Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Putting on the Armor of God
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesian 6:10-11

As we enter a new year in the Lord, we face it in confidence and hope because the Lord is strong and powerful. As we go into the new year, our expectations are built upon the promises of the Lord for the future, rather than upon that which has happened in the past. Yes, our circumstances may remain the same as we begin this new year, but as we have seen in the lives of people throughout history, circumstances are always changing. Sometimes for the worse, but mostly for the better. The experiences of Christmas equip us for the year ahead, for we are called to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might!!

As we celebrated Christmas this year, did we not receive much encouragement from the mutual sending and receiving of Christmas greetings through cards and gifts? Yes, we did. These times of fellowship one with another are helpful for us in that they point toward the reason for our hope and away from the cause of our pessimism toward the future. There are many modern forms of communication today which the people living in the time of the early church did not have for their use. But even if they did not have all of that which we have, they had that which our Father has ordained for the purpose of communicating with us: Language..They communicated in the same way that people have for all of time: With words. And they wrote and received letters, in whatever form they had at that time.

The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Christians at Ephesus in the early church years. In his conclusion to the letter, he counseled them with these words: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.Ephesians 6:10 After writing these words, he went on to say that they should "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." And why we must put it on: "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." (Ephesians 6:11-12)

He then goes on to list the 7 parts of the armor which he had called for them to put on, emphasizing that they are to put on the "whole" armor. Here are the seven which he listed:

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, (1) having your loins girt about with truth, (2) and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 (3) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, (4) taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 (5) And take the helmet of salvation, (6) and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 (7) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

As we consider this letter which was written to the Ephesians (and to us)by Paul while he was in prison, we can appreciate his giving heart which we see reflected from the words he wrote while imprisoned:
"Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. "Ephesians 3:13

The driving force of his life was that those to whom he had been called to serve would be pointed to the source of Hope and Joy, Jesus Christ. He outlines this in this letter to the Ephesians in a systematic manner, first establishing their position in Jesus Christ through faith, pointing out to them of how the body of Jesus Christ (the church) works together in common love and purpose. Then in the conclusion, calls them to stand in that which God has done for them, is for them in Christ and is doing through them as the body of Jesus Christ. As reflected in the verse above, he did not consider his life important, for he spoke to the elders of the Ephesian church in the book of Acts in this manner as he said farewell to them as he journeyed toward an unknown future in Jerusalem: "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." KJV Acts 20:24

May we read and meditate on these verses which have been given for our teaching and edification. May the Spirit of Christ dwell richly in us today and may it be reflected by our understanding of who we are within the body of Jesus Christ. Yes, the armor must be put on individually, but it is through the corporate body that we gain and have more strength as an army as opposed to acting on an individual basis. May this letter be read and reread by us so that we will understand clearly as to what it means to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Let us read, meditate upon and pray through Paul's prayers for us in 1:15-23 and 3:14-21 and his call to prayer in 6:18-24. His prayers focus on our increased awareness of the power of Christ which we possess being in Him and that this power is brought forth among us and through us through the serving of one another within His body.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 02 Jan 2010 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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