Fight The Battle: Armor Inventory
Make no mistake, we’re in a fight. It’s hand to hand combat against our own flesh, the world’s systems, and Satan himself. Listen to this weekend’s sermon on Ephesians 6.10-20 for an overview.
As we head into the battle this summer we must gear up, putting on the full armor of God so we can take our stand against the Devil’s schemes. He will try to destroy our families. He will try to isolate us. He will try to create factions within our church. He will leverage our flesh to drown us with guilt, drive us into selfish ambition, and consume us with self-love. He will leverage the world’s systems to distract us from ultimate realities, bury us in empty desires, and keep our eyes glued to anything other than the Son.
We will need to continually come back to Christ, link arms with each other, cling to His word, and ask God for help. Join me in taking the following inventory, to make sure you are going into this summer protected and powerful to fight, bearing the full armor of God. Walk through the following at your own pace this week. Put on the full armor of God. We have won and will win, in Christ.
Come Back to Christ:
One of Satan’s schemes is an attempt to isolate us from God and others by walling us up in our own guilt. Come back to Christ, all of us, over and over again. Remember, YOU ARE FORGIVEN! Blameless and pure. Claim this by confessing your sin to God. Confess your sins to others at The Well. Let light shine with grace in your relationship with Him and others.
INSPECT: Are you coming daily before Christ, reading His word, praying, and getting to know Him deeply? Is your relationship with God changing areas of your life?
READ: Ephesians 1.3-14
RESPOND: Detail your failings before Christ and accept your forgiveness. What sins do you need to confess to others in your family, the church, or others? Do so.
Link Arms with Each Other:
We are not in this alone. The church is not just a family, we are an army. If you are finding yourself in the battle alone, you will be swallowed up. This is a matter of life and death. You and I are not strong enough to fight our flesh, the world, and Satan, alone.
INSPECT: Are you connected into a 3’s with other men/women in the fight? Are you sharing transparently with these men/women?
READ: Ephesians 2.18-22.
RESPOND: Ask a small group of men/women to walk with you weekly. Trust the men/women in your group by sharing any areas in which you are struggling and need their help.
Cling to His Word:
Satan is full of lies and accusations. We have two great offensive weapons: God’s word and our petitions for God’s help. The power of God’s word cuts our heart into truthful morsels, exposing sin and the lies we hold onto (Hebrews 4.12-13). His word mends us with the tenderness of His grace. His word keeps us from temptation, giving us strength to flee and to stand. The Holy Spirit powerfully wields this sword, His bible, against the attacks of Satan. We must know His word, meditate on it, knowing and trusting the author.
INSPECT: Are you reading the bible daily? Are you reading the bible deeply?
READ: The Bible. 1 Tim 3.16-17, James 1.22
RESPOND: Plan what you will read (Try Mark if this is new for you). Plan when you will daily read. Write notes as you read (Resources Page on The City for help).
Ask God for Help:
God wants to move on your behalf. Ask Him to. He created the world. He commands the armies of heaven. He crushed Satan. Ask Him to crush the desires of your flesh, the temptations of the world, the schemes of our enemy. When you fall, talk to Him about it. He loves you, right in the middle of your sin He loves you. Let His gracious forgiveness transform you. Ask Him for the power to run from sin, the power to stand firm in temptation, the power to make preemptive decisions to take responsibility for your obedience. Talk to Him! Before, during, after temptation and sin, talk to Him. Ask Him to move.
INSPECT: Did you have extended conversation with God today, yesterday? Where are you trying to do life on your own, not asking for His movement?
READ: Ephesians 6.18-20, Philippians 4.6-7
RESPOND: Where must God move in your life? (Areas of anxiousness, temptation, struggle, fear, planning, work, family, money, guilt etc.) Consider writing down your prayers as lists, or wholly, to help you focus while talking with Him.