“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make 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 world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:11-13 (NIV).
As we begin the season of Lent let me remind you that we are at war, and I’m not just referring to the War in Ukraine and the world around us.
We are at war, as Christians, with the powers of evil in the world around us. The apostle Paul reminds us that the devil is constantly attacking believers to cause them to deny their faith, to be ashamed of their sins, to be disobedient to God, and to consider yourself worthless.
The attack is a personal one and often one that we ignore. The attack is waged against you in forms of destroying your family, destroying your friendships, destroying your own self worth, destroying the truths of God’s Word, destroying the world as you see it around you all in an effort to cause you to lose faith, trust, and salvation in God.
That is why Paul diagrams what he calls the “armor of God.”
He writes, “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 6:14-17, NIV).”
This is a daily preparation for your daily spiritual battles. Don’t be caught unready for battle. Prepare your hearts and your souls for when the devil attacks, and trust me, he will.
Today, as you mark your journey of Lent with the marking of the ashes, may the ashes remind you that we are truly dust and that this battle, as Paul says, is not against flesh and blood, but that it’s a battle for our souls.
As you receive the ashes may they be an outward reminder that you need to repent from you sin and move your heart and soul toward the cross.
Prayer: Protect us O Mighty Ruler and give us Your strength. We thank You that You have provided us with the tools to fight the battles the evil one throws our way. Remind us the importance of preparing ourselves daily for the battles that come our way, that attack our families, our friends, our world, and our faith. Give us courage to fight the good fight, strength to endure the battles, boldness to fight and wisdom to discern what is truth.