Are you thoroughly equipped?

May 17, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

Do you have a favorite scripture passage? This passage is what many people refer to as a life verse and, if you are like me, it comes to mind many times a day. Most people have many different scripture passages that they also cling to for various reasons. These passages are important, but I have a serious question for you.

Are there passages of scripture, and perhaps even whole books within the Bible, that you find difficult to understand or that you even completely avoid? How can you put on the full armor of God if you ignore part of His Word? It can be very similar to the concept of being partially dressed for battle.

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.
(Ephesians 6:13-17 (NIV))

How well equipped would a soldier be if they only picked up a sword? How well equipped would a soldier be if they only grabbed their helmet? Even with today’s military weaponry, a soldier is not fully equipped with just a pistol!

How well equipped are we if we fail to read and follow some of God’s Word? What happens if I only choose to read the following passage?

Be still, and know that I am God,
(Psalms 46:10a (NIV))

I would miss out on so much, including the command to share what I know.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
(Mark 16:15-16 (NIV))

God’s Word is precious. It is of great value. We must equip ourselves by embracing all of it.

Are you thoroughly equipped?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you prepared to recognize the enemy?

May 29, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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. 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 6:10-18 (NIV))

We must remember that we are in a battle. This battle may show no physical signs of war such as physical destruction, wounds and death, but we are in a battle just the same.

Preparation is the way to win at anything. Athletes train in order to be prepared for the big race. Soldiers train in order to be prepared for the battle. Firefighters train in order to be prepared for the big fire. We, as believers, are in the Lord’s Army and we must prepare for the day and time when we will face the battle. We must train in order to face the enemy whenever and wherever he may present himself.

How do we train to face Satan? By fully relying on God! Rely on His promises. Rely on His Word. Rely on His Son, Jesus Christ, and rely on the Holy Spirit. If we fully rely on God and trust in all that He has promised, we will be prepared to face the enemy. We will also be able to recognize the enemy, for he is crafty and deceiving. It is not unlikely that we have already faced the enemy and we did not recognize him because we had not yet followed the instructions that Paul gave to the Ephesians. In fact, we face the enemy every day, whether we realize it or not.

Are you prepared to recognize the enemy and repel his attack?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is your armor ready?

March 6, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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 (NIV))

Armor is something that is thought of as protection, as impenetrable. In the physical world, armor is often associated with metal, and is imposing in nature. In the spiritual world, armor is not something that you wear, but something that you carry. You carry it in your hands and in your heart. This armor is the Word of God and is a strong foundation on which to build everything that you do. The strength and protection that you receive from this armor is from fully knowing that God always keeps His promises, and that He always protects His children. It is this knowledge, and the faith to hold onto this knowledge no matter what the circumstances, that is the strongest armor that has ever been created.

All throughout history, men in armor have fought bravely and valiantly for something that they believed in. Even today, men in armor (military vehicles) continue this tradition. They are fighting for earthly causes. How can we, when equipped to battle in the spiritual realm with God as our commanding officer and protector, not fully train to be part of the battle? We must keep our armor ready for we do not know what tomorrow may bring.

Is your armor ready? Do you have the right equipment for the coming battle?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Don’t forget your armor!

February 7, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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.
(Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV))

This is particularly important to me right now. I am positive that it is also very important to others as well. We must be strong in our faith no matter what the enemy tries to send our way. He will lose if we simply call upon the name of the Lord to fight our battles for us.

I just realized something.

Even if we allow God to fight our battles with Satan, we are still to put on the full armor of God.

Think about that.

In a battle, unfortunately, those not directly involved will still get hurt. God’s armor will allow us to take that stand. It will allow us to bravely confront Satan and remind him that God will be our champion. Without that armor, would you confront Satan? Without a bulletproof vest, would you confront an armed robber? It is the same principle. God’s armor is our defense, our safety, our shield, and our salvation.

We are in a battle every day. Some days, it is just a little more obvious, but you never know when it will escalate. Always be prepared. Always put on the full armor of God. Stand firm in your faith because you have spent the time to know God and His promises.

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
(2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV))

Don’t forget your armor!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you fully dressed?

July 19, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
(Ephesians 6:11 (NIV))

We all think that we could recognize the devil’s schemes. Sometimes I wonder if that is possible without putting on the full armor of God.

Think about that for a moment.

When we put on the full armor of God, we clothe ourselves in God’s Word. We fully embrace the Holy Spirit’s presence within our lives. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is the Messiah. He is our personal Lord and Savior. In other words, we long to know God and His commands. We should be able to discern what is from God and what is from the enemy. It should be second nature to us. We should know the voice of our Lord, Savior and Master.

Now consider that Satan will often masquerade as an angel of light. Is our faith and understanding of God strong enough to distinguish a false angel of light from the voice of God? I would like to think that each of us is to that point in our faith. I would like to think that we are fully clothed in the full armor of God so that Satan cannot catch us off guard through one of his deceptions. Unfortunately, none of us is perfect. We can fall if we let down our guard.

We must be prepared!

Study God’s Word. Pray for guidance and discernment. Pray for wisdom. Be ready to recognize God’s voice and reject the devil’s schemes.

