I pray that you have had a most holy and refreshing time celebrating the birth of our Lord. What a glorious time to focus on the one who came that we might have “life and have it more abundantly” John 10:10b. I know we talked about spiritual warfare last week but I wanted to give us a little ‘ammunition’ for a ‘more abundant’ walk with the Lord in the coming year.
I don’t make resolutions, as such, but I do think it is a good time to look at the past year and challenge ourselves to do better for and with Jesus in the coming year. As the Psalmist said “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts.” Psalm 139:23 May we be willing to let God search us, try us and lead us in HIS ways.
H– Have the mind of Christ– “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…..and took upon him the form of a servant…. Phil 2”5+ To have the mind of Christ implies selfless living. Thinking of others, if you would, being HELPTUL.
A– All in all– “Christ is all, and in all” Col 3:11 The only way that I can have the “mind of Christ” is to have Christ Himself. To have been born again by the Spirit of God and then I receive the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower and enable me to accomplish the work of God. As John 4:34 says, “Jesus saith unto them, my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” And Phil 4:13 “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” God equips those He call!!!
P– The power of God– “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might.” Eph 6:10 That same ability that enables me to do “all things through Christ” is God’s power at work in me, not my own. HE will empower our living for this coming year if we will but yield to Him as we hear and obey.
P– Put on the whole armor of God– Ehp 6:10-19 “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles (tricks) of the devil………(v13)…wherefore, take unto you the whole armor of God ….” We must not go out into the world each day unaware or unprepared to deal with the enemy of our souls. PUT ON that armor each day. I pray through the pieces every day before I get out of bed. We looked at this last week but I felt led to share this injunction of Paul’s again.
Y– You will be able to stand– Eph 6:13 “Wherefore take unto YOU the whole armor of God, that YE may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” You must put on YOUR armor of God—He provides it but you MUST put it on yourself. I can tell you about it, Paul tells us about it, others have taught about it but YOU must put it on DAILY for YOURSELF!!!
N– Not against flesh and blood. We must continually remind ourselves (via God’s word) that our battle isn’t again flesh and blood. Eph 6:12 “For we wrestle NOT against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”. Our battle is NOT with the folks around us (even the difficult ones) but with the forces of evil, the sin and curse of this world and we must focus on standing up for right but not trampling the right and truth to do it. We are to care for the lost, the wandering, the lonely the deceived, the helpless of this world as we stand for truth. Never compromising God’s word, but always ready to reach out and help those who are in our path, that may be ready-even eager- to receive the Good News of the gospel.
E- Evil is all about us. As we saw above we wrestle against forces of evil, not the people around us. Even though they may be working with the enemy—in fact they are not the real enemy. They need a savior too.
W– WE WRESTLE!! It doesn’t say we might wrestle, we should wrestle or perhaps we’ll wrestle—it says ‘WE WRESTLE’—a fact of life for every believer. We are now in enemy territory, pilgrims in a foreign land, so to speak, as we journey to our Father in heaven. Don’t greet each day unprepared but remember we have an enemy .
Y– Your armor must be on. Remember those pieces and pray them on each day-Truth, Righteousness, Peace of the Gospel, Faith, Salvation and the WORD OF GOD!!!
E– Equipped with prayer. Eph 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…..”
A– Always “Praying ALWAYS’ (v 6:18)!! And Paul restates this same principle in 1 Thess 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”. Keeping our hearts in close, continual touch with the Father—not with our eyes always closed but with our hearts always open!!! Giving “attendance” to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” 1 Tim 4:13
R– Ready. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15
I pray that this will be a great year for spiritual growth and power in our lives and may God’s grace abound in your life each and every day as you remember – “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matt 6:33
Thanks for spending this time with me and have a blessed and happy New Year.