By God’s Grace, this woman is getting ready to Warrior up!
I have been wallowing in a wounded world, clothed in sadness, wrapped in fear and living in a limbo of unknowns. We’ve all been there at one time or another, so this, in and of itself, is not new. Most of us carry baggage from the past whether we realize it or not. There is an old saying ~ “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me”. In a perfect world, this is true enough. But we do get our feelings hurt. Our hearts get broken and the very core of our being can become fractured.
The ‘Proverbs 31 Woman’ is a lot to measure up to when we are broken. Who am I kidding here? It’s a lot to measure up to, period. Keep in mind that Proverbs 31 was written by the mother of a man who needed to find a good woman. She was the “ideal” woman mama wanted for her son. She didn’t want him to settle for less. But she was an ideal.
Yes, the Proverbs 31 woman is someone to be admired and someone we can strive daily to be closely aligned with, but you cannot allow that ideal to set you back, feeling more imperfect than ever. Our baggage comes in all shapes and sizes, from the sweet little over~nighter to the case that causes us to break out in sweat and huff and puff all day long, lugging it around.
We have all types of stuff loaded in our bags. Things like:
You will never amount to anything!
You will never find a man to love you!
You are no better than the trash the dogs eat!
You can’t call yourself a Christian, when you’ve done that!
What you have done is unforgivable!
You are a pathetic mother, girlfriend, daughter, wife, etc.
You must have been beaten with an ugly stick at birth!
Fat girls get nowhere in this life.
And the list of names we have been called fit nicely into their own little zipper bag. These are just bits that we carry around and they fall out of the cases when we least expect them to do so. Maybe we have been through a divorce, or lost someone we loved with all our heart, or were abused as a child, a wife, girlfriend or mother. Maybe rape is one of those impossibly heavy pieces we drag for years, because no matter how hard we try, we cannot release the handle.
Maybe we flunked out of school, or cannot get a living wage job. Maybe we are single moms with too many mouths to feed and no one around us to help meet the needs. Maybe we are homeless and feel used up. And maybe we have been told we have a terminal disease and feel like there is no point.
I was reading in Ephesians the 6th chapter today. I have heard this passage taught so many times, but today, there was new revelation. I have always said that every time you read your Bible, it should be revelatory. There is always more! This is the passage of scripture I am referring to:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Ephesians 6:10-18
The whole armour. Fighting not against flesh and blood. The whole armour. To fight against the devil. The manipulator of our thoughts. The whole armour of God is to protect us as Warriors to withstand what the devil would use against us.
Breaking it down ~ Gird your loins with truth. Our loins or the vulnerable area between our pelvis and our lower ribs. If you have ever been punched or kicked in the stomach, you know it can knock the wind out of you and take you down, fighting for air. Have you ever felt that way in life? In general? Like the air has been knocked out of you? Gird your loins with truth. How? Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. How perfect that our first piece of defensive armour is to put on Jesus HIMSELF. HE is truth. HE is the greatest weapon in our arsenal against the devil! Gird yourself by staying in lock~step with Jesus! Grab hold of TRUTH and never let it go!
Next comes the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate is a piece of the Warrior’s armour which protects their chest, in point of fact, their heart. True righteousness comes from God. Isaiah 64:6 tells us that our righteousness is as filthy rags. It’s undesirable to say the least. We are to put on HIS righteousness. This is provided for us according to II Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Interesting to note at this point, the belt had to be in place in order to hold a soldier’s breastplate on his chest. If the belt was loosened, the breastplate would fall off. Truth and righteousness go hand in hand, in battle, in armour, in God.
Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace ~ The soldier’s sandals had hobnails attached to them, much like the cleats athletes wear to grip the turf when they run. The soldiers needed to stand firm and have the ability to refrain from slipping in battle. The gospel of peace? Peace and goodwill. The love of God for HIS children through the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior, our Rock, our sure foundation. Romans 8:31 tells us this: “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Our sure footing comes when we stand on the rock that is Christ Jesus. Understanding HIS complete love for us. Knowing that HE is with us to keep our feet from slipping. Stand!
