It’s not a coincidence that I keep finding myself in Ephesians 6:10-18. Our last sermon series at church was focused on these verses, I just bought a Bible study on these particular scriptures and last week when I was at my lowest, a friend told me to read them every single morning.
You see, the past week was beyond rough – and as I read the words in Ephesians 6, I immediately knew why – the Enemy was attacking me in every single area of my life (even in the most subtle ways).
I felt like a failure in the motherhood department. Spring Break threw Jackson completely off and to say it was a hard week would be an understatement. I felt distant from my family even though they were right beside me. I tried to hold it together when all I really wanted to do was cry. There was friendship drama that left me second guessing everything I had said and done. There was a harsh review on Amazon that took my book out of context. I was exhausted and the thoughts racing through my mind were not lovely ones.
So I opened my Bible and read these words: (Ephesians 6:10-18 The Message)
And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in the ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
Here’s what stood out to me the most:
- You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own.
Know what I tried to do last week? I tried to handle all the hard stuff in my own strength. I know better than that; but I let busyness and chaos keep me from my true source of strength – Jesus.
God says when we’re weary and burdened we should come to him for rest. (Matthew 11:28)
Instead of surrendering everything to Him last week; I tried (and failed) to figure it out on my own.
- God’s Word is an indispensable weapon
After reading the Amazon review I really wanted to fight back, but deep in my spirit I heard God say: this is not your battle; it’s mine. I resisted the urge to set the woman straight and defend my book. I also discovered I sold several copies of my book after that review was posted.
I’m not saying the review didn’t sting. It definitely did. But God reminded me that her review does not define me. Her review will not keep others from buying my book. God is ultimately in control and when I keep my heart and mind focused on His Word, I’m much more prepared for the sneaky ways the enemy tries to trip me up.
- Prayer is essential. Pray long and hard.
My prayer life was pretty non-existent last week. I threw up a few desperate pleas and thought some not-so-great things about my circumstances, but there were no long and hard prayers.
Long, hard weeks call for long, hard prayers.
But when I’m in the midst of the mess, I have a tendency to run from God instead of to Him.
I waste precious time complaining and crying instead of praising and preparing for battle.
And Ephesians 6:18 makes it clear that without prayer the battle cannot be won.
It’s like our pastor said a few weeks ago, the enemy will do anything in his power to keep you from connecting with God. Satan’s goal is to get you too busy to connect with Jesus.
Last week the enemy wiggled his way into so many areas of my life. He’s trying to do the same thing this week. I’ve allowed him to trip me up. I’ve questioned my identity.
But not anymore.
This week my nose is stuck in the book of Ephesians. I’m reading verses 10-18 over and over and over. I’m writing them in my journal. I’m gonna pray long and hard. I’m going to believe His truth over the enemies lies.
I’m preparing for battle.
I’m declaring victory.