The new year has come, and this is the time for making goals for the coming year. Actually, this happens more often than at the beginning of the new year. Goals tend to be made at the beginning of the summer, at the beginning of the fall and also at the start of the year. When I make goals at these times, sometimes they build on each other, especially the beginning of the new year and the fall.
This year I have made it one of my goals to grow in my relationship with God by spending more intentional time in His Word. Throughout the years I’ve tried many different methods for my Bible Study time. I have always felt if I find the right routine, it will be easier.
The truth is, spending time studying God’s word will always start with a fight. Fighting our desire for comfort, “But my bed is so warm. I need more sleep.” Fighting our distraction, “Oh, shoot, I didn’t get to my Bible Study today.” Fighting our excuses, “I don’t know how to study the Bible.” Fighting our complaints, “I’m just so busy.”
This is why in Ephesians Paul exhorts us to prepare for battle. Simply preparing for the battle takes time.
Can you imagine how our relationship with God would grow if everyday we prayed Ephesians 6:10–11? Even if that was all we got to in the morning, we would be ready to go into battle.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” How are we strong in the Lord?
2 Corinthians 12:10 says, “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Be content in our weaknesses and difficulties? Our weaknesses for Christ’s sake make us a vessel for the Lord’s mighty power. Not only that, but God wants us to humble ourselves under His mighty hand by casting all our anxieties on Him. (1 Peter 5:6–7)
Be strong in the Lord by casting all our anxieties on Him.
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Paul goes into detail about the full armor in the verses following. He states that to be ready for battle we need these six pieces.
Belt of Truth
Breastplate of Righteousness
Feet fitted with the Gospel of Peace
Shield of Faith
Helmet of Salvation
Sword of the Spirit
God provides truth and righteousness. He provides peace, faith and salvation. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:17). We fight the battle ultimately with the Bible.
That’s how Jesus resisted the devil. He used the Sword of the Spirit (Luke 4:1–12) starting each of His responses with “It is written…”
Remember it will always be a battle. Even though our home in heaven is secure, we are still in the middle of the war. “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
God doesn’t want us to simply win the battle against evil, against our selfish desires, against temptation to become like the world. He wants us to flourish and celebrate. “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.” Ephesians 6:13
My prayer for 2017 before I get out of bed each morning will be,
“Lord, make me strong in You and in Your mighty power. I want to put on the full armor of God so that I can take a stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Feel free to join me. We can go into battle together.
Gianna Kordatzky has been a part of the First Free family since 1997. She graduated from Northwestern College (now University of Northwestern–St. Paul) in 1999 with a B.A. in youth ministry which prepared her and her husband, Chris, to raise four amazing kids. She is one of the founders of Family Fun Twin Cities and the Moms in Prayer leader for Bel Air Elementary in New Brighton. Gianna is passionate about serving families whether she is volunteering with New Life Family Services in St. Paul or overseas at the ELIC conference.