10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place Ephesians 6:101-14
I Almost Pushed the Red Button: It was only the second day of school and to my surprise, I was seriously considering resigning. No, I didn’t have another something lined up, and to be honest, I didn’t care. I just wanted out. I had been struggling for a while with leaving teaching for a myriad of reasons and found myself constantly questioning God about what my next step should be. I wasn’t hearing from God and found myself slowly becoming a grumbler and complainer. I didn’t want to be, but it was true.
Listening to Lies: As it turns out, the real cause of my grumbling was that while I was still seeking God, our relationship lacked intimacy, as it became about me getting what I wanted. As a result, I inadvertently began tuning my ears to the lies of the enemy, and found myself operating on lots of flesh and very little spirit. God reminded me He definitely wants me to bring my issues to Him, but this can’t be the basis of our relationship, as it could easily misguide my heart, my prayers, and worst of all, miss Him. This is exactly what the enemy wants.
Be strong in Gods Strength: When deer hunters hunt, they often wear camouflage, intentionally and patiently stalk their prey for hours, while lying in wait for the opportunity to make the kill, ultimately devouring the unsuspecting deer. While the deer has no way to protect himself from the attack of the enemy, as followers of Jesus Christ we have an entire arsenal that we can draw from, beginning with the truth of God’s word, In Ephesians 6:10 Paul reminds us to be strong in the vast strength and mighty power of God, meaning that we are not in this battle alone and need not attempt to go at it in our own strength. For this is not a physical battle. We must rely on and exercise the power of the Almighty God who lives within us to resist the constant advances of the enemy just as Jesus did when He was in the wilderness. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 tells us the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but divine and given to us by God to tear down those strongholds the enemy tries to establish in our lives. We must actively take captive the lies of the enemy and surrender them to the obedience of Jesus Christ. The enemy tries to make us weak, but the spirit of God in us helps us to stand firm and makes us strong.
Slowly Becoming: It took some time for me to learn what it meant to be strong in the power of God, but while reading through the Gospels I noticed Jesus was always stealing away to spend time with the Father and knew I was in dire need of an encounter with Him. At first, I was expecting and badly wanting to hear God say “Yes my child, resign, right now, today, in this moment, go!” But that’s not what God spoke. Instead, He loved on me, drew me in and taught me to draw on His strength, which meant that slowly, my complaints turned into thanksgiving and praise, discontentment for my job grew into appreciation, my unrest became peace, and my joy was restored.
Is there a battle you’ve been fighting in your own strength? How can you rely on the mighty power of God?
Sacred Story is honored to have Winter Butler as a guest contributor this month. A quick “hello” below:
Hey ya’ll! I just wanted to say thank you for letting me share my heart with you! My sweet daughter Seven and I have been members at Houston’s First Baptist church since October 2010. Though we are not Texas natives, God has loved on us and blessed us with an amazing church family, as well as unique opportunities to serve Him and grow together. We are ever grateful for God’s hand of grace and evidence of love in our lives, shown by the precious gift of salvation He has bestowed upon us. #love ~ Winter