Attack – to set upon or work against forcefully – to assail with unfriendly or bitter words – to begin to affect – to set to work on – to threaten… (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
“Often, they have attacked me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me.” – Psalm 129:2
During my morning quiet time, I usually begin by reading the Daily Text and Jesus Calling which then leads into prayer time. Today, however, I felt compelled to begin to pray. So I did. As I began to pray, I felt an urgency, a need to pray for protection. I prayed for my kids, my family and those around us, as well as those I do not know. Then I read today’s Daily Text from Psalm 129.
Lately it has felt like everyone around us is struggling deeply. Whether it be in health or relationships or loss…it feels like we are constantly being attacked. There is so much to pray about. Sometimes it feels like I don’t even know where to begin. Have you ever been there? Some days there is just so much swirling around us, so much heaviness, so much darkness. These winter days that bring shorter hours of daylight seem to allow the darkness to invade our space more than we like it to.
So where do we begin? I know one thing is for sure, to go out into battle, I do not want to enter into the heat of it without protection and ammunition. I want armor. I want a sword. For without those things, I do not stand a chance. Ephesians 6 lays out the Armor we are to put on so that we can stand against the flaming arrows that are shot at us.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. – Ephesians 6:10-17
Did you catch all that? There is so much in those few verses! Friends, we live in a world where darkness creeps and the evil one prowls looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) Attack comes in the things we read, hear, see. Our mind is constantly bombarded with the purpose to break us down and take away our hope and joy. That is where the devil wants us. When we are weak, he has a chance at victory. Oh, but when we are weak, God’s strength is made perfect! (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Look again at Ephesians, friends. In this Armor of God there are many pieces to protect us. God wants to protect us. But that is not all. He also wants us to fight with Him. Amidst the protective gear, there is a weapon. Do you see it? There is a sword! Praise God! He does not call us into this battle to simply stand behind Him as He fights. Don’t hear me wrong, He fights hard to protect us. He does not want us to be wounded. But more than that, He calls us to stand with Him. He equips us to fight. He gives us all we need. The Sword of the Spirit! The Word of God!
Where do we begin when darkness is invading? Where do we go when we are feeling the weight of grief, pain, suffering, hopelessness? We take up the Sword. We reach for the Bible. We open the Word.
Friends, the power of the Word of God is mighty! Seek Him there. Ask Him. Listen for Him. And stand. Our enemy and the darkness he prowls in can not stand against the Light! When you wake up in the morning, when you head out your door, when you settle in for the evening, put on your armor. Take up your sword. Face the battle, knowing that the God of Angel Armies is by your side. He is fighting for you AND with you! He does not leave you defenseless. Nothing can stand against the Word of the Lord!
Today, as I begin a new day, I pray for my family and my friends. I pray for you. Wherever you are in your journey of life, God is with you. He is already victorious. Even when we are wounded, even when we experience loss, Jesus has already won. Grip that Sword, friends. Hang on to Jesus. He is our Hope. He is our Joy. He is our strength.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9