Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
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.
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.
~ Ephesians 6.10-13, ESV
I was 12 when I put on Christ in baptism. For some crazy reason, I thought that after I obeyed the gospel, things would get easier.
I was totally unprepared for the spiritual onslaught that followed.
Within the first two years of my conversion, I found myself dealing with…
- My best friend of seven years dropping me for a “cooler” friend
- A charismatic eighth grade science teacher determined to destroy the faith of any Christian kid in his class
- surges of white-hot anger brought on by hormonal changes
- My family life getting turned upside down
In His wisdom and grace, the Lord guarded me during those first few years. Eventually, I formed new friendships and found my anger beginning to cool. My family grew stronger through adversity. My faith deepened.
Because of the ceaseless conflict with Satan (and our own fleshly nature), it is our responsibility to stay grounded on the foundation which Christ has laid for us.
Are we looking to Him to be the source of our strength or are we relying on our own power?
Are we determining daily to stand firm against Satan’s schemes, or do we cave to convenience?
The Hebrew writer tells us in Chapter 12 that we are “surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses”. These heroes of faith have a common thread: they stood firm. Look at the following list from Hebrews 11 and ask yourself whether these people were strong in themselves or strong in the Lord:
“For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—
who through faith conquered kingdoms,
stopped the mouths of lions,
quenched the power of fire,
escaped the edge of the sword,
were made strong out of weakness,
became mighty in war,
put foreign armies to flight.
“Women received back their dead by resurrection.
Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.
Others suffered mocking and flogging,
and even chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned,
they were sawn in two,
they were killed with the sword.
They went about in skins of sheep and goats,
mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—
wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”
~Hebrews 11.32-28, ESV
These people, who were by no means perfect, stood firm for the Lord.
Did they ever succumb to fleshly weaknesses like fear, lust, anger, and pride? Yes.
Did they repent and pursue God once more? Yes.
These witnesses testify to God’s faithfulness, God’s power, and God’s amazing grace. Their testimony reveals that God can do great things through us if we plant our feet on His foundation.
The life of faith is not an easy one. We are different, and the world—despite its flowery professions of open-mindedness and diversity—hates an outlier.
It is God who empowers us. He supplies us with the strength we need for every situation and it is our responsibility to tap into what He supplies.
It is Christ’s strong foundation upon which we can firmly stand.
For this month, our scripture writing will focus on being strong in the Lord and standing firm in Him. This will segway into September’s scripture writing which will focus more on the pieces of armor God has supplied us in our spiritual warfare. I hope this will be an encouragement to you and your children as you transition into fall! I know it’s difficult settling into the routine, but carve out some time to read these brief passages with your children each day. If you can copy them together, that would be awesome too! We usually do our bible reading in the morning at breakfast, but I know people who read the bible with the children before bed or at other designated times.
If you’ve never done scripture writing before, I highly recommend it. Underline, circle or use different colors for important words. Write these out on index cards and post them on the bathroom mirror. Commit God’s words to your mind and heart.
Click the link below to access the printable PDF file. If you have trouble downloading, please let me know in the comments below or contact me directly at email@example.com.