways that I am still working/healing through.

Over the years, my husband and I have had many losses through death. Whether it was grandparents that we adored, my husband’s father, to our third child passing exactly a week after my husband’s mother who we loved so much, then my Daddy.

This is my Daddy (the picture). He entered into eternity suddenly on July 31, 2016. There were no warnings. No signs. Nothing. One second an earthly-citizen the next a dadheavenly-citizen standing face to face with his Savior. The night we received that phone call, truthfully I don’t remember much except  a few things like first hearing that Dad had a heart attack – but remembering saying to myself “we will go and see him – he will pull through again.” Death wasn’t even on my radar. The next thing I remember is “I’m sorry (my name) your Dad didn’t make it.” Didn’t make it – that is impossible, they didn’t know who they were talking about! My Dad is stronger than strong. But, it was true. Dad was gone.

It has been an interesting wave-like several months. My sweet husband, children and I have faced many life changing events over this past year. New state. New job. Great incredible accomplishments. New church. Old friends gone. New friends are next to none. Away from the known. Extended family far away. Dad entered eternity. Oh, and I turned 40 (that wasn’t hard…lol).

Much to take in and digest when it happens all at once. Not impossible with Christ, the Lord has been incredibly good to us; He has protected us in a million ways, guided, and provided, but I must admit that humanly my faith has been challenged so intensely. At times the challenging’s have been so hard that it has scared me, but now; now, though I still don’t understand everything or his wise loving plan, this challenge of soul has sparked a journey in my soul that I couldn’t have dreamed of. My soul is literally burning with fire and sometimes it is all I can do to accomplish what I should be doing.

The passing of my earthly father has truly been hard – no goodbyes, no last hugs, no last anything’s – just gone. I miss him. It wasn’t in my plans for Dad to enter Heaven at 64 years old. It wasn’t suppose to happen that way. I struggle (some days more than others), but in my struggling it has brought me closer to my heavenly Father and ignited me in ways I knew not of. I couldn’t write it any better then the bridge of the song:

Let every heartbreak

And every scar

Be a picture that reminds you

Who has carried you this far

‘Cause love sees farther than you ever could

In this moment heaven’s working

Everything for your good

My soul is starting to beat again through the healing power of Jesus Christ. It is bursting into flames and how can I not speak boldly for on King? How can I not share Christ with others? Eternity is forever. Life is truly short! How can I not live in boldness to speak of Him? How can I not live my created God-confident life for this world is not my home for one day (sooner than I think) my time on earth is up just like yours is.

I could choose to take the reins of control and pretend to live this life as though I was the one in control, but I am not and neither are you. God is in control whether we want accept that reality or not. We are the creation and he is the Creator.

This life is not mine and I am choosing to not live another moment as though it is mine but rather I as simple clay – an instrument in His molding hands, willing. Obedient. Quick to respond to His Word. Putting on Christ. There is surety and intense hope in Jesus Christ for the future that I have never known before.

*disclaimer: I am so thankful for my precious sister posting this song to me via FB. This song has been an encouragement to my heart, but I must note, personally I do not support everything he (Danny Gokey) sings or produces nor have I seen or heard everything he has sung or produced.