Are you fully dressed in the armor of God or do you have areas that leave you vulnerable to attack?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Put on your armor

June 7, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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. 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 6:10-18 (NIV))

No soldier in history has ever won a battle by not being prepared to face the enemy. We are in a battle. We either choose to accept God’s Son, Jesus Christ, as our personal Lord and Savior, or we reject Him. By rejecting Him, we have allowed the enemy to have victory.

Even if we accept the gift that God has given us, we must be prepared to face the attacks of the enemy. A good soldier will ready his weapons and his body for combat.

We are in spiritual combat. How do we prepare ourselves for this combat? By embracing the sword that is the Word of God. The more that we read and study, the more that we will be prepared to determine what is from God and what is from the enemy.

Soldiers have instructions on how to maintain and use their physical weapons. We also have instructions on how to use our spiritual weapons. Read the Bible and meditate on the meanings that the words have even today, for God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Does your armor shine?

February 11, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
(Romans 13:12 (NIV))

All throughout history, humanity has lived in the darkness of “night” caused by the sin of Adam and Eve. When Jesus came into this world, the lightness was made possible for all of humanity. However, knowing that light exists does not make you an expert on the light, just as seeing a computer does not make you an expert on computers. Jesus provided the means for us to step into the light, yet, it is up to each one of us individually to take that step.

We must want to take that step. We must long to end the darkness in our lives. It must be a burning desire to walk in the light and avoid the darkness at all costs. It is not good enough to simply prefer the light. We must hate the darkness from which we came. If we only prefer the light, then we will be prone to return to the darkness when the light is not available, or when it is not convenient for us to stay in the light.

If we truly desire to “put on the armor of light,” then we will shine wherever we may be, bringing the light into the darkness. If we only prefer the light, then we will not shine, but we will be like a chameleon, adapting our persona to the surroundings in which we find ourselves. A chameleon does not have an impact on its surroundings, its surroundings have an impact on it!

Put on the armor of light and shine! Shine in the darkness. Do not change to exist in the darkness.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Arm yourself

February 3, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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. 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 6:10-18 (NIV))

The world is not a safe place.

Most people only see what is in the physical and do not see the spiritual side of things that happen in this world. They are closely related and inseperable. We are to stand firm and be prepared to face anything that the enemy may throw at us in the physical and in the spiritual.

How does a soldier prepare for war? Constant training in the methods of warfare and in the tactics of the enemy is the standard preparation for any battle. We are to arm ourselves in a similar manner.

We are struggling against the evil side of the spiritual world. In order to prepare for this battle we must study the manual that God has given to us. We must utilize the tactics that we are told about. We must learn to recognize the enemy in all situations. We must immerse ourselves in God’s Word and be prepared to call upon it at any time in our lives and not only on Sunday morning.

It is true that we are taught to have love for another, but the Bible also tells us to do battle with the forces of the enemy. In other words, we must not just sit idly by and allow the enemy to do whatever he desires.

Arm yourself and prepare for a spiritual battle.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Dust off your armor, soldier, and polish it up.

October 27, 2009

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living©

Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring–those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
(Revelation 12:17 (NIV))

I have had this in the back of my mind for a while hoping and praying that it was not true or that wisdom would prevail and change the course of events that appear to be taking shape in the United Nations. I saw something today that makes me think that wisdom as we know it will not prevail. I saw something that makes me think this passage is about to see the beginning of its fulfillment.

It is my understanding that the United Nations is currently considering passing a “Defamation of Religions” resolution that would make it a crime worldwide to proclaim that Jesus is Lord. This resolution could be the very thing that Satan uses to begin making war against “those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

Again, I do not desire to turn this into a political issue, but rather, to shed light on the Biblical issues that we may very well be living through. It is true that no man can know the hour, but we are also told that we can know the season. When we feel the temperatures slightly cool, and see the leaves begin to fade from green to all colors of the rainbow, we know that fall is upon us. If we see things foretold of in Revelation and in Daniel begin to happen, surely we can apply the very same type of logic and realize that the season is changing. Just as wee know what will happen when fall arrives, we can know what will happen when the antichrist arrives. He will do the very things that we see beginning to happen already, only they will escalate to extremes.

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 (NIV))

No matter when God’s plan finally unfolds, we will be facing some serious battles during our lives. Battles that will need to be fought on our knees in a unified spirit of prayer. These battles may come quickly or they may be delayed, but with the current state of the world, they will come. Prepare for God to be glorified.

I will count it an honor to be in the sites of the enemy for that will mean that I am doing what God desires of me. I will resist the dragon, the devil, Satan, the antichrist and all of his forces with God as my strength and my shield. We have been instructed to put on the full armor of God. To me, that means placing my faith in Jesus as my Lord and Savior, learning all that I can of God’s Word, and learning to listen to the Holy Spirit.

Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer.
(2 Timothy 2:3-4 (NIV))

Are you prepared for the battles that the enemy will send your way? Will the enemy ignore you because you are not a threat? Prepare your heart, mind and body to follow Jesus no matter what may come.

Copyright 1998 – 2009 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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