When faith comes up against opposition, it serves to gauge and mature that faith. Just like pressing weights in the gym to test, to strengthen and to build muscle. Yet, it is before the trial of faith that we must prepare to face the enemy. If I hope to be well equipped to face temptation, I must get myself ready before the battle, with a strong faith. And be equipped for the test of my spiritual fitness.
After basic training in the US Army, I went to infantry training at Fort Benning Georgia. We worked hard at being all we could be—soldiers preparing for battle. After that eighteen-week period, I was not content with what they’d covered, and wanted to feel safe in my combat ability. Hoping to be an effective soldier, I sought out battle hardened veterans to school me further.
I do the same in my spiritual walk with the Lord, seeking out mature Spirit-led men to mentor and disciple me.
In David’s poignant 139th Psalm, which I paraphrase, he says, Search me O God and know my thoughts and my heart.
He’s saying, look for whatever’s in there that I need to get rid of. And lead me in the right way. Show me what to do. Train me as I listen intently!
The Holy Spirit is our greatest counselor and guide. In addition, wise disciples always seek counsel from their elders in the faith.
Our primary source of faith-strengthening growth takes place by remaining in God’s word, as well as continuing in a constant state of prayer. Communication with God is our only means of receiving His wisdom. The Lord speaks to us throughout the pages of the bible, as His Spirit speaks to our hearts. Many times it is through other people that God will reveal truths that are pertinent to our spiritual health. Also, He often uses circumstances to communicate His will.
“Never stop praying.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT) Yet, remember the old adage: “Actions speak louder than words”.
Every day we must revisit our preparedness, by searching our hearts and minds in the light of God’s word. And then suit up for the day in the armor of God. This is our faith. It must be strong. There’s a war going on out there! I can’t even imagine going into combat before I had the essential training, learning to defend and fight. As in any conflict, the contestant who has done the most research, practiced the most, and is the most committed, shall win.
Take a few moments today to prayerfully read through Ephesians chapter 6:10-18. (The armor of God) Ask God to show you how to put on each piece of armor listed. With each, ask God to direct you how to use it, through faith in Christ. You are now a soldier in the Lord’s army.
Heavenly father, we know it is only in your strength that we can emerge victorious and overcome the enemy. Teach us to wield our faith, applying it to every area of our lives. Help us Lord Jesus, to emulate you in all that we say and do. We praise you for the victory you have already won for us. May our lights shine to the glory of the Father, in Jesus’ name, amen.