I’m veering off my usual blogging schedule because this is one of those times I feel compelled to speak out.
As we face the tragedy that took place in Orlando this week, many of us shake our heads at the senselessness of it. We can only imagine the heartache these families are experiencing, and we lift them to the Lord in prayer.
I remind myself that what occurs in the physical realm has a parallel in the spiritual. Omar Mateen isn’t the enemy. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12 NLT).
Those who don’t know Jesus are filled with darkness and are slaves to evil, though they don’t realize this because Satan has them deceived.
As the world grows more evil, we Christians may feel powerless to affect any change or to stop the evil. We may wonder if God even hears our prayers.
I say a resounding yes, He does!
In Daniel 10:12 (NLT) an angel of the Lord says, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven.”
Now, more than ever, is a time to press in, to step up our game. Jesus doesn’t want lukewarm followers. “But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (Rev 3:16 NLT).
As we pray daily for family, friends, our church, our nation, the world, we must clothe ourselves in Christ. We are saved by grace and called to become like Christ. He calls us to prayer, but does not leave us defenseless.
To that end, I’d like to offer this excerpt from Chapter 24 of my book Carried by Grace so you may have a better understanding of the armor God provided.
God has provided our protection, and the apostle Paul outlines that for us in Ephesians 6:14-17 NKJV.
Vs. 14: gird your waist with truth. In Jesus’ day, to gird yourself meant you lifted the ends of your robe and tucked them into your belt so your feet wouldn’t get tangled in the folds of your robe during battle. Today’s application: put on truth as we would a belt around our waist so the things of this world don’t trip us up. We need to know what the Bible says so we can recognize Satan’s lies. We want to keep ourselves strong with truth at all times. John 14:6 tells us Jesus is the truth.
Vs. 14: “put on the breastplate of righteousness.” A breastplate protects our vital organs. When Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our heart, the writer isn’t speaking about the physical organ, but about our inner man, the seat of our moral character, our emotions and passions. Christ’s sacrifice makes us right with God and delivers us from death. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are putting on His righteousness just as we would don a bullet proof vest. Because the battle for our souls never stops, we must keep on the breastplate of righteousness, which is Jesus. (See 1 Corinthians 1:30).
Vs. 15: “shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” Our feet carry us everywhere we go, and God wants us to carry gospel of peace with us. In the original language the word gospel meant to declare good news. God wants us to declare the good news of peace. He tells us our peace is Jesus. (See Eph. 2:14)
Vs. 16: take “the shield of faith” so we can stop all the devil’s arrows/weapons from hurting us. The verse doesn’t say we can stop some of those arrows, no, it says all. I love that. Who is our faith in? It’s in Jesus and the work He accomplished when He died on the cross. (See Gal. 2:20)
Vs. 17: “take the helmet of salvation.” A helmet protects our brain, that vital organ that processes all the stimuli that enter our body via one of our five senses, and keeps all our autonomic systems running. It is here where we think and reason and conclude. The helmet of salvation protects our mind and thoughts. Who is our salvation? Is man, or Satan? No. Jesus is our salvation. (See Acts 4:11-12)
Vs. 17: take the “sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.” Our weapon for warfare is to use the Word of God, just as Jesus did (see John 4:1-13, also see the chapter in this book titled “Know the Real Enemy” for a closer look at how Jesus used the Word). John 1, verses 1 and 14 both tell us Jesus is the Word.
In short, Jesus doesn’t have the answers; Jesus is the answer.
I pray this information has blessed you and caused you to think deeper about your relationship with God and your prayer time.
Our end goal is heaven and as we focus on that goal, it will profoundly affect how we live while here on Earth. I cringe at the thought of any of my family spending eternity in hell. How much more does God’s heart ache at the thought of any of His children choosing hell?
“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17 NLT).
About Carried by Grace
Debra L. Butterfield speaks candidly about her experience as a mother of a sexual abuse victim and extends to you her courage to fight this battle. Part memoir and part devotional, Debra offers:
- comfort for your heartache
- practical guidance for daily needs
- a biblical path to healing, and
- encouragement and hope along the way.
Sound biblical advice that will help you through any crisis.