Posts Tagged 'Armor of God'

Joel’s Hope: A Word of War

A Word of War

Joel 3:9-16; Eph. 6:11-17

I’ve been reading Scripture as literature lately; I’ve been focusing more on plot and character than on devotion or doctrine. One thing I’ve noticed is the overarching theme of restoration. THAT is Joel’s Hope: that God would put right what has gone wrong.

Joel’s Hope Is Our Help

* Warn the World… ~ Joel 3:9-12

  • 9 context: this is a warning to the world, not God’s people
  • 10 riff on Isaiah 2:4; the world will fight against God anyway it can BEFORE the day of the Lord
  • 11 notice voice change: first part is Joel warning; second is Joel praying
  • 12 third part is God responding; make no mistake: God WILL judge the nations, even those who claim not to know or follow Him (THAT is why we share)

* To Weigh Their Worth ~ Joel 3:13-16

  • 13 back to Joel’s prayer: calling for the “harvest/judgment” of the nations; Jesus referenced this: Matt 9:38 (“pray the Lord to send workers”)
  • 14 “valley of decision” is a metaphor for being stuck, and needing to choose; DO YOU FEEL STUCK IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?
  • 15 another metaphor: try to live without God, and you’re stuck in the dark!
  • 16 Our choice: thunder and trembling away from God; or a refuge and stronghold WITH Him.

* Wage the War ~ Eph. 6:11-17

  • 11/12 We are not fighting PEOPLE; we are fighting spiritually
  • 13/14 STAND actively, not passive; we are on OFFENSE
  • 15 Are you ready to move? When God says GO, what’s your response?
  • 16/17 Roman shield USED IN CONCERT; not as individuals but AS A UNIT

Make no mistake: we ARE in a spiritual war. How are you engaged?

Armor Prayer: based on Ephesians 6

Lego Roman armor I was thinking about conflict as I was preparing this week’s sermon; I thought a prayer based on the Armor of God described in Ephesians 6 might be worth sharing…

After all is said and done, Lord, we ask that you would make us strong in the Spirit; we ask for ability in Your strength and not our own. We need You as Protector and Shelter, God; we cannot stand against the plans that the Enemy has for us in our own ability.
As we move through life, we understand that we aren’t facing mere frustration with other people; the source of much of our conflict is from unseen spiritual forces of evil in our world, and even in Your Kingdom.
Therefore, we resolve to hold before us every defense You give us, so that we might stand against whatever opposes Your plan for Your Kingdom, and having done everything we can do, we trust in Your grace to be our foundation.
And so we stand, braced by Your truth, and guarded by Your righteousness (and not our own); we are enabled by the power of the gospel to actively bring Your peace to this sin-sick world – prompt us to step out in confidence.
No matter what happens to us, we are safeguarded by the faith which You give; the subtle schemes and the blatant attacks of the evil one just can’t pull us away from Your love for us. Your salvation keeps and holds us even in the midst of pain that we didn’t imagine was coming.
We have the sword of the Spirit – the word of God – which dwells in us. Spirit, continually prompt us to give You free reign our lives, reminding us to keep our ongoing conversation with the Father alive and vibrant; in all our prayer, keep us alert and consistent; put in our hearts the issues and situations for our loved ones and for the world that You want us to discuss with You. And when You prompt us to pray, protect us from distraction, so that we can partner with You in Your work for the world.
In this, we want to be like Jesus, who was constantly pointing back to the Father; reminding us that He wasn’t living by his own agenda, but only by what the Father was showing Him. Show us, Father, as well, how You want us to follow Jesus. Hear us as we follow Christ’s example in prayer, as we pray together, saying… OUR FATHER…

Pastor Ed Backell

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