Devotions for the Praying Heart
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You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
2 Timothy 2:3 – 4

As 21st century believers surrounded by modern comforts and conveniences, it’s easy for us to slip into a casual peacetime attitude. It’s easy to start thinking like civilians instead of soldiers. When that happens, we must turn to Ephesians six and remind ourselves that we’re called to live perpetually ready for battle. We must read again the instructions of the apostle Paul:

Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able to successfully stand up against [all] the strategies and deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and … right standing with God. And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the gospel of peace, lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people). (verses 11 – 18 Amp)

Some years ago, I met a group of Christian young people in China who truly personified that alert, soldier-like mentality. As members of the underground Church, they faced frequent persecution. When I asked them how they handle it they said, “We’re very watchful. We know that persecution comes from Satan, so when the authorities come to arrest one of us, the first knock on the door sends us scattering to our homes where we pray until the wave of persecution stops.”

Those Chinese believers aren’t dull. They aren’t casual. They don’t sit around scratching their heads wondering what’s going on. They all know exactly what to do to stop the attack of Satan—and they do it.

What’s more, they don’t live like lone rangers. They don’t act as if the believer who’s arrested is in a war all by himself. They take responsibility for each other. They understand that if one of them is in a battle, they are all in a battle.

For their own sake and for each other’s, they are faithful to pick up their weapons and fight.

Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 4:1 – 23

Source: Devotions for the Praying Heart by Lynne Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Lynne Hammond Ministries

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