Words of Hope: The Full Amor of God
One of the passages of Scripture Dad and I memorized is Ephesians 6:10-18. Verse 12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against rulers, against powers, against the world forces of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Quite a list! After I read this, the song “The Battle Belongs to the Lord” comes to mind.
Dad talked about how the prince of darkness, known as Satan, has four goals: to deceive, to distract, to divide, and to discourage. I can see the workings of this permeating my thinking and my world at times. Dad would ask me where I feel I am being deceived (deception happens not in the areas we believe will happen but in areas we think will never happen— places of pride, confidence, certainty. Next, what is distracting me from my mission and purpose? What root sins am I failing to address because I am distracted by other addictions or blame others? What is creating division in my life, home, friendships, community, and how am I contributing to that division? Where am I feeling discouraged— is there something I need the courage to do that God is asking of me?
Dad asked beautiful questions that brought us to the heart of Scripture. He made something that could be hard to make personal into something deeply transformational.
Thank you, Dad, for giving me an awareness of how the Devil tries to usurp God’s presence in my life and how to combat that by taking up the whole armor of God.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the Devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” – Ephesians 6:10-18