Armor of God
By Allison Paala
When I started writing this blog about a month ago I wanted to focus on the importance of time with God, time in fellowship, and time spent reading the Word. About two months ago I became sick and missed multiple Bible studies, live group meetings, and weeks at church. And although I still had time to spend with God in prayer and in the Word, the lack of being around my usual fellowship cast a dark cloud over my head, making it difficult to have fruitful time with God as I usually did. I felt my soul aching for more.
I thought once I was feeling better I could get right back into the swing of things and I would feel God's overwhelming presence again once I stepped back into church and was around the people who lift up my soul.
I was wrong. Satan wouldn't let things be that simple. My time spent at home away from the church had given the evil one the chance to creep into my thoughts. He told me that I was not missed. He told me that I don't need Bible study, that I could enjoy myself more if I do things like sit on social media and play games on my phone. He told me I was not good enough.
I then fell Into to a period of depression where I wasn't enjoying time with God, I wasn't enjoying my family, and just getting out of bed was a struggle. I found myself not wanting to go to bible study even. After that, I KNEW something was very wrong. This was not who God created me to be. I remembered the words in 1 Peter 5:8-9" “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings."
This was one of my dad's favorite verses. He once told me a story of when he first became a Christian and was in the living room reading his Bible. He was so excited to learn about God's word. All of a sudden a feeling of darkness and dread overtook him and he had a very real experience with Satan that night. He told me ever since then that verse reminded him of just how hungry Satan is for vulnerable souls that he can get to. He will try any means necessary to fill our minds with worry, doubt, fear, and loneliness.
As Christians, whether we have had a relationship with God for a long time, or are fairly new to this, it is important to remember to always live with the Armor of God.
Ephesians 6:10-18 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take 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 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. 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.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
This is so important because we are not more powerful than Satan, but God IS. When we hold onto God and allow Him to continuously build into us and shelter us, He will show us when and how to ignore the voice of the evil one. Satan knows how to get to each of us. For some people, it may not be missing church that allows Satan to infiltrate their minds. I have found that Satan creeps in when we are at our most vulnerable and when we let our guards down.
- The way the world is today makes it that much more important to keep God at the center of our lives. Darkness and evil are everywhere: On television, in the news, in our government, in our schools, at our jobs. But as long as we remain steadfast in our faith and trust in God, we do not need to be dismayed. Also, if you are going through a time of darkness, reach out to other Christians, pastors, and elders. Surround yourself with those who God has placed in your life to help in these dark times. Do not be ashamed.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”