How often do we feel like we take one step forward and two steps back? Why is that? What can we do to have victory in Christ on a continuous basis?
Prepare for Battle
Life throws some whirlwinds. We live in a battlefield. Life is not easy, and sometimes it seems like we are never given a chance to reach up for a breath of fresh air. We start to get weak in the knees, and bingo! Satan is right their prepared to attack. He doesn’t want victory; He wants us to stay defeated.
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
Sometimes we are ready to move on from an area of sin we struggle with; we have laid it at the cross and said good bye, however, in a matter of time we see that same sin rearing its ugly head. Why is that? One of the reasons is because we have repented of the sin, but there is still that void in our hearts that we need to fill. When you remove something you also need to fill it with the things of God. There are reasons that we are seeking these other avenues to fill the voids in our hearts, such as pain, loneliness, boredom, love, prestige. Unless you seek God, you will probably be in that same boat again.
Letting Go of Old Baggage
After you have laid your sin at the cross, you may be tempted again. Don’t give your old sin the time of day. If you struggle with lust, and an inappropriately dressed person comes on the screen, turn the channel. Don’t let your mind dwell on these things. Take actions to avoid the temptation. If you are an alcoholic, don’t hang out at a bar. It is hard enough leaving our past sins behind without having the temptation dangling in front of our face.
How to be Battle Ready (Eph 6:13-16)
1. Stand firm (v. 14)
Be confident of what you believe
2. Have the truth buckled around your waist (v. 14)
Your waist is your pivotal location to direct you. It is important to let truth guide your path and not to be mislead by things just because they sound good to the ears.
3. Put on the breastplate of righteous (v. 14)
In armor, your breastplate would cover your vital, life sustaining organs. This visual portrays a life that seeks holiness as the core of who you are. You don’t allow things that are contrary to God to attack your heart.
4. Get your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (v. 15)
Live with intention to be obedient to God’s calling.
5. Put on a shield of faith (v. 16)
The shield protects the warrior so that the opposing weapon can’t reach their body. Faith gives you the confidence to believe the truth even when there are many opposing views.
6. Put on the helmet of salvation (v. 17)
The helmet protects blows against the head. Christ is our head covering. He is our strength and hope of eternity. We have to come to Christ and lay our doubts and fears at the cross, and not allow for our mind to be attacked.
7. Arm yourself with the sword of the Spirit (v. 17)
The Word of God is “sharper than a double-edged sword.” (Heb. 4:12) It quickly thwarts any of Satan’s attacks that are contrary to God’s Word.
8. Pray (v. 18)
Even with the strongest of armor we can be attacked. We have to pray that God is on our side and will protect us.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.