Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Armor of God

Last week I solicited your input regarding my devotional writings for Faith Lifts. My debut is June 4th and I will be a Wednesday regular. At first, the thought of writing weekly devotions injected a healthy dose of panic into my system. I doubted my qualifications for ministering to others in that forum. Yes, I minister by writing my experiences and what I learned from those experiences, but can I really teach through my writing? I thought the answer was no. But before telling Shera no, I knew I needed to pray and ask God for His answer.

I laid my anxieties before my Father and He spoke to me in a very strait forward manner. I’m extremely analytical in my thinking and if a detail seems unclear to me, I’ll mull it for hours and come up with a solution way too complicated to work. God knows this about me, so He often gets to the point.

“First of all, this isn’t about you teaching. My word will do the teaching, you will be a vehicle to transport my teachings to others.”

Good point. So I started warming up to the idea. I prayed more, listened more and felt confident that at this point in my life, God was calling me to write in this particular venue. He also reminded me of my early mission for Becoming Me and reiterated that I would not be writing to increase my popularity, but to share His healing love with others.

My next step was deciding what to write about. Faith Lifts comes with deadlines. Again, I prayed some more, asked the opinions of my readers (big thanks to all of you who replied), read all of those comments, and prayed again. I decided to start with a series of sorts, but make it so that each segment of the series could stand on its own. God took me to Ephesians 6:10-20, The Armor of God. Immediately, I shook my head no. I was transported back to VBS watching other kids put on tin-foil wrapped cardboard cut into shapes of belts, shields, and helmets. “Naw, this is a kid’s lesson. Too simple.”

I’m just guessing, but I’m pretty sure God sighed. Here is a paraphrase of our conversation.

“Angela. Since when am I simple? It seemed simple when you were six, because you were still a spiritual newborn. There’s some meat in these verses and you are ready to chew on it.”

I hesitated. “But that would take lots of extra time and study. I think I could leap into truth, you know that’s a passion of mine, but I’ll be honest, righteousness has me stumped.”

“It will take lots of study and I will guide you, keep listening to my voice.”

“O.K., just one more thing. Will I have to write a lot about demons and dark spiritual forces, because that is really out of my comfort zone? I was raised Lutheran after all. And even though I do believe spiritual warfare exists, I never read a single book in the Left Behind series and when I borrowed a Frank E. Peretti book while in college, I returned it before reading an entire chapter.”

Again, not sure, but I think I made Him chuckle.

“Angela, I know every thing there is to know about you and could not forget a single moment of your life. We’re not going deep into spiritual warfare; We’ll be focusing on the power of My light, on truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Holy Spirit. You in?”

“I’m in.”

I hope you’ll join me tomorrow at Faith Lifts as I share what God has placed on my heart about truth.

“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. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:10-20 (NIV)


Xandra said...

I can't wait to read it!!


Tonya said...

Good for you following God's leading. That is an awesome opportunity!

Misty said...

thank you for your well-wishes. had to comment, tho, that your peretti comment had me literally laughing out loud!

Jamie said...

Looking forward to reading it!

Tracy said...

Can't wait! Thank you for encouraging us by example to follow the promptings of God.

P.S. I'm SO with you on Peretti! lol

Anonymous said...

You are a wonderful example of being obedient to God's calling!
And you really should read the Left Behind series. I'm totally NOT into that kind of reading, but I LOVED these ones! And I learned a lot, too. Trust me. I bet they're a lot easier than the other guy!

Julie said...

Congratulations on this opportunity.

When I was asked to write devo's for two different blogs I was quite overwhelmed. I kept telling my husband "I gotta pray about this". He just laughed and said, "I think you already have your answer". I was balking.... I felt so inadequate...on top of that having deadlines for writing felt ominous... could I make them.

So far I've only written 3.... but it has been a great opportunity for me to share some of the treasures buried in my heart.

You will do a great job. I'll look forward to reading.


Irritable Mother said...

I love that conversation you had with God!
And I love your heart. He will use you and guide you and glorify Himself through you.
Be His instrument, Angela. That's all He's asking.
Love you,

Genny said...

Good for you! And what a small world. Funny how we keep crossing paths. (I'm writing at Faith Lifts too.) What an honor. I'll look forward to reading your devotionals!

Wifey said...

Looking forward to reading it! As wonderful as your posts are, did your really doubt yourself? Smiles!

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited to read your thoughts!!! This is something that I've been brought back to again and again and again lately.

COMcewens said...

I have always loved this passage! I loved that there is NOTHING that protects the back... meaning you have to face the problem, deal with the firey darts. Since faith is the shield, I gues we ALL can decide just how big a shield we want. And that, is our first line of defense, the shield.

I have taught a lot of youth over the years, and this is one of my fav passages to teach!

That and the Book of Revelation! LOVE THAT BOOK!

Have a wonderful day!

Wendi said...

I'm so glad you worked through the misgivings and are forging ahead. :) I am going to your next post to read the devotional now! :) Excited!

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