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We ended last session with a command to suit up for battle by putting on the needed protection to keep the young women in our lives, as well ourselves,  secure and hopeful.  The battle often begins with our thoughts, and the battlefield is our spirit mind.   A good offense is key to winning a battle, and sometimes in life, we are faced with a battle.  So think about what’s going on in your head.  And get ready to start your day!

Putting on the Armor of Assurance is something that needs done every day.  The following may be a reminder for you, or a new concept; either way let it soak in and God will strengthen and guard your hearts and minds when you need it most.

So, what exactly is this Armor of God we hear so much about? (Ephesians 6:10-18)

The Belt of Truth:  God is real. God loves you, and Jesus died for your sins. God is on your side – That’s the Truth!  Hold on to the Truth, and like a good tight belt, the truth will hold you up and keep you strong when attacked.

The Breastplate of Righteousness:  This means to guard your heart.  Do what is right and good; you know what that is, in your heart. Satan is unable to work his way into your heart if you always try your best to do what’s right.  You will be able to stand straight and tall, with your head held high.  Leaving no room for regret, guilt, or shame!

The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace:  Be ready to go wherever God sends you; whenever He sends you. Don’t be embarrassed to share the Good News of God’s amazing love for us.

My personal favorite accessory to wear ALWAYS is The Shield of Faith:  It will protect you from the enemy’s flaming arrows –those fiery darts of fear, worry, anger, doubt, insecurities, and LIES that make you think less of yourself.   God is your protector. Put your faith in Him and Satan cannot hurt you!  The best part of this piece of armor is that others can link shields with you, or lift it up for you, when you are too weary to go it alone.

The Helmet of Salvation:  You are saved!  You are God’s child – His chosen, adopted child.  An heir with Jesus to the Throne of Heaven! The enemy has already lost, death is already defeated, and nothing can ever take you away from God.  Keep your thoughts always on that!

The Sword of the Spirit:  And finally for the battles to be won effectively, you need a good offensive strategy.   You need to know the Word of God.  You need to know what God says about a particular situation and how He feels about you.

What always helps me is to DO what this verse says:
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2Cor 10:5 (NIV)

Eugene Peterson describes this verse in more detail:  “The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. (The Message)

I love this version, because it teaches me what the tools are and how to use them:
Every morning when you brush your teeth and get dressed for your day, use your “God-tools”.  Take 60 seconds and while looking in the mirror put on the belt, the helmet, the shoes, the breastplate, the shield, and pick up your sword.  Remember, the sword is His Word, and it can be tucked away in your heart by memorizing a few verses; or loaded on your iPhone, or a pocket bible in your purse, or a few note cards with key scriptures for daily inspiration.

For instance, when I think I am a failure, I choose to believe God’s Word over my life which He states I am salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:13).  I also realize I am a work in progress but have confident that what He has started in me will bring it to completion.  (Philippians 1:6)

Or when I am afraid, I remember God’s Word and what He has given to me.  He tells me fear does not come from Him and that He has given me a spirit of power, love and sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

It’s not always easy, but your thoughts will eventually determine your self-esteem.  And those thoughts, which can turn into words and actions, may drive not only your own self-worth, but can have a huge impact on those around you.  Be ready to protect your mind, body and spirit!

~Anna Marie Caulkins
Planning and Development Director
annamarie@hopeendures.org

 

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