Above all, taking the shield of faith ~ Soldier’s shields were large enough to cover their entire body. They could line up, holding their shields in front of them and form a wall so to speak. They would also cover their shields with animal hide and soak them with water so if flaming arrows were launched from the walls and towers around cities, the wet hide would extinguish the fire. Satan launches many a fiery darts! When we are shielding ourselves with faith, he doesn’t stand a chance of penetrating through the protection. Faith in God promotes belief in HIS ability to see us through every battle. Satan provokes doubt in God. Know that you know what you believe and WHOM you believe. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6. “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9.
The last piece of armour we are instructed to put on is the helmet of salvation. The helmet protects the head and therefore the brain. The part of us that controls everything else about us. Without the helmet to protect his head, a soldier would not be able to stay in the battle long. The helmet of salvation keeps us in the battle long-term. Salvation is eternal as long as we keep the helmet tightly buckled. Jesus gave it all on the cross to purchase our security in HIM. The devil has no power when our minds are stayed on Christ. Salvation enables us to be consistently “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” II Corinthians 10:5 Buckle up!!
Take up the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God ~ All the other pieces of armour are things we must put on our bodies. Defensive armour. Soldiers had a place within their belt that held their sword. How perfect that Truth and the Word were connected in battle. The Word of God is our weapon that allows us to go on the offensive with the devil. It is the weapon of choice to fight in this battle. Here’s the caveat to that. You must know the Word. You must correctly interpret and know the Word. Here’s why. The devil knows scripture. He tried to use scripture against Jesus. Jesus knew the Word because HE is the Word, so when the devil quoted scripture out of context, Jesus pinned his ears back. If you do not know the Word and how to rightly use it, the devil will use it to confuse you. Get into the Word! Scripture interprets scripture. If you don’t understand a scripture, run references on it. Pull out a good concordance. KNOW the WORD!! It is the weapon that can cut the devil down to size and send him racing back to hell. Take up your Bible!
There is no piece of armour that you can put on, defensively, to protect your back. But the greatest protection you will ever find comes in the form of GOD HIMSELF. HIS Word tells us that HE is our rereward. I’ve heard that scripture used before as HE is our REward, and HE is, but not in this context. REREward is protection from the rear. HE is constantly watching our back against sneak attacks by the devil. The devil can’t stab you in the back because God’s got your back! “For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.” Isaiah 52:12
In a side note: I heard someone talking about “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” Matthew 24:7. They talked about divers places being the oceans where divers explore the depths. The word “divers” here κατὰ τόπους: per loca refers to place after place or here and there. Famines, pestilences and earthquakes in many places and while the oceans do experience earthquakes, resulting in tsunamis, it is not exclusive to many earthquakes on land, not to mention famine and pestilence. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15. Psalms 119 has many prayers from David to be able to fully understand God and all HE has to offer and teach us. May this be our daily prayer.
I have shared all of this for one purpose. I am tired of waiting on death. I have been living as though it is coming any moment and while that may be, for none of us know the time or the day we will be called home, I do not want my legacy to be darkened by such silliness. I am standing up! I am taking up the WHOLE ARMOUR of God and I will use the SWORD as often as possible to fight the devil and his wily machinations. That old slew foot will not control my thoughts. I will not give him the ability to taunt me, throw my past in my face. I will not allow him to suppress the Spirit within me. I will no longer condone his manipulations of my thoughts. I will not sit by and wait for my illness to take my life. I will fight to live in peace, to walk in joy, and to live life to it’s fullest potential. I am tossing out the baggage that has weighed me down. I am walking in HIS protection, love, grace and mercy! I am not fighting against flesh and blood. I am fighting the evil one and God’s got my back!
Jesus is the truth. Jesus is the way. All armour is connected to HIM. Every piece of armour is provided in it’s entirety by our walk with HIM. Stay in HIM! Stay in the WORD! STAY IN THE LIGHT and FIGHT!
I love you, but Jesus loves you more!