Day 14: January 14, 2014

Today's Reading(s)

Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. 12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, 15 and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. 16 In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. 18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. 20 For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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The Sword of the Spirit, The Word of God
by Matt Purdom, Discipleship Minister, Kairos Campus

A solider knows the difference between being on his army base and being in a hostile zone. On the base, he’s safe from the enemy. He works and lives with other soldiers protected from outside forces.

If he’s given a mission to enter into hostile territory, he prepares accordingly. He fastens his helmet upon his head. His bulletproof vest is on; his weapon is loaded and ready. He does not go in alone. He has a battle buddy, and they have each other’s back. Together they watch, ready to engage if attacked.

In the conclusion of his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul tells believers to clothe themselves with the whole armor of God. The reason they must do this is so that they can “stand against the schemes of the devil” (6:11).

Make no mistake. If you’re a follower of Christ, then the devil is scheming against you. His ambition is to lead you astray and take you captive by entangling you in sin. He desires nothing good for you, only to destroy all the good that God wants to do through you, to you, and in you.

God has not left you alone to stand against Satan’s schemes. Ephesians 6:10-20 describes the armor that he has provided for you to protect you in this spiritual battle that you will fight all throughout your life.

The armor consists of the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace and the gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit. Most of the armor serves to protect you from evil one’s attack.

Only one item is given as an offensive weapon: the “sword of the spirit, which is the word of God” (6:17). Your knowledge of the Word and your ability to apply it in any given circumstance is crucial if you want to stand against Satan’s attacks. The Bible may seem overwhelming to you, but don’t let this hinder you from getting started!

Did you know that if you read about three chapters a day, you could read through the entire Bible in just one year? If you want to start living in victory over Satan’s temptations and lies you have to take up “the sword of the Spirit.” Start today by choosing one book of the Old Testament and one book in the New, and read a total of three chapters every day.

As you read, keep a notebook to write down any key scriptures or new things you learn. To begin hiding God’s word in your heart, I strongly encourage you to memorize Scripture. Strive to memorize one verse a week, and you’ll be amazed at the tremendous impact this habit will impact your walk with God and your ability to resist evil.

A great verse to begin with is 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV): “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Last but not least, don’t go at this alone! Find a battle buddy, someone who can encourage you and hold you accountable. A battle buddy will have your back in times of weakness. He or she can pray and remind you of the truths in God’s Word so that the enemy will not succeed in taking you captive.

Praxis

  • Reflect on your current approach to reading the Bible. Do you think it is a good plan? Do you need to modify it? Are you reading in both the Old Testament and the New Testament?
  • Memorize 1 Corinthians 10:1 (ESV): “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
  • Do you have a “battle buddy,” one who will stand by you and encourage you in your spiritual battles?

About JourneyOn Today

Today's devotional series accompanies the Spiritual Practices Foundations Curriculum which deals with 24 different spiritual disciplines. We will break for an Advent series in December and continue the second half of Spiritual Practices during the first quarter of 2015.