Links Daily Devotional

Into Battle

Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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 6:11-12, NIV)

In the big picture, we all know golf is merely a game. Yet on some days, instead of experiencing joy from it, we feel like we have entered a battleground for our dignity and sense of worth. Golf is meant to be a competition between the player and the course, but it can quickly turn into an unexplainable war within our own self.

I will be the first to confess, I have been my own worst enemy during many competitive rounds when my words become negative, berating, and I feel disgust toward myself because of my performance. Rather than focusing on the challenge of one shot at a time, my mind, emotions, words, and actions rage…either silently or overtly.

In today’s scripture passage, the apostle Paul shares about how we are in a struggle against the schemes of the devil. Whether we are playing golf, working, in relationship, serving the Lord, at school, or resting, there is a battle going on, not against things we can see, but in the heavenly realms. And the evil one likes to use the things we enjoy to try to kill, steal, and destroy.

It’s easy to become apathetic toward this battle or even believe it’s not real. However, the Word of God tells us we are to participate in this struggle through prayer (Ephesians 6:18), and we are to stand firm and put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-17) in order to “fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19).

The way we participate through prayer is by using the weapons at our disposal: the name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, Scripture, and the Lord’s angels. This type of prayer is assertive and takes an offensive position. For example, we can pray, “In the name of Jesus, I pray for the blood of Jesus to cover [insert name] who is [name the situation] and to send the angels of the Lord to surround [insert name] with their swords drawn to protect from the plans of the evil one.” We can also pray specific Scripture passages over our lives or for others by inserting a personal name as we read it out loud. There is supernatural power in the Word of God.

We also need to put on the armor of God every day. Putting something on takes effort and action. The belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (Word of God) are the pieces of armor that protect us against the assaults of these spiritual forces of evil. A fun Bible study might be to further explore what it looks like to live covered in God’s armor.

God revealed the mystery of the gospel through his Son, Jesus Christ. When we accept and receive the free gift of Jesus’ death and resurrection for the penalty of our sins, we not only gain relationship with God, but also the qualifications to enter into the fight against evil. Our prayers are powerful—so stand firm, put on the armor of God, and enter into the battle!

Tracy Hanson

February 28, 2013

Copyright 2013 Links Players International

The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.