IT’S TIME TO GO ON THE OFFENSIVE!

EPHESIANS 6:13-18: “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. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 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, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” NKJV
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OBSERVATION: Are you living your life on the defensive or are you actively taking the offensive? Life is not a cakewalk. Life is a battle! We battle against temptation, sin, our old nature, and the enemy of our souls. Our battle is not with flesh and bones but it is a spiritual battle. We can live life on the defensive simply by trying to stand our ground. Or, we can learn to live life on the offensive and move forward in victory through Jesus Christ.

I am not a super-saint by any means. Many times I find myself hiding behind the shield of faith. I can feel the impact of the fiery darts of the enemy as they pound against my life. It seems like it is all I can do to simply hold on for dear life. There are times when I am tempted to throw down my shield and walk away. Yet, that is exactly what the enemy wants me to do. If he can get me to give up he wins. And, if he can keep me in a cowered position of defense he keeps me from any move forward.

Paul does not paint a picture of a cowering saint merely eeking out an existence. He calls us to a battle-ready position.

  • “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.”

A ready soldier is always standing. He is not kneeling in fear. He is not being pushed into a corner. He is taking upon himself the whole armor of God so that he can both withstand the evil attacks of the enemy and find himself standing and moving forward in victory. You could write a book on the armor that Paul outlines in this section. However, as I read this once again, as I think about the struggles in my life and the battles I have faced, I am drawn to consider one piece of armor that is essential for all the others to work!

  • “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth…”

Paul calls us to take a stand. He calls us to put on the whole armor of God. And, he gives us instructions on how to put it on. The first instruction he gives us is to – “…stand, having girded your waist with truth.” To understand the impact of this statement we need to understand what it means to “gird” one’s waist. J. Vernon McGee, in his commentary on Ephesians makes this observation regarding this exhortation.

“In the ancient garment of that day, the girdle about the loins held in place every other part of the uniform of the soldier. It was essential. To tell you the truth, if the girdle was lost, you lost everything. The garments would fly open and the pants would fall down.”

He goes on to note a battle that was won by an astute general who commanded his army to cut the belts of the enemy. The battle was won because the opposing army lost their ability to run and all of their weapons were immobilized as their pants fell to the ground. I have often thought of this verse when I have seen a rapper type walking with their pants almost hanging on the ground. I remember one person who had to pull up his pants after every step he took. If he was needed in an emergency – what would he do?

I will never forget the man who auditioned for America’s Got Talent by singing a song he wrote – “Pants on the Ground.” Some of the lyrics went like this…

… Get it up, hey
Get your pants off the ground
Hoo, Get your pants off the ground
Dude, pants on the ground
Told me you were cool
But you looking like a fool
Walkin’ talkin’ with your pants on the ground
Slipping, slumming, with your pants on the ground
Schlopping, walkin’, with your pants on the ground
Boom, bam with your pants on the ground
… Pants on the ground

Pants on the ground
Lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground

Can I suggest to you that most believers are walking around with their pants on the ground? Without truth, we are in no position to win the battle against the enemy who Jesus said – “Is a liar, and is the father of all lies.” When we do not put God’s Word first and foremost in our lives we are like a soldier who has lost his trousers. He cannot run. His sword has fallen to the ground. All he can do is cower behind his shield and hope for the best.

Jesus was very clear about the importance of truth in the process of walking in victory and freedom in our life.

  • “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John‬ ‭8:31-32‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Without truth, everything else becomes useless. We lose control over the defensive weapons that we have been given and we fail to use the two offensive weapons that we need for true victory – the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and prayer in the Spirit, according to the Word of God. Without a commitment to, and an understanding of truth, we don’t know how to use our sword and we are powerless in our prayer life.

I believe this is the cause of spiritual anemia in the church today. I know it has been the cause of spiritual anemia in my life. To abide in Jesus’ word is to abide in the truth. To abide in the truth is to be set free. And, whom the Son sets free is free indeed! I don’t know about you but I am tired of cowering behind my shield. I want to take up the whole armor of God and stand in the evil day! I want to learn how to walk in the freedom where I have been set free.

Lord, turn my heart fully to Your truth. Open my eyes and ears to hear Your voice. Grant me the grace to –

  • “…take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

In Jesus’ Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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