Darkness, Light

Put on the Armor of Light

The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”

Romans 13:12

Oh! The night is far spent, meaning that we may have spent too much time working for ourselves and doing for ourselves. We may have become farsighted in that we only look at things from a distance instead of up close and personal. Sometimes things that are seen up close may be too personal to deal with. We would rather avoid them altogether. Putting on the armor of light is talking about personal relationships with each other and God. Those of us born in the Baby Boomer Generations were concerned about relationships. The value of spending time with family and friends. I made it my mission as a teen to find out the true meaning of what love is. The Baby Boomers brought the symbol for love and peace. Anti-war walks against the war in Vietnam and to live in peace by loving one another was the theme of the day. LSD was the “tune in, turn off and drop out,” drug along with marijuana smoking. Some of us thought it was the end of the world.

Does this sound familiar? If you could only have seen what I have seen after a party at a home in 1974 in Southern California where everyone was dropped out on the floor and lying down into a stupor. Talk about zombie land. There was no light shining in this place of darkness. The Baby Boomers may have inherited the American Dream, but at what cost? Married couples worked very hard to achieve that dream of owning a home. Those who have settled down knew the value of love and friendship within the home and wanted the next generation to understand that value. The world was growing at a fast pace where education and technologies were the key to getting ahead and to have more time for family and friends. I wondered what happened to having more time for family and friends. Today, it is Twitter and Facebook that has become the new method of socializing. Have we become far sighted in our own relationship instead of up close and personal? The divide between each other seems to be the distance between the diamonds of the baseball field. Will we ever reach home plate? Why the division? Is it not self-gratification? Yes, self-gratification has taken over in our actions. When the self is not gratified, it screams out for attention.

Not everyone is looking at the full picture. How did we get to the place we now sit in? Many are living in the moment and denying everything else. The circumstances of Covid-19, the lack of baby formula, the logistic issues, the change in weather patterns, the breakout of war, the shootings, the burglaries, and the crystal meth problem has society screaming out for attention? We see it at a distance until it is up close and personal. Some people are demanding accountability while others are ignoring it altogether. Who is held accountable? It is so easy to point the finger. The apostle Paul states to “make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts,” in Romans 13:14. The principal key in any relationship is responsibility, trust, and respect.

He that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.”

Romans 14:1

Faithful servants of God are responsible to make sure that love works “no ill” against its neighbor or to those within the body of Christ. Let’s step back and look at the word darkness. When a room is dark, one cannot see what is in the room, or what danger there is in the room. Without the light to fill the room, one cannot see their steps. If you stand in darkness, how far can you see? Does not the darkness make everything obscure? Is it not the darkness that makes things unclear, concealed, and hidden? The Hebrew word for darkness is “chashak.” It means to be or grow dark. The word “chashak also speaks to the sanctuary of God in being a place of refuge, but it can also take on the meaning of being separated and cut off from God. The darkness is to consume and destroy without the covering or atonement of God. Who is walking around seeking someone whom he may devour? Is it not the adversary the devil? [ see 1 Peter 5:8]. What about consuming one another?

But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.”

Galatians 5:15

Paul is warning the church to not bite and devour one another to the point of consuming or filling one’s mind and attention to arguing and accusing one another. We all will be judged by God. Remember that anyone who is troubling you shall bear his own judgment, [see Galatians 5:10]. We must step back in order to not be consumed by the enmity of an individual. We must stay under the shelter of God. Under His protection and not to follow those who follow after the flesh and its desires. Remember the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed, can it be, [see Romans 8:7]. Those who are walking in the flesh and who are carnal have lost their blessings or favor in God. We must repent from living in the flesh and come back to God to live in the Spirit where love, joy, and peace reside and not arguing, anger, and bitterness.

To put on the armor of light is to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts, [Romans 13:14]. Whatever I do in life is for the Lord and not for myself. That I cannot achieve within myself, my own righteousness since righteousness is a gift from God, and we all were bought with a price. That price was paid through the blood of Jesus Christ. God sent his son that the world might be saved. This is the love of God for us in that He gave us His only Son. This is the reason why we put on the armor of light, for that light is the light of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the reason why Paul tells us to follow after the things, which make for peace, and things with which one may edify another, [see Romans 14:19]. We are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service, [see Romans 12:1]. This is done on a daily basis for each day belongs to the Lord.

If we are to live unto the lord each day, then we must cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light that will guide our steps in the path of righteousness and not into the path of darkness. Listen to the red-letter words in Revelation chapter 3.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent.”

Revelation 3:19

The above quote was said to the church at Laodicea who is in a state of apostasy. They are denying the truth and changing doctrine to meet their own personal belief. If you are not in conviction even as a Christian in your everyday walk with God, then something is wrong with your communion with God. We must continue to grow into the image of Christ, and this only comes as we learn about God’s ways and receive instruction into the word [the bible] that brings conviction into our heart. If you have stopped reading his word, you have no conviction and you have no instruction into the heart of God. Part of the armor of light is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, [see Ephesians 6:17]. How can you overcome the evil if you do not know how to stand in faith and put on the armor of light. If you are not chastened by the Lord, how can you grow into the image of Christ. Therefore, be zealous and repent while there is still time. Repent is to change your mind in the way you walk to the way of God. If you have fallen from the grace of God, get back under it by repenting from your ways to that of God’s way.

Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace where we may obtain mercy. If you have any kind of need, any unbelief in your heart, or a weakness, take it to the Lord in prayer. It is only Christ that can reconcile us back to God. It is Christ that has given us life. It is Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith. It is Christ who will keep us in perfect love. May we put on the “Armor of Light” each day and walk in love until He comes.

Who is knocking at the door?

Armor of God

The Warrior’s Armor

Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

Ephesians 6:11

The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light exclaims the apostle Paul in Romans 13:12. I have not heard anyone preach about putting on the armor of light, but I have heard preaching about the armor of God. A warrior is one who specializes in combat. The term warrior may bring back thoughts of the Middle Ages when the Roman Catholic Church brought an order of knights to a religious military order known as the Crusaders. What does it mean to be a Christian warrior? First of all, let us remember that a real soldier has had hours of basic training in combat warfare and have learned all about the enemy tactics. The Spirit-filled believer knows that their helper comes from the Lord God. They walk in the spirit and not in the personal desires of their own flesh. They have set themselves aside for the Lord’s service. A Christian knows what defiles a man.

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Mark 7:22

A Christian may battle their own demons when it comes to their own heart. These personal battles must be fought through personal prayers through the Spirit and released in order for the Holy Spirit to rule a believer’s life. The Christian warfare that he or she fights, is a battle against spiritual wickedness in high places as Paul tells us in Ephesians chapter 6 in verse 12.

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.

Ephesians 6:12

First of all, our battle is not against flesh and blood in the natural world. This means we do not fight in the physical against anyone. This can be a hard thing to do since we are driven by emotions to fight in the physical by what we feel emotionally. A Christian puts their life in God’s hand and does not walk alone. The Holy Spirit is with them every step of the way when their eyes are upon the Lord. The battleground is the world, for not everyone is a Christian and will go their own way by following their own will. Paul tells us the fight is in high places which means in the heavenlies. This means that it is a spiritual battle that is taking place for the souls of men in this world. This may include Christians who are not walking in the will of God.

For example, I can remember how accusations can take place among the body in the church where certain individuals went against an individual and wanted to take them down from all authority within the church. I can remember sitting in a meeting when those in leadership wanted me to not befriend this individual. Let me make it clear that our Lord stands on our behalf in any battle that is being fought. I sat at this meeting grieving in the Spirit and tears flowed down my face. I could not stop crying. But God knew the heart of these men and women. The accusations were diffused, and the subject changed. It was the Holy Spirit who worked on the minds and heart of the leadership. When you can witness this yourself, you begin to see with new eyes and understand what it means to be in a spiritual battle and what defiles a man.

A warrior must stand in the truth of God’s word and not in any other word. When Paul tells us to stand having our loins girded about with truth [Ephesians 6:14], this means to practice tucking up the longer skirt in order to not be hampered in the battle. In First Peter chapter one in verse 13, Peter states, “grid up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” It is the revelation of Jesus Christ that is the hope of our calling, and it is brought to us by the grace of God. Our minds are to be girded with the truth of Jesus Christ. This will prepare us for the difficult or challenging circumstances in life that we may face. This has been known as the belt of knighthood which symbolizes the purity and honor you have through Christ. Then we put on the breastplate of righteousness as we stand in Christ righteousness and not in our own righteousness.

That I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

Philippians 3:9

Our righteousness is through faith in Christ Jesus, and it is not our own righteousness. The apostle Paul said, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth,” [see Romans 10:4]. In verse three of Romans Chapter ten Paul explains that Israel was ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, for they have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. Let us make sure that we are not working for our own righteousness and become ignorant of God’s righteousness like Israel. It is through faith in Christ only that we received righteousness, and this becomes our breastplate before our feet is shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Are you ready to walk in the gospel of peace? Are you walking in the good news of Jesus Christ who came to bring salvation to all man? This is the everlasting gospel where Jesus died for our sins and was raised up from the dead for our justification. Christ is the object of our faith. Are we ready to preach the good news? Are we ready to testify what Christ has done for us?

What will quench the fiery darts of the wicked? Is it not our faith? Yes, it is the shield of faith in Christ Jesus that will quench the fiery darts of the wicked [see Ephesians 6:16]. Are we ready to walk in Christ in faith and preach the good news to our friend and neighbor? The word is neigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach, states Paul in Romans 10:8. As we take the helmet of our salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. It is Jesus who was perfect and who became the author of eternal salvation to all who would believe and obey [see Hebrews 5:9]. The word of God is the sword of the Spirit for it will discern our thoughts and what is in our hearts.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12

The word of God is our sword in every battle that we enter. This is the warrior’s weapon the word of God spoken in truth by the Spirit of God. We must gain revelation to its true meaning in our own life. The apostle Paul was a warrior for God and had the armor of God on and he knew where he stood in Christ. He was hindered from reaching the church at Thessalonians. Paul stated it was Satan that hindered him [see 1 Thessalonians 2:18]. Paul was bold in speaking the gospel of God and it was without deceit [see 1 Thessalonians 2:3]. We can also be hindered by Satan; therefore, we must pray with all prayers and supplication in the Spirit to be unhindered and watch with perseverance and supplication for all saints. Remember the word is neigh thee even in thy mouth. Put on the Lord Jesus, for Jesus is the armor of God. Christ must live inside us, for our victory is in Christ. Whatever battle you may be in, remember you are not alone when you put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Standfast in the Lord who is the victor in every battle. That means you are standing in victory through Christ. Give thanks to the Lord, and “be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s,” [2 Chronicles 20:15].”

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 15:56