Unsurprisingly, Janie’s word during ministry time yesterday morning lined up perfectly with what God put on my heart to share for my dedication post! I love when God orchestrates details like this. I pray that you are blessed by it today and that you are inspired to keep God’s Word fresh on your lips.
“Alright kiddos, put on the armor of God!”
“The belt of truth,” Ethan and Ella say while motioning putting on a belt of truth and each of the remaining armor pieces.
“The breastplate of righteousness.”
“Feet fitted with the readiness of the Gospel.”
“The shield of faith.”
“The helmet of salvation.”
Exuberantly, they both pull out their imaginary swords, “And the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God! Ephesians 6.”
Every night, we reflect on the armor of God and conversations spark, it’s one of my favorite traditions. We memorized the armor of God together; training up these two incredible children in the way they should go has inspired me to memorize more Scripture—to lead by example.
Ephesians 6:13-20 in The Message translation says:
“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. And don’t forget to pray for me. Pray that I’ll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I, jailbird preacher that I am, am responsible for getting out.”
Take ALL the help you can get, EVERY weapon God has issued! Pray continuously AND for one another—I love that Paul specifically puts a level of responsibility on keeping one another’s spirits up. Also remember that Paul is writing this while incarcerated. Let that sink in—he is in no position to physically armor up. All he has is the Armor of God to help him—and the prayers of His people.
Last year, the enemy tried to knock me down with anxiety attacks that I had already been healed of in high school—that’s a story for another day—and all I was able to do during these attacks was pray and repeat the armor of God over and over both in my head and out loud. Reminding myself that the weapons formed against me cannot prosper and putting my armor on protected me from spiraling and I won those battles! I also had an army of people praying for me—over the phone, over text, and in-person. Prayer is so powerful! Knowing Scripture is so powerful! God is so powerful!
God has already won the war, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have attacks come and battles to be fought. He has equipped up with His armor, He has equipped us with the Fruit of the Spirit, He has equipped us with Scripture. He has also given us an incredible community of believers who pray for one another and carry each other’s burdens.
“As for me,” God says, “this is my covenant with them: My Spirit that I’ve placed upon you and the words that I’ve given you to speak, they’re not going to leave your mouths nor the mouths of your children nor the mouths of your grandchildren. You will keep repeating these words and won’t ever stop.” God’s orders.
Isaiah 59:21 MSG
My challenge for you this year is to memorize the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18) and “keep repeating these words and don’t ever stop.” Keep the Word of God (the Sword of the Spirit) fresh on your lips and no weapon formed against you will prosper!
-Pastor Abby Escamilla
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