Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Whole Armor of God, Part 12B

Today I continue my series of articles commenting on the concept and principles involved in the Armor of God, which the apostle Paul described in the New Testament. This is the topic of the Sunday school lesson I am currently teaching. This week I post part two of a three-part discussion on Ephesians 6:18.

The Armor of God – Pray. Watch. Preserve.

Pray. Watch. Persevere. (Ephesians 6:18)

Watch means being attentive to what is going on around you and being alert to any danger and acting accordingly.

Paul writes to Timothy that he is to take heed as to his own conduct and the doctrine that he teaches. Doing this, he will save not only himself but also those that hear him (I Timothy 4:16). Timothy was further instructed to “study to show himself approved unto God: A workman that does not to be ashamed, correctly interpreting the word of God” (II timothy 2:15). This is good instruction for each of us today. Solomon wrote that we are to keep our heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). Our heart is where we do our thinking. We keep it by paying attention to what we are thinking about. If what we are thinking is contrary to the word of God we must stop what we are thinking and think on something else which does conforms to the word of God. King David wrote, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14) David did not rely on his own ability to think correctly but on God’s strength and ability. David further asks God to check him out and to lead him. “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm139:23, 24) Do you think you could pray God’s searching and leading for yourself?

Jesus told his disciples to watch and pray in order that they would not enter into temptation, when they were on the Mount of Olives. (Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38) Temptations come to us in many ways. It is in yielding to the temptations, that we sin. Jesus is implying that in being alert for temptations and by prayer we can successfully resist yielding to temptations. Yes, you can do it.

Angels said that Jesus would come back to earth the same way He left, and that was in a cloud. (Acts 1:9-11) This must be in reference to when Jesus comes for the believers because when He comes at Armageddon He will be riding a white horse. His coming will be quick, “In the twinkling of an eye.” (I Corinthians 15:51, 52) For this reason Jesus says be ready for when He comes. (Matthew 24:44). He further says, “For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luke 21:35, 36)

God spoke to Ezekiel and said, “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.” (Ezekiel 3:17) I ask you, Is the Christian the watchman for their generation of lost people?

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