The Wrestling Match

Detail - Glory of the New Born Christ in prese...

Detail – Glory of the New Born Christ in presence of God Father and the Holy Spirit (Annakirche, Vienna) Adam and Eva are represented bellow Jesus-Christ Ceiling painting made by Daniel Gran (1694-1757). Post-processing: perspective and fade correction. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Wrestling Match By http://www.girlfriendsingod.com

 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. – (Ephesians 6:10-12, NIV)

It was the end of the school year.  The sun was blazing in the sweltering high 80s with not a hint of shade to be found on the treeless playground.  The boys were stinky from their sweaty schoolyard endeavors and the girls were now wilted versions of the fresh flowers they had been that morning.  It was almost time for the big wrestling competition.  Electric excitement lingered in the air.  I was a fifth grader at West Hempfield Elementary School in Irwin, Pennsylvania and I had signed up to participate in the wrestling match.

To this day, I’m somewhat amused and perplexed that I would’ve thrown myself into the middle of such a barbaric display.  Wrestling certainly wasn’t my sport of choice, or even a faint interest of mine.  So, as we all gathered around the red and white striped gymnasium mats for the annual, end-of-the year wrestling tournament, I was sweating bullets…not just from the relentless, yellow ball of heat in the sky, but also from the nerves that consumed my body.

Before the match even began, I was a captive to the bully in my brain.  What do you think you are doing?  This is ridiculous!  Caroline is not only three inches taller than you, but she’s meaner than you, and she’s in the sixth grade!  You are going down, Gwen.  Prepare to be humiliated in front of every fourth, fifth and sixth grader in the school.

At the sound of the whistle, the match was on. Caroline and I danced around like two alley cats with their backs raised high. She had a confidence in her eye that was foreign to me at that moment. A series of unskilled and ungraceful moves followed. (Cringe with me here!) She lunged and I retreated. I lunged and she retreated. Then came contact.  Within seconds we were on our hands and knees battling for control. Battling for the win.

The sounds of the crowd were deafening as Caroline moved in to get the better of me. All I could think was, Just DON’T let her get you on your back! Feelings of hopelessness and desperation flooded my heart as she and I exchanged move for move. There were several points allotted and several restarts from Mr. Gordon’s whistle.  In the midst of this primitive battle, my goal had changed from trying to win to just trying NOT to be pinned…therein lies the defeat.

As the match came to an end and the final whistle blew, it was Caroline’s victorious arm that was raised high in the sky.  I was defeated in front of half the school.  Cheers went up for Caroline as I shrunk back into the sea of students, longing for super powers that would render me invisible.  I was exhausted from the match, humiliated from my failure, and defeated by both Caroline and my own mind.

That was a dark day for me as a young girl.  But as dark as that day was emotionally, I was able to clearly see my opponent.  Ladies, when it comes to spiritual wrestling matches, we do not have the advantage of sight.  The Bible says: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  (Ephesians 6:12, NIV)

Many of the battles we contend with each day are spiritual.  We can’t see our enemy.  And while at first glance this may seem disarming, look again at Ephesians 6.  The Bible clearly tells us that we can be equipped to stand firm with the Armor of God!

 

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:13-18, NIV)

Though the wrestling match with Caroline seemed overwhelmingly daunting, the battles that I face now are so much greater.  I’m thankful that God’s word clearly says the victory is ours if we are in Christ. If God is for us, who can be against us?

What are you wrestling with today?  Is the enemy speaking lies to you?  Do you feel weak?  Strength comes when we call on Jesus!  We can stand firm against the schemes of the devil when we put on the armor of God!   Suit up girls…a battle is going on all around you.   Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power!

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I thank You for being a Mighty God Who longs to cover my weakness with Your strength.  Please equip me for all that lies ahead today, protect me from attacks and schemes of the enemy, and help me to be strong in Your mighty power.  Cover me with Your peace, truth, faith, and salvation so I can stand firm in the battle.

