Over the past few weeks God has been speaking to our church in fantastic ways.
He has been telling us about our relationship with Him and how He has provided everything for our every need and for living the unique spiritual life He has designed for each of us.
He has told us that:
1) He gave us victory in life through the victory won at the cross by His Son.
2) He gave us eternal life through the resurrection of His Son, showing us that death and sin have no power to hold us.
3) He placed us in union with His Son through the Body and Blood of His Son.
4) He has given us: A place to belong, a church, our local assembly.
5) He has given us His Word to solve every problem.
6) He has given us His Son, the Vine, to provide all the nutrients necessary for our growth and service.
7) He has told us how to serve, which is an outpouring of our worship of Him.
8) He has given us four spiritual mechanics to fulfill the plan He has for our lives.
(Filling of the Spirit, intake of the Word of God, formation and deployment of the 10 Problem Solving Device’s and growing in the Plan of God for your life.)
And today He is encouraging us to hold the ground He has captured from the enemy in our souls. Eph 6:10-18
And it is fitting on this Memorial weekend, as we honor those brave men who have gone before us to stand up for God and fight for freedom, that we remember them and there sacrifice.
They fought and many died so that you could do just as you are doing this today, freely worshipping the one true and only God.
Without their sacrifice, who knows what this today would be like?
Maybe you would be sitting in a church that is mandated by the state. One, and only one church choice with mandatory attendance.
Or, if the color of your skin was black, you’d be waiting outside for your master to finish his worshiping to bring him home or at best you’d be in the back rows.
Or, maybe you’d be worshipping some form of Buddhism instead of the true God this morning.
Or, for those of you who do not have blonde hair and blue eyes, you wouldn’t be here today.
Or, if your last name ended in berg or some other Jewish heritage name, you wouldn’t be here today.
But the fact is you are here today because of the brave men who gave their youth so that you could enjoy the freedoms you have.
Nobody likes war but whether you like it or not, war gained and maintains the freedoms we have today. But unfortunately many take their freedom for granted and they don’t honor the men who died for their freedom by holding up their end of the bargain. Because all these men wanted for you was for you to be able to serve and worship the one and only true God.
And as we have seen over the past few weeks, God has certainly held up His end of the bargain. He has given us everything. And not only has he given it to us but He has told us He has given it to us.
Turn to Eph 6:10 where we see what our end of the bargain is.
- The soldiers have held up their end!
- God has and continues to hold up His end!
- Now it is our turn to hold up our end!
The beauty of the spiritual life is that God provides everything so we can hold up our end.
In Eph 6:10-12 God reminds us that we all are in a war, every single day and He tells us to be strong in the war.
Eph 6:10 – 12
“Finally be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.
11 Put on the full armor of God,
that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the powers,
against the world forces of this darkness,
against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
So in the warfare that we are in, God says what? He says to pick up and put on the Full Armor of God.
It’s God’s armor; we just need to put it on!
And in this war what does God equip us to do? He equips us to “Stand Firm”.
There it is; that’s your end of the bargain. To Stand Firm on the ground that God has gained for you.
Remember that He, if you let Him, will fight all the battles in you life.
“But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear!
Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD
which He will accomplish for you today….
14The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.”
“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you,
to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”
(God’s law of warfare)
He will gain the ground of the battlefields in your life in victory. The battlefields of drug addiction, alcohol addiction, sexual addiction, money addiction, power addiction, gossiping, maligning, judging, disrespect for authority, (parents, teachers, bosses), etc.
He will win the battles for you. All you need to do is maintain the ground that He has won by putting on the armor.
So what is that armor? Eph 6:13-17 tells us.
Vs 13, tells us to resist and stand firm. That’s your volition. You can choose to give in to temptations or choose to reject them.
The power to reject temptation is found in the two power options, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
Vs 14, gives us those two power options.
The protection of your legs; the base of power in the body must have “Truth” which is the Word of God.
1 Cor 6:4
“In everything commending ourselves as servants of God,
in much endurance, … in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love,
in the word of truth, in the power of God;
by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left.”
The protection of the chest, which is where the heart is, (an analogy of the place we store the Word of God), we have the “Righteousness” of God.
“Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
Righteousness says we have perfection inside of us and have a perfect standing with God. Live in that place of perfection that He has given you.
Vs 15, the protection for our feet is the “Gospel of Reconciliation” which is the peace treaty between God and man.
The Roman soldier’s footwear was the equivalent to what we would call today a cleat. This footwear gave them tremendous advantage in battle to dig in with their feet and hold their ground.
Just as the knowledge of your salvation in Christ gives you the advantage in the battles of life. Knowing you are sealed in Christ by the Holy Spirit should give you the advantage over any attack in life.
Vs 16, we have the “Shield of Faith“. Problem Solving Device #3 that comes up time and time again in scripture as a powerful tool for the believer to win victories.
Using your volition to trust in the Word of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit is faith. Faith will put down any mental, verbal or physical attacks that Satan throws in your face. Heb 11:1-3
Heb 11:1 – 3
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
2For by it the men of old gained approval.
3By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God,
so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
Faith is the means of victory for the believer.
Vs 17, “The Helmet of Salvation“.
Even when the sniper, Satan takes a mortal shot at you, you won’t be killed because you have eternal life
Have confidence in that life and not in the things of the world!
“The sword of the Spirit”
This is the Machaira sword, a short, sharp, double-edged sword. It was a defensive sword but was lethal when used. It was small and agile compared to other military swords of its day, so that it could be unsheathed and put into action quickly.
This is the “sword of the Spirit” because the filling of the Holy Spirit can be done quickly.
Rebound, 1 John 1:9, can be done in a second and then the full power of the lethal Spirit is in action for you.
What is the power the Spirit uses? The Word of God. Heb 4:12
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword,
and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow,
and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
To defend against and kill off those that attack you.
Vs 18, and never forget the thing that makes all the armor work is found in vs 18, Prayer.
In prayer we can summon all the power of God in a moment and ask God for all our needs and for the needs of others.
So with the full armor of God, we can honor those brave men who fought and died for us by using the armor to stand firm in the Plan of God. When we do their sacrifice was for naught.
When we give into the world and follow the petty, meaningless and ridiculous things of Satan and the world, we dishonor them and their sacrifice.
So honor them by learning and applying the Word of God on a daily basis and keep the ground God has won for you.