Three Truths to Help Us Remain Vigilant in Spiritual Warfare
“Then comes the devil, who baits and badgers us on all sides, but especially exerts himself where the conscience and spiritual matters are concerned. His purpose is to make us scorn and despise both the Word and the works of God, to tear us away from faith, hope, and love, … these are snares and nets; indeed, they are the real ‘flaming darts’ that are venomously shot into our hearts, not by flesh and blood but by the devil.” (Luther’s Large Catechism, the Sixth Petition)
IT’S A BATTLE DOWN HERE!
The devil, the father of lies, is at work along with the sinful world and our own sinful flesh. He is deceiving in the way he operates. It is important to STAY AWAKE! We must daily realize that we are poor, miserable sinners who are not immune to the devil. We need to be on guard. It takes daily discipline to be vigilant, alert, and watchful to avoid danger. Our routines in life need to be prioritized so that God remains number one.
WE ARE EQUIPPED FOR THE BATTLE!
Ephesians 6 clearly shows how God has provided His children with the armor for this battle. We are robed in the blood of Christ the Lamb and together, as the communion of saints, can offer support and encouragement to one another. God provides us with the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit …THE WORD OF GOD! God has given us HIS WORD to meditate upon and to empower us to stand strong! In his book, Grace Upon Grace: Spirituality for Today, Dr. John Kleinigtells of the “hearing heart” that we need to develop daily so as to receive God’s grace. He states, “In Luke 8:15, Jesus emphasizes the need for ongoing hearing. He connects fruitful hearing with meditation on the Word … the hearer should take hold of the Word and keep it in the heart.”1
GOD IS OUR GUIDE AND OUR GUARD
God is the guide and giver and we are the followers and the receivers of His grace. Creating and abiding by a regular routine of reading His Word will foster an environment for our hearts to be receptive to His Word and His guidance. By the power of the Holy Spirit working through His Word in our lives, we will be alert, watchful, and avoid danger!
Consider your life. Is it time to eliminate some of the “stuff” that gets in the way of your devotional time? We all have different rhythms and routines that fit our personalities and lifestyles; so let’s determine to make use of God’s Word and grace in our words and actions as we pray “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
1 John W. Kleinig, Grace Upon Grace: Spirituality for Today, (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2008) 113.
This blog post is the second of several leading up to the 2013 All Pastors’ Conference. The theme, “They Devoted themselves to … ,” is based on Spiritual Disciplines. Dr. John Kleinig will be the keynote presenter and help pastors dive further into the disciplines.