 

I ask this in the powerful name of Jesus, amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

·         Make a list of the top struggles you are currently facing.

·         Take each struggle to the LORD and ask that He would equip you for the battle.

·         How will putting on the Armor of God will help you trust Him more? Stop by my Facebook page so we can discuss it. http://www.Facebook.com/GwenSmithMusic

More from the Girlfriends

Hey friend. I hope you’re suited up and ready to do battle now. If you are struggling to see how you can get from the wrestling mat to the winner’s circle, be sure to get a copy of our GiG book, Trusting God: A Girlfriends in God Faith Adventure.  (Today’s devotion is an excerpt from Trusting God by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith and Mary Southerland.)

Ready to Go Deeper with God? In the Old Testament, the Israelites used to head into battle lead by the singers. Worship went before them and paved the way to victory. My new CD, Uncluttered is purposed to sweep you away from life-noise and to focus your heart and mind on the one thing that matters: your relationship with Jesus Christ. We are running a great CD Special now, so swing by http://www.GwenSmith.net… or you can download the songs from iTunesor Amazon.

 

May GOD bless Nigeria, America and Israel and take care of us; May GOD make His face shine upon us, And be gracious to us; May the LORD lift up His countenance upon us, And give us peace, In Jesus Christ Name, we pray! Amen!

The Whole Armour Of God

prayer..

prayer.. (Photo credit: aronki)

The Whole Armour Of God

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

May the LORD bless Nigeria, American and Israel and take care of us; May the LORD make His face shine upon us, And be gracious to us; May the Lord lift up His countenance upon us, And give us peace, In Jesus Christ Name, we pray! Amen!

Put on the whole armour of God

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Image via Wikipedia

The
Redeemed Christian Church of GOD.

HOLY
GHOST CONGRESS!

Theme: A NEW THING.

Date: 12-17 Dec,2011.

Venue: Redemption camp, KM 46,Lagos Ibadan expressway,
Nigeria.

You are invited!

PUT ON THE
WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD

Put on the
whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the
devil (Ephesians 6:11).

In our fight
of faith, the Bible says that “we
wrestles not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in high places”
(Ephesians 6:12). That’s why we then enjoined to
put on the whole armour of God. Now, did you notice the Scripture doesn’t say, “Pray that God would put the armour on you”
it says you’re the one to put it on. So, it’s no use praying and crying to God
to protect you from the wiles of the devil; He has told you what to do: put on
the armour of God.

Also, the
scripture emphasises that you should put on the whole armour of God, not just
some of it. Another version says, “Put on
the complete armour of God….
” (WNT). I like the word “Complete”. You’ve got
to make sure that you don’t leave any part of that armour out. So, it’s up to
you to have your loins covered with truth, righteousness as your breastplate,
have on your feet the gospel of peace, have the helmet of salvation on, and
then above all the others, put on the shield of faith. Note: the shield of
faith is given to you to extinguish all the fiery darts of the enemy.

The armour
of God is available to you today, but you have to make a conscious choice to
put it on. God isn’t going to put it on for you, no matter how much you pray
and fast for Him to. Stand firmly with your whole armour on as a good solder of
Christ. And remember, as you put it on, make sure you keep it on at all times;
don’t ever take it off!

CONFESSION

I take unto
myself the whole armour of God and stand firm as a good soldier of the Lord
Jesus Christ. I have truth as my belt, righteousness as my breastplate, the
gospel of peace on my feet, the helmet of salvation, and faith as my shield. I
am fully equipped to extinguish all the fiery darts of the devil and render all
his stratagems futile and empty. My armour is ever on and I endure hardness as
a soldier of Christ, in the Name of Jesus Christ! Amen!

www.rhapsodyofrealities.org

May Our God The Almighty prosper Nigeria and Israel and
defend us from all our enemies in Jesus Christ Name, Amen!