Know when to choose your battles. This is great advice for marriage, parenting, and really for life in general. The idea is to save “the fight” for something that really matters. For example, when my son came home from elementary school with excessive orange marker “highlighting” his eyebrows, I let it go. In middle school, when he wanted to wear his hair a little longer and shaggier, “like everyone else,” I didn’t put up a fight. But later, in high school, the stakes for fitting in were a little higher. Temptations abounded and not every friend was a great influence. The battle that raged for my son’s character and integrity was one in which my husband and I wholeheartedly engaged; we wanted him to stand firm and we fought for what was at stake.
- How do you decide which battles to choose? What makes you get in the fight?
READ THE WORD: EPHESIANS 6:10-24 (ESV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.
23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- From this passage, describe the battle: where does it take place, who’s fighting, what tactics does the enemy use?
- Why do we need God’s armor and protection? What is it that we are fighting?
- Make a mental list of God’s specific provision that helps us stand firm. How does each piece of armor protect us?
- Are you aware of the battle? Do you understand its significance? Wherever you are in your day, join the fight to stand firm, right now, by prayerfully putting on the armor of God and by praying in the Spirit.
RESPOND TO GOD
The spiritual battle rages all around us. It rages against our character and our walk with the Lord; it schemes to keep the gospel away from those who desperately need it. God’s part is to fight and our part is to stand firm; he has provided his armor and we are to keep putting it on as a daily cloak of protection. He encourages us to wear this mighty defense and he exhorts us to stay alert. But the final safeguard in this battle is prayer. By prayer, we put on the armor; in prayer, we connect with the Lord who is our strength; through prayer, we petition for ourselves and others. The battle is real and the stakes are high. It’s time to get in the fight.
- Thank God for the abundant provision of his armor and that he has already won the battle.
- Pray that you and your loved ones would stand firm today against the schemes of the devil.