Friday, April 9, 2010

The Plan That Always Wins

Ephesians 6: 10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength 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.

Does the Principle of Position teach that we do not need to practice spiritual disciplines? Am I saying that as Christians our salvation is secure and so we can do whatever we want and do not need to make Jesus the Lord of our Life? No! No! No! The scripture teaches clearly here that we need to be spiritually mature in the world. Our position in Christ clarifies who we are and frees us to live for our Lord and Savior here and now. This allows Him to speak through us to a lost world, which is His purpose in each of us. We cannot be used by God if we choose to follow evil. Hypocrites who take advantage of their liberty in Christ will suffer the consequences of their actions here and in eternity. As we have noted previously, over 90% of all Christians have chosen to live a worldly life. Understanding and standing on and resting in our position in Christ is a critical step towards maturity and overcoming our old worldly ways.

John and Mary were meeting with me for biblical counseling. One day Mary called in tears. “I won’t be in tomorrow”, she said. Why, I asked? “I’m too ashamed, she replied, John threw me to the floor and I broke my arm. I am embarrassed to walk out the door.” The next day John a muscled construction worker, showed up for the meeting as scheduled. I asked him what happened and he told me his side of the story. “After a rough day at work, I came home and walked into the kitchen. Immediately Mary started yelling at me. I tried to remember that verse you taught me, “be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” I didn’t say a word but turned and walked away. Mary jumped on my back with her arms around my neck and she was choking me and then … she bit me on the shoulder. In reaction, I threw her off of me, with one arm, she landed on the floor and broke her arm.” This true story made it clear to me that I could not draw conclusions without all of the facts. When we met the following week, I started this couple on a plan that I told them would have total success if they would both follow it without fail. They both agreed to meditate on putting on the full armor of God three times a day and at any time they were on the verge of getting into a fight, they agreed to stop, pray, and read the scripture together and meditate on the verses, put on the full armor, and then do whatever the Lord was leading them to do. Guess what happened? Miraculously, this couple who had been fighting continuously for over five years went an entire week without a single fight. Three weeks later they came in and advised me that after a month with no fights, they did not need to come in for counseling any more … that God was now their counselor. They finally realized their fights had not been with each other, but rather the devil had been playing both of them for fools. Satan was actually fighting himself through them. The power of God’s word had driven away the evil that was attacking both of them and the power of God’s word was now renewing and transforming them. Biblical Counseling works best when the human counselor steps back, the counselees meditate and pray on God’s word, and the Holy Spirit intercedes and takes control of the situation.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. This is the key verse. We must understand that, this is all about His power, His victory, His strength and His might. Jesus is the one who enables us to stand firm when we remain focused on our position with Him in heaven. Satan is afraid of Jesus … not you or I. He can bring any one of us down, any day of the week, in a thousand different ways. We are only able to resist as a result of His power, not ours. Twisted versions of truth will be used against us every time by the enemy, but God’s truth absolutely repels him and his attacks. Righteousness will guard our heart and mind from his deceptions. Those who are peacemakers are not as likely to be drawn into foolish quarrels that throw us into a negative consequence auto-pilot. Faith is the reckoning that counts. It is "believing the facts to be true" that we cannot be defeated, because we are standing with Christ and the victory over our lust and pride ... and that Satan and sin have already been defeated. We need to keep our vision focused on Christ and His Word. Salvation secure for eternity provides us with more certainty that victory is absolute. Salvation is the anchor of your soul. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the word was God … is it any wonder that Satan flees the Word of God when we answer him with it? And finally our prayers release it all over to the one and the only one who assures certain victory … lest we become confused, or fall back into our old self.

Does putting on the full armor of God have anything to do with gaining eternal life? No. We already have eternal life. This is about victory over evil in the world. We have no personal power that can win this battle. Only Christ in us will win this battle. This is about defeating 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. Jesus is giving us counsel here in how to defeat the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places and they have taken up residence on every street of the world we live in. Those who choose to live the carnal or worldly life choose to allow Satan to control them in the flesh and wage his war through them. What a horrible thought! There is only one plan that will ever win against this enemy and this plan will win every time. Put on the full Armor of God

Will we grow in spiritual maturity when we learn to put on God’s armor? Of course we will. When we focus and meditate on this or any scripture, we have our eyes on His Word “and the Word was with God and the Word is God” … our focus rightly positioned on the Word, and He is renewing and transforming our mind. But more importantly, we are already positioned with Christ in Heaven … How can we lose?

God Bless you My Friends, Bob
Pray to receive Christ here!

1 comment:

  1. You make an interesting argument for modern armor, and your story of the married couple is a powerful reminder not to listen to just one side of a tale.