I Have a Serious Question: Have You Really Met God At This Level?
It is quite easy for Christian people somehow to avoid the sense of battle and conflict and to take their ease. “Woe to them that are at east in Zion,” says Amos 6:1. Many of us quite readily become so occupied with material things and with our work that it is a long time since we really fought a battle against sin alone on our knees. How much do I really know, and how much do you know, about prayer that resists the powers of darkness and refuses to give in? Have I spent half an hour alone each day this week on my knees in prayer like this? Have you?
Our prayer life, our whole spiritual witness can lose its priority and become mechanical so that it has no flavor of life or conflict in it at all. Yet victory on the whole battle front depends upon maintaining our position in the name of the Lord Jesus, so that when the enemy flings his fiery darts, we wrestle and stand our ground by God’s grace, we fight and refuse to give in.
Are you engaged in this spiritual warfare? Are you standing your ground?….
Paul speaks further of a provision that has been made in order that we may stand our ground. “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that we may be able to withstand (Eph. 6:13). Let us look briefly at this armor which God has provided in Jesus Christ to enable the child of God to stand. Here are the details of the power by which we may resist the devil.
Paul mentions first the girdle of truth about our loins: in other words, a man’s strength derives from his character of godliness and truthfulness. He speaks of the breastplate of righteousness, which indicates a conscience void of offense before God and man, a righteousness of life and conduct that relates a man’s belief to his behavior. The shoes of preparedness make feet ready to run errands for the King of kings, ready to follow the Master wherever He may lead, ready to obey His commands and spread the message of the gospel – next door or anywhere for Jesus.
Speaking of the shield of faith, Paul says it is “above all.”….This part of the Christian’s armor is his complete confidence in the ability of the Lord Jesus to defeat the enemy. Then there was vital protection in the helmet of salvation, and divine power in the sword of the Spirit.
I observe, as I am sure you have, that there is no armor for the back of the Christian, no provision for running away from the enemy. It is all for the front and the head: retreat is not considered a possibility for the child of God. He is to stand his ground.
There is only one offensive weapon, the sword of the Spirit. All else is for defense, for security against the attacks of the enemy; the Christian is given only the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, for subduing the enemy.…
God has made provision in Jesus Christ to enable to you stand your ground right where you are, I your immediate circumstances. Our armor is not outward things, not material equipment or money or anything like that. It is character the godliness and righteousness and loveliness and sweetness and grace – the very life of Jesus Christ imparted to you and me so that we may be equipped to wield the sword of the Spirit for Him.
No man can use his Bible with power unless he has the character of Jesus in his heart.…His life must be filled with the very life of Jesus Christ. Our offensive weapon depends upon our wearing all the defensive armor; the power to attack depends upon being completely equipped for defense against Satan with every bit of the character of our Lord Jesus. If we are to maintain our position in this evil day, if we are to fight through to the end and remain victor on the field, then we must put on the whole armor of God. If we wear it, then we are able to wield the sword of the Spirit in the power of God.
This is the provision that heaven has made, for it is “not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts (Zech 4:6). Jesus stooped from the throne to the cross in order that He might forge for us a complete armor of His holy character.
There is one other supremely important thing that I must say here, for if you would understand the secret of victory in your own life, there is a Person whom you must meet.
When the Lord Jesus gives us this armor, He is not giving us something apart from Himself. The armor of Christ – not simply His blessings, not just righteousness or truth or faith or salvation or the sword of the Spirit. It is not these apart from Him, but Christ Himself. Paul said also, “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:14).
All the wealth that is in our wonderful Savior, of which Satan tries to rob us, all our personal walk with God from which Satan tries to drag us away, and all the victory we need in the warfare, is in the Person of our living Lord from whom Satan tries to keep us separated so that he can defeat us.
I have a serious question to ask you: Have you really met God in Jesus Christ at this level? Do not let that question slip by, because I am persuaded that one reason for our lack of dedication and devotion to the missionary call, and often our lack of ability to stand and win through where we are I the name of the Lord, is because we have not really met God in Jesus Christ like this.
Excerpt from The Making of a Man of God: Lessons from the Life of David by Alan Redpath (Grand Rapids: Revell, 1990), 280-83.