|"My first knight : ) (hope it's ok...)"|
Tombow Pens and Photoshop
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
I was talking to a neighbor the other day. I told her our plans for vacation later in the year. Her response was sad. She said proudly, "Oh you still like your husband."
I asked if things were ok. She said, "We don't see each other much. We are like 2 ships that pass in the night."
As I walked inside, I realized love is a choice. It's not a feeling or a demand. When Jesus became the sacrifice for us, it was God's choice. It wasn't done in anger, it was done in love. It's not so easy to love sometimes is it? And marriage is never perfect, we just aren't.
I really like the description of the Armor of God. It helps me understand the battle between good and evil.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
I honestly don't think about the devil much. It is the serpent who slithered in the garden of Eden tempting Adam and Eve. It is the thing that tried to tempt Jesus into mocking God and becoming an earthly king. The tormentor that caused Jesus to sweat tears of blood. We don't know what it said, but we do know the devil is a fallen angel so far deteriorated, it's only purpose is to destroy.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 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.
The armor of God is such a great description. Don't know about you but I visualize it in my mind. The Bible was written for all us, those who are creative and see cartoon people, and those who are rule keepers who quickly distinguish right and wrong.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
(Ephesians 6:10-18 NKJV)
Truth is so important. I need to remember to be honest about my walk with Christ. It's not easy, or a sales pitch. It's a new way of life, where we embrace our Creator instead of lofty ideas. Humans are competitive by nature, rather than promoters of peace. It's good to be honest at times (not all the time hahaha). My husband is a lot more tactful when he talks to me now, after 21 years. Hopefully I am too.
It's important to remember our salvation too. It's our helmet : ) I know my mind goes places and I have to stop and remind myself I'm forgiven. People and circumstances make us feel unworthy, lost. The Word of God is our sword. When people are mean, God is always love. I have a T-shirt that says, "Pray hard." The picture is a guy with holes in his blue jeans. Prayer is an awesome gift from God. He actually hears us! And helps when it's within His will and character.
Helmet of Salvation (remembering I am God's helps me with my thoughts)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
(John 3:16-18 NKJV)
Belt of Truth (keeps me from thinking more of myself or less)
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
(James 5:16 NIV)
Breastplate of Righteousness (guards my heart so I can keep going and not give up)
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”
(Romans 4:5-8 NKJV)
Feet prepared for the gospel of Peace (never know when we can be a blessing)
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Shield of Faith (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
(Hebrews 11:1-3 NKJV)
Word of God-Sword of the Spirit (His Word always keeps me on track and I've seen it really touch others either in blessing or conviction)Here's my prayer:
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12 NKJV)
Dear Heavenly Father I lift up Europe to You. I pray that the right will win and wrong will fail. Please bring repentance to all our leaders. Grant our President wisdom and the ability to listen and understand others, especially our people. Bless us all Father as we look forward to Your return and peace at last. Please bring peace and safety to Ukraine and Russia. Bless them with Your presence Father, shield them with Your holiness. I pray You'll do some extra blessings for Lisa today as she is almost through her chemo.
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes .
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)
In Jesus Name, Amen.
May God bless us all in putting on His armor!
Here's a great song by Mercy Me, "Shake" (link)