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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.
1. Satan is the ruler here - We have been rescued from sin and death by the blood of Jesus; it is such good news! But we are (clearly) not in heaven yet. This verse from our readings really struck me: We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. (I John 5:19) John goes on to say how Jesus came and give us understanding so we can know God, which we need, because satan still controls the world. No wonder his voice seems so loud!
2. Our hearts are still prone to sin - We have been rescued from sin and death by the blood of Jesus; it is such good news! But we are not yet fully sanctified. It's coming! So for now, we war against our ever-present pride, lack of self-control, anger, sloth, etc., or should I say, they war against us. And when we look at our sins, away from Christ, their voices get louder and louder, until we're defining ourselves only by our failures and not our family relationship to God in Christ.
3. No Culture is out to honor God, but man - We have been rescued from sin and death by the blood of Jesus; it is such good news! But we still live in the world, a world which does not want to honor God. So we watch the news, read articles, browse magazine covers, and go to school and work, seeing and hearing mainly messages that pull our eyes from the Lord and His work and promises to ourselves and the evil at work in the world. The culture (no matter which one we're in) screams at us, This is what you need to do to be accepted and loved. Sure most of them contradict one another and leave you confused, angry, and sad, but just keep trying to be what you think people want you to be! You can do it if you just exert enough will power! The culture wants us to conform to ever-changing standards. The voices are loud. loud. LOUD.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ~Romans 12:1-2
|Another translation beings, Be alert and self-controlled ...|