The AMI QT Devotionals for July 31-August 6 are provided by Christine Li. Christine, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, currently lives and works in New York City. She serves at Remnant Church in Manhattan.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
“Equipped for Battle”
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.14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; 16 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.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
A coworker and I were recently chatting about his summer, which was mostly spent following his son’s traveling lacrosse team. I asked him how he liked having his son play at a high level; he said that he was proud of his son, but he was always annoyed at how expensive the sport’s gear was. Helmets, pads, gloves, shoes, the stick, etc. – all of these things added up quickly! However, being protected was a non-negotiable part of the experience. And it would also be impossible for the parents to buy some gear and not others: if the son went in with shoulder pads but no helmet, he could be seriously injured!
We know that maintaining our Christian faith is often compared to war – the stakes and intensity of it is even greater than that of high school sports. But, so often, we begin our days completely unaware that we are going into battle and need to prepare. Paul’s exhortation here reminds us that there are many parts to the armor that we have to wear, and we also have to arm ourselves daily with it. If any part of our armor is weak or missing, then we must ask for it to be strengthened and become aware that we are vulnerable.
So, let’s take Paul’s armor as a guideline for how to equip ourselves to maintain our faith each day. For example, we can daily refresh ourselves with the truths of God’s character and goodness that we can trust in. We can also be assured that God has given us righteousness and fight accusations of shame and guilt that would derail us. Let’s be sure to not just take a defensive stance but also be ready to engage: Are we equipped with the Word of God, ready to wield it in offense against the enemy?
Today, as we come to God at church to worship, let’s ask Him to reveal to us where we need His strengthening. We can have faith that His power is already proved on this earth; we know that in the battles we face that we will be victorious in His power. Let’s not allow ourselves to go one more day without being strengthened by God.
Prayer: Father, thank You that You do not leave us defenseless and unprepared for this life of battle. Would You draw our minds to know where we are weak, and where we can be strengthened by Your truths and Your presence? Help us with this armor so that we can stand firm in this life and also continue to work on behalf of Your kingdom. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 16