Any time a Christian struggles with faithfulness to God, the avenues of God, readily available to the believer, are intrinsically granted in the covenant that Almighty God has given to us in His Son Jesus.
Paul speaks of the Armor of God in Ephesians 6 by which we “take our stand against the devil’s schemes (v. 11). The belt of truth. The breastplate of righteousness. The shield of faith. The helmet of salvation. The Sword of the Spirit, God’s Word (His spoken, written and Divine Word). These implements are defensive by nature, protective by design.
In Roman armor the belt is secured first. The breastplate, once in place, is then connected to the belt with leather straps. The helmet was often also, once in place, connected to the breastplate in a similar manner. There were two swords that were at the Roman soldier’s disposal. One was long, an offensive weapon. The other was short, more easily maneuvered. In battle the shorter sword was often held in the soldier’s off hand because it was utilized primarily as a defensive sword. Paul’s description here is of the shorter, defensive sword. It further depicts God’s covenantal, protective nature and the avenues relationship with Him that is provided for us through the Gospel of Jesus. The question is: “Do we devote ourselves to them?”
What are the avenues God has given us to draw nearer to Him during times of temptation? To protect us during times of attack from Satan? In order that we might prove faithful to Him? I believe four primary avenues He has granted us are: His Spirit, His Word, prayer, and each other.
However, do we truly invest ourselves in these pivotal facets of our faith? How in tune are we with His Spirit that resides in us? Are we aware of the Spirit’s direction, counsel and the spiritual strength He provides? Do we read and study scripture? Do we hide His Word in our hearts? How much time do we spend with God in His Word? And in prayer? Do we intentionally pray? Do we set aside intentional time to pray to our Father? Do we commune with Him every moment of our lives? Do we strengthen one another? Pray fervently for one another, when we see a problem in another’s life? Do we hold one another accountable? Do we have the relationship with committed disciples of Jesus as faithful participants in the Kingdom that covenant provide and faithfulness requires?
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).
“No temptation has sized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
“Everything we need,” Peter assures. “A way out,” Paul affirms.
But….do we pursue the avenues of God?
~~ Jason Reeves, West Erwin church of Christ, Tyler, TX