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 firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, -Ephesians 6:13-18
As Christians, we can each expect to encounter “the evil day”, as Jesus himself did (Luke 22:53), at least once in our lives. There will be a day when suffering comes for us and we lament:
My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.” -Lamentations 3:17-18
There will be a day when suffering comes
What hope will we recall to mind on that day? Will we be prepared? Our enemy prowls like a roaring lion. Are we sober-minded and alert, watching that we may not be devoured in that evil day? Or are we distracted and misled, expecting our enemy from the left when he really lurks to the right?
Where do you look for deceptions and attacks from satan to come from? Are you focused on the evils of those who love the things of this world and hate their creator, expecting persecution from that corner as you see the things of God ridiculed, mocked, and dismissed in the media and from the ivory towers of the intelligentsia? It seems like a reasonable expectation considering the hatred that lovers of self will have, according to scripture, for ambassadors of Christ. And yet where did Jesus’ betrayal come from? Who pressed harder for his death upon that tree? Certainly the pagan Romans had no great love for him and feared the threat he presented to their hierarchy, and yet it was the religious leaders, the Pharisees, and Sadducees against whom he consistently warned, and in the end (or rather the new beginning) it was those among the ranks of God’s own chosen people who handed Jesus over to the pagans. Scripture warns that deception will come for us in the same way:
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, - Acts 20:28-31a
It was those among the ranks of God’s
own chosen people who handed Jesus over to the pagans
There it is again! Be alert. Be alert among ourselves for there will be wolves who come among the sheep to lead astray even the elect (Matthew 24:24). Scripture consistently predicts our persecution by the godless from without but warns again and again against our deception from within by those who carry our banners and wear our own team colors but seek only to lead astray. It is the leaven of the Pharisees we are to be on guard against (Matthew 16:11-12) and it is the leaven of the Pharisees that leaves us unprepared and faithless when the day of evil comes for us, as it surely will. Let us indeed be armed with truth, with faith, with peace, with righteousness, and with salvation, against all such deceptions, lest we are handed over to our oppressors as a result of putting our faith in men instead of in God.
Daily Nourish serves to encourage Christians to honor God with all their heart, mind, soul & strength and to love their neighbor as themselves. Thanks for stopping by! Davina
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