Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: How to successfully fight an unseen enemy

Help When Fighting an Unseen Enemy
A devotional by Sarah Cole

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
— 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NIV

After my first concussion, vertigo made it difficult to live a normal life. The physical therapist explained that my brain and eyes weren't working together, throwing off my equilibrium and confidence in the world around me. It felt like I was living in the house of mirrors at the state fair, but my symptoms were lying to me.

This experience reminds me of how Satan whispers to us about situations to get us off balance. Like a lion hunting for its prey, he capitalizes on our insecurities and weaknesses and pierces our hearts with arguments that wound us where we’re most vulnerable. His whispers of sabotage may sound something like this:

"If you were more attractive, your spouse wouldn't have left."

"If God loves you, why are you still sick?"

"If you didn't have a weight problem, you would be married."

"If you were more talented, your boss wouldn't have passed you up for the promotion."

"If you were stronger, you wouldn't struggle with addiction."

On the surface, these lies often seem accurate, and that is why they're so powerful. Satan is a master deceiver. He cleverly constructs schemes and distorts our experiences to destroy us. He is the father of lies, and his goal is to get us to doubt what God says about us.

But the good news is that if you're a believer in Jesus Christ then Satan has no power over you unless you believe him. Jesus paid the penalty for your sins by dying on the cross, so now you are sitting next to Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). But as long as you live, the enemy has you in his crosshairs, so God gave you a spiritual wardrobe to protect you called “The Armor of God”. 

The Apostle Paul explains why in Ephesians 6:12-13 (NIV) which reads, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

Patterned after the armor of a Roman soldier in ancient Rome, this armor is powerful. Let’s study every part of it in Ephesians 6:12-18 to see how each piece of God’s Armor protects you:

The helmet of salvation protects your mind from lies about your salvation, worth, and relationship with God.

The sword of the Spirit, The Word of God, is your only offensive weapon. Use it to speak the truth about your identity, God's character, and Satan's defeat.

The breastplate of righteousness protects your heart from temptation (mind, ambition, conscience, emotions). 

The shield of faith builds your trust in God and extinguishes the enemy's fiery darts. When you walk by faith, not sight, you won't give in as quickly to emotions.

The belt of truth helps you take thoughts captive and keeps you grounded in what God says about you.

The shoes of the gospel of peace protect you when you resist worry and find security in Christ, not in people or circumstances.

Prayer calls on the power of God to assist you. You can't be victorious without it.

On a battlefield, neither side wins without effective weapons. So, when you put on the Armor of God and stand firm against the enemy, my friend, you'll be unstoppable.

Let's Pray:
Dear God, thank you for equipping me with weapons that protect me against an unseen enemy. When arrows come my way, help me stand firm in the truth and remember that Christ defeated him on the cross. In Jesus's Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Sarah Cole’s interest in writing began in grade school when her poem was published in the local paper. As she got older, her mother’s chronic illness inspired her to design a line of greeting cards.

Since then, she has written for her college newspaper and two community newspapers where she wrote restaurant reviews and articles for their “Best of” spread.

Her experience as an administrator in the marketing field gave her the opportunity to write ads for a local business journal.

After a 20-year detour and a three-year season of adversity, God reignited her passion to write. Two divine appointments later, the short story she wrote about her father appeared in the St. Paul Almanac, and a short story about her cocker spaniel Gigi was published in Guideposts (magazine) Mysterious Ways. She believes her adversity was worth the lessons God taught her.

During this year (2022) and the next (2023), Sarah’s devotionals will be published in The Secret Place by Judson Press, as well as David C. Cook’s Devotions and The Quiet Hour. To this day, she smiles, pinches herself and gives God all the glory.

When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watching cooking shows, designing cards and mugs, and taking day trips.

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