Dressed for Withstanding

by Brenda Poinsett

Brrrr! I shivered just listening to the weather report: three degrees below zero with fierce winds making the chill factor fifty-three degrees below zero! “Don’t go outside unless you absolutely have to,” cautioned the announcer. “Just a short exposure to the wind can cause frostbite. If you must go out, make sure all your skin is covered.”

My son Jim, a first grader, had to walk two blocks to where he waited for the school bus to arrive in our subdivision. I couldn’t believe schools didn’t close because of the weather, but they didn’t, so I dressed him to endure. I made him wear an undershirt, a long-sleeved shirt, a sweater, a coat, a ski mask to cover his face, gloves for his hands, two pairs of pants, heavy socks, and tall boots. Surely, I thought, with all these clothes on, he could wait for the bus, even if it were late, without getting frostbitten.

“But, mom, I feel so heavy,” Jim complained as he squirmed under the weight of the extra clothing.

“I know, dear, but that’s not what’s important. What is important is your being able to withstand the wind.”

Hmmm, I thought, something about this conversation sounds familiar. As I opened the door for Jim to leave and felt a blast of cold air, it hit me. This is like getting ready to deal with evil! We need to be dressed for the fight. Here’s what the apostle Paul recommends in Ephesians 6:14-17.

  • A belt of truth so we can gather up any hindrances that we are wearing which would keep us from moving freely. We don’t want to trip or fall in the fight against evil.
  • A breastplate of righteousness or you might say uprightness of character. To neglect to live by what we know to be right and true is to leave a spot open for being infected by evil.
  • A pair of shoes shod with the gospel of peace. These shoes prevent slipping and falling. They give us firmness in walking, standing our ground and moving forward without fear.
  • A shield of faith to resist fiery darts of temptation. With a faith shield, we can quench the fire of the darts and deflect them when they come hurling toward us.  A large shield is recommended because darts can come from various directions and hit high or low.
  • A salvation helmet. This headgear reminds us repeatedly that Christ saved us from past sins, present sins, and future sins. Wearing it reassures us that we are forgiven and loved.
  • A sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. This is not actually something we “put on” like the other items listed here. Rather it is a hand-held weapon for fighting evil. We can use it to defend ourselves or as an offensive weapon to fight wrong in the world.

It’s important that we put on the whole armor of God as we daily enter a challenging world. To miss putting something on would leave us venerable to attack just as an uncovered part of Jim’s skin would have made him vulnerable to frost bite.

I’ll admit dressing like this to fight evil often feels as uncomfortable to me as my protective items did for Jim. It’s heavy! I’ve never gotten up in the morning and said, “Yippee, I get to put on the armor of God today and go out and face the world,” and yet I do. I do it because I want the same thing I wanted for Jim. I want to be able to withstand.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Ephesians 6:13 KJV

Dressed for Withstanding – encouragement from Brenda Poinsett on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

brenda poinsett (2)About the author: Brenda Poinsett works with women who want a new lease on life and with adults who want to know Jesus better. She does this through writing, speaking and teaching. She’s the author of more than 20 books.

Her book, When Saints Sing the Blues, examines depression from a biblical perspective with the study of eleven prominent individuals in the Bible who felt sad, hopeless, and overwhelmed. It points to hope and healing by showing that growth from depression is possible.

Join the conversation: How do you dress to withstand?



Blow Away the Fog of Doubt

by Sheryl Giesbrecht @SGiesbrecht

Do you want to know what is ahead? Does your way seem blocked or clouded by questions?

By praying Scripture, we turn on the light of truth and invite God’s presence to overtake the shadows. We do battle God’s way. When we obediently put on our ‘spiritual armor’ to fight, we stand firm in the authority of Christ.

The truth is, we are already ‘more than conquerors’ through the price He paid for us; we claim a victory that’s already won. Christ gave us a new identity when He took over our lives. “[God] made us alive together with Christ…so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5, 7 ESV)

What’s so amazing about grace? Everything. As believers, God’s grace engulfs us every single moment, but in the flurry of life, we overlook how involved God’s grace actually is in the minute details of our lives. I’ve been having numerous ‘grace encounters’ lately. God has already paved the way for me: “I have set the Lord continually before me; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8 NASB).

Some of you might not know how you can even take the next step in life, let alone, walk down the driveway to pick up the daily newspaper. It’s when we understand that we cannot walk another inch forward without God’s grace—and that grace becomes most precious and most glorious.

God will give you exactly what you need from Him. “[The Lord] has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB).

Want increased impact? Pray the Warrior’s prayer every day. Jesus has already won the battle. Now put on the Armor of God by praying each piece of the armor over yourself with God’s word. Our war is not against flesh and blood, you are victorious through scriptural prayers. Here’s the Warrior’s Prayer straight from Ephesians 6:14-17:

Heavenly Father, Your Warrior prepares for battle. Today I claim victory over Satan by putting on the whole armor of God! I put on the Girdle of Truth! May I stand firm in the truth of Your word, so I will not be a victim of Satan’s life. I put on the Breastplate of Righteousness! May it guard my heart from evil, so I will remain pure and holy, protected under the Blood of Jesus Christ. I put on the Shoes of Peace! May I stand firm in the good news of the gospel, so Your peace will shine through me and be a light to all I encounter. I take the Shield of Faith! May I be ready for Satan’s fiery darts of doubt, denial and deceit, so I will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat. I put on the Helmet of Salvation! May I keep my mind focused on You, so Satan will not have a stronghold on my thoughts. I take up the Sword of the Spirit! May the two-edged sword of Your Word be ready in my hands, so I can expose the tempting words of Satan. By faith Your Warrior has put on the whole armor of God! I am prepared to live this day in spiritual victory! Amen

Blow Away the Fog of Doubt – insight from @SGiesbrecht on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

sheryl giesbrechtAbout the author: Exchanging hurt for hope is Sheryl Giesbrecht’s focus—a message she shares with audiences as a radio and television personality, author and speaker. She served as Focus on the Family’s columnist for Pastor’s Wives for four years. Hundreds of her columns, magazine, It'll Be Okay: Finding God When Doubt Hides the Truth by [Giesbrecht Turner, Sheryl]and devotional articles have appeared in Focus on The Family MagazineJust Between Us, Discipleship JournalCCMWalk Thru the Bible’s –  and Tapestry, Live-Living and Charisma publications. She is the author of four books including, Experiencing God Through His Names (Bold Vision, February 2017) and It’ll Be Okay: Finding God When Doubt Hides the Truth (Redemption Press, March 2018). You can find more about Sheryl at www.fromashestobeauty.com, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and InstagramSign up to receive Sheryl’s weekly blog on her website: www.fromashestobeauty.com.

Join the conversation: How do you deal with doubt?