Remember back in Session 2- Living Beyond? We learned about the component of Peace—it Rules! I continue to be amazed at how God is connecting the dots for us. From Session 1- Breath (peace be with you) to Session 2-Living Beyond (peace rules). Wow! As we stay lock step with the Holy Spirit, girding our loins with the belt of truth and our breastplate of righteousness (rightful living), we can walk in our Father’s shoes of Peace.
Speaking of Shoes…
For those of you that know me, you know that I am a big fan of shoes. YES, shoes! All types of shoes.
I often tell my girls when they have events that require them to dress up, “girls, remember, the shoes make the outfit”.
As we continue our study about putting on the full Armor of God each day, our conversation points to one my favorite subjects, shoes.
Shoe inspection time ladies…what kind of shoes are you wearing?
Priscilla discusses two elements of Peace (one of which we discussed in Session 2).
1. Peace With God (God Gives Us Peace):
Peace with God is credited. Not because of what we have done, but because of Christ. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, He has created the bridge so that can now be in right standing and can approach the throne as a friend of God. As Christians, we can now have a personal relationship with God.
2. Peace Of God (He Is Peace):
Peace of God because of the Father and Son, we have the Holy Spirit. At the moment of our salvation, the Holy Spirit indwells in us. We are given the power to live beyond ourselves. To walk victoriously as we stay lock step with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to Do, Feel and Know.
I think it would be safe to say that we all from time to time, need a bold reminder of the power of Peace. That it is both with God and of God. Peace is our anchor. God gives us peace and He is peace.
Satan would love nothing more than to see our lives in a total downward spiral, tossed this way and that like a raggedy chew toy. Why? Because the further he can keep us from the truth, the further he can cause disbelief, disharmony, confusion, the further we are from God’s light, power and purpose for our lives. The further we are from sharing the Good News with others. Through Christ Jesus we already have what we need. Satan wants us to forget this one important fact. It’s been the age-old plan since the beginning- the Garden- Eden. Time and time the Bible provides us with examples and reminders of those who came before us (their struggles and triumphs in Christ). Clearly, we are not alone. As fellow sister princesses in the Spirit, we must continue to pray and uplift each other. This battle is not a solo mission; we are in this together with Jesus leading the charge.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Remember Princesses we have an awesome and mighty Father, you have an inheritance. Stand firm.
Last week, I began praying about the term “standing firm”. From our lessons this past week, “standing firm” continued to be an Actionable Intel item that resonated daily.
What does it mean to “stand” firm?
In Ephesians, Paul points us in the direction of what “standing” firm means:
Standing firm in Truth (this is our core). Our belt of Truth is a reminder of God’s word and His will for our lives- He’s Able.Standing firm in Righteousness (this is our breastplate- the Heart is the centerpiece of our soul). It is walking in a manner worthy of being called what we been called – Right Living. (Ephesians 4:1)Standing firm in Peace (these our shoes of protection). They keep us grounded when the torrential storms of life come.
Mentioning storms, last week Priscilla shared a great storyo about the eagle and how this majestic winged creature uses the wind and elements of the storm to navigate above and through the storm.Take a look- The Armor of God- Week 4
Standing firm in Faith (we will get to this next week- J)
Standing Firm- Physical and Spiritual
Standing firm can be both physical and spiritual. There are times when God calls us to stand firm physically, but requires that we move spiritually. Here’s what I mean. While God may not call us to act - to say or do something physically, He is commanding that we advance spiritually through prayer and standing firm in trust, righteousness, peace and faith. You see I initially thought standing firm met no action, no movement, but God helped me to understand and reminded me that He is a Both/And God. In other words, standing firm physically (until He advises otherwise with a decision), but also advancing/moving forward spiritually in victory though prayer, thankfulness, belief, trust, righteousness, peace and faith in Him. Our spiritual advancement sends a strong message to the enemy that we are moving forward, we are following God’s lead; we are tearing down the strongholds. We are protecting our fortress.
As we continue to understand the power that God has given us through the Holy Spirit, we can begin living beyond ourselves and spread the good news; the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As stated in James 1:2-4, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Further in Philippians, 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Let’s Practice remembering the pieces of our Father’s armor that has been entrusted to us:
The Whole Armor of God
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 having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Ephesians 6:10-15(ESV)
Week 4 Recap (page 92-93)
We have a very real, sinister enemy that is invisible but not fictional. We cannot survive the storms of life without God’s peaceSatan knows that where this is no peace, there is no victory.When God’s peace is locked in you life, it will become your guard and protector.In Jesus Christ, we have peace with God.Thanksgiving activates peace. (Trust fuels thanksgiving. Thanksgiving activates peace.)
Actionable Intel for your prayer strategy (the “linchpin that holds our armor together”) from Week 3 (Breastplate of Righteousness)
It’s about the Heart of the Matter as Christians we are righteous and good. GO!Guard your heartI am righteous (practice (practical) righteousness and credited (imputed) to us)Surrender your heart (righteousness is in you)Sanctification- molded in the image of GodHoly courage
Prayer “empowers and ‘charges up’ every other piece so they can be used effectively against the enemy. Without prayer…your armor, cannot, will not, be infused with the power that only God’s-Spirit can give.”
So, what kind of "shoes" are you wearing Princesses? Remember, the shoesmake the outfit (armor)!
Know that through the Holy Spirit you can:
• do things you couldn't;
• feel things you didn't; and
• know things you wouldn't.
For your praise and worship:
My Soul Is Anchored – Douglas Miller
Be Grateful – Walter Hawkins Tribute (Ledisi)
I Told The Storm - Greg O'Quin 'N Joyful Noize
Thank You - Mary Mary
Spread the word and invite someone to Session 3 (March 15- April 2016) as we continue our conversation and study about life in the Holy Spirit. Bring your prayer journal with you!
See you on Tuesday, April 12th - Week 5 of The Armor of God, Stark County Library Main Campus, INNOVATION CENTER.
Remember, each day is an opportunity for us to...
Lead, Serve, GO!
Each day we have an opportunity to be the light and salt God has called us to be to others. Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)