Monday, January 26, 2015

Be Alert

In reading Ephesians 6:10-20 we find Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, describing the armor we must be wearing on the battlefield when under Satan's attacks.  I don't know about you, but there have been times in my life when I haven't been fully dressed, and as a result I've found myself laying on the battlefield, wounded, sometimes severely.

But praise God for His grace, mercy, compassion, longsuffering and patience.  Thank God He continues to uphold us with His righteous right hand.  And thank God He heals us.

What I wanted to focus on in this post is verse 18b in chapter 6, "With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

What this verse says to me is that on the battlefield we will at times see some of our brothers and sisters in Christ, who themselves haven't been fully dressed in the armor of God, and as a result have been wounded, sometimes severely, and are now laying on the ground.

God is telling us to be alert for this and to pray for them.  What is implied here also is that God will hear and answer those prayers.

I love to go and share the Gospel with those who are on the streets, and it is a joy to see someone make the decision for Jesus.  But what I'm finding is that about 90 percent of the men I'm talking to are those who have at one time given their lives to Christ.  Somewhere along the line they got mixed up in something they shouldn't have (haven't we all), and as a result of not wearing their full armor they have been wounded.  Most times they have been seriously wounded.  They have become addicted to drugs, alchohol and many other things.  Relationships have been wounded and marriages have been broken up.  They are desperate and in despair.  And the worst wound I've seen is the deception that God has walked away from them.  This is a violent wound to the soul that robs someone of their peace.

They need someone to come along side them and reassure them God hasn't walked away.  They need this.  This is what will bring back God's peace to them and heal their soul.

I was talking to a man on the street this weekend from Detroit, Michigan.  He's in his sixties.  He gave His life to Christ in 1971.  But he made the mistake of getting caught up in the partying of the late sixties and early seventies.

His life is full of failures, regrets, broken relationships and a broken marriage.  He's been trying for a long time to get his life back on track, but every time he gets close to accomplishing this, another failure comes along.

We talked for a few minutes and then I told him what I thought the problem was.  Satan was holding him to his past failures and convincing him God was ashamed of him and angry with him.  Although he didn't realize it was Satan doing this to him.

I told him that it was not God accusing him for these things, but that it is Satan who is the accuser of the brothers.  The fact is that God has forgiven him of all of his sins and has credited the righteousness of Christ to his account.  Satan wanted to convince him that God was displeased with him so that in fear he wouldn't go to God's throne of grace to receive help.

We talked about who he is in Christ, how his esteem is in Christ, that God is for him and not against him, that God was with him in his failures as well as in his successes.

He was very encouraged and I'm confident the Lord will use His relationship with him and His Word to help this brother in Christ.

My hope is that you will pray for him.  Undergird him with prayer because as with anyone who has fallen on the battlefield, the wounds are deep and there isn't much strength.  You don't have to pray for him everyday, but just this once or whenever God puts him on your heart.

Pray that God would help him to understand everyday that he is God's child and God will never leave.  That he would know God's joy that will give him strength.  And that God would help him out of this homeless situation he's in.  I believe that any child of God who understands and senses God's grace, peace and joy can come out of the worst of circumstances.

God bless you.

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