His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
I have a sponsor’s meeting tonight at church.
Youth group kicks off again next week for the year, so we’re having a meeting to talk about the “plan” for this year’s EPIC gatherings.
I thought about not helping this year, but every day at work I see the need for Christian adults to be involved in the lives of young people.
I see girls and guys in relationships that do not appear healthy.
I see kids making choices that are leading them down frightening paths.
And, truthfully, one of the biggest reasons I gave up my job last year and took the one I have now was so I could be closer to kids from church and in the same world of people in which Olivia interacts socially.
I should have known the devil would be attacking me so fervently.
I should have known that I was declaring war with the enemy when I had any intention of making a difference in our church by changing jobs.
Why have I been surprised that this has been so difficult?
When I read the verses above this morning, I was a little confused. So I did some commentary hunting and learned that many people believe these “heavenly rulers and authorities” mentioned are actually the “bad guys” in the heavenly world….satan’s helpers.
I’d never thought of the church as a way for God to reveal his eternal purpose to the devil.
I’d never thought that Christians were models of the power of God not just to encourage others on earth but to make the demons aware of God’s power.
I should have.
I should have remembered how Job had been hand-selected by the devil as he roamed the earth “watching” God’s people live.
The devil thought that surely Job was faithful because his life was so perfect…so he challenged God and God gave him permission to test Job.
Do we as the church realize that we are being watched, evaluated, and tested by the evil ones……….and that it is only by the grace of God that we are able to withstand the attacks that come daily?
Putting on the armor of God is a necessary part of our morning routine. Without it we are defenseless.
I feel excited for the first time this morning, because I feel like God is leading me to dive into the armor of God here on my blog. I want to look at each part in detail and see how it is important in order to stand up against spiritual battles.
Our kids need to know about this too.
The church needs to remember Ephesians 6.
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.
That’s why I am going tonight to the sponsor meeting. I want to help our high school students understand that they are in a battle daily as Christians. I want to be reminded myself. When I remember that I am in a war, it makes the attacks seem “normal” not so shocking. It’s scary standing up for Christ. The devil doesn’t want us to live in victory, so I believe he fights us every step of the way.
So what do we do when we are afraid?
I remind myself of Nick’s favorite verse, Joshua 1:9,
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!
Today, as you face the difficult things that come your way, do not forget that these truths:
1. You are being watched (by people, by a cloud of witnesses who are cheering you on, and by spiritual rulers who do not want you to live in victory).
2. God is with you every step of the way.
3. In the end, He wins the final battle!
I love this quote, and hope that it encourages you as you walk out into the world:
Only one life, ‘Twill soon be past.
Only what’s done for Christ will last.