New Years Blessings

The year is winding down. For some it’s a time to relax after the rush and rustle of Christmas. For others it may be a time to look back. The holiday season can bring us a mixture of emotions from high expectations of Christmas present to painful memories of Christmas past.

And then comes the New Year. We fill it with parties or promises. It isn’t enough that we may have over-done Christmas, either by our spending or eating. Now we face a new year and often count off the failures of the past and replace them with promises of the future.

As you tuck away holiday decorations and pack up holiday music for another year, think on what the Creator of the universe has planned:

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths. I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
Isaiah 42:16, NIV

Standing Firm

Make no mistake; Satan is crafty in his methods of attack, covertly targeting our weaknesses. For some it’s doubt, others it’s self-worth, and for many it’s a fragile faith. Satan would like us to focus on these things rather than our Creator’s love for us and purpose for our lives.

Doing battle in the spiritual realm is beyond our ability. Until we recognize that fact, we are vulnerable. However, God didn’t leave us defenseless. He not only provides us with spiritual strength and courage, but He also has given us spiritual armor.

Ephesians 6:10-17 describes the armor of God which believers are instructed to put on in order to "stand firm against the schemes of the devil." That’s a promise God has given us. Put on the armor and we will be able to stand firm against whatever tricks Satan has up his sleeve.

While the picture Paul painted of a soldier’s armor may not be easily understood, each piece has a spiritual purpose.

The Helmet of Salvation: Starting with our minds, the helmet protects us from Satan’s attempts to make us doubt God, Jesus, and our salvation. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 11:2, NIV.

The Breastplate of Righteousness: Our hearts are where our emotions, self worth, and trust reside – areas that Satan often attacks. The breastplate is God’s righteousness and it protects our heart, ensuring God’s approval. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7, NAS

Belt of Truth: Satan is a liar but is called the angel of light because his lies appear to be truths. God’s truth can defeat Satan’s lies. “… even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light,” 2 Corinthians 11:14, NAS

Shoes of Peace: Satan would like us to think that we aren’t capable of spreading the “good news” and tries to make us feel hopeless. These give us the motivation to continue to proclaim God’s truth and the true peace that is available only in Him. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful,” John 14:27, NAS

Shield of Faith: Too often, we become overwhelmed with our circumstances. This piece of armor gives us the ability to see beyond those circumstances, protects us from Satan’s attacks, and helps us know the ultimate victory is ours. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see,” Hebrews 11:1, NIV

Sword of the Spirit: The sword is the Word of God and is the only weapon of offense in our list of armor. There will be times when we must take the offensive against Satan, especially when we face temptation. “As for God, His way is perfect! The word of the Lord is tested and tried; He is a shield to all those who take refuge and put their trust in Him,” Psalm 18:30, AMP

Putting on the armor isn’t something we just think about doing, it’s a choice we must make. As with physical armor, it only protects if it is worn.

Pray as you envision putting on each piece of God’s armor, claiming His promise.

Blessings, Francine
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