“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” –Deuteronomy 31:8
With all this Armor of God, why do I feel like a failure?
The Key to effectively taking up God’s armor and using it correctly, or according to its design, is taking it up and receiving it “through all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the Spirit, and in regard to this same, watching in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints–” (Ephesians 6:18). Prayer is the key… and not just mouthing off some memorized lines, prayer is not a magic potion, it is intently seeking the heart of God with a desire to know His will (or to understand His operating manual). James tells us “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may ‘use God’s provision’ on your pleasures” (James 4:3).
Repeatedly, God has reminded us throughout His Word that ‘if I regard wickedness (that is anything against God’s nature like selfish desire for revenge, manipulation of others, or pride) He will not hear us’ (Psalm 66:18) and unless we ‘seek Him with ALL our hearts, humbling ourselves and putting off all self-driven motivation, we will not find Him’ (Prov 1:28). John puts us in the right path to effectively seeking God when he writes “we will receive from Him whatever we ask, because we keep His commandments and do what is pleasing in His sight (or according to His will)’ (1 John 3:22) and we can be ‘confident before Him, if we ask anything according to His will, He will hear us” (1 John 5:14). So the answer to our being weak and ineffective is that we are not connecting with the power source through prayer, and our motives are self-centered, and for the purpose of meeting our own pleasure. Consider yesterday’s quote, do you desire God to just remove the pressure of the situation like an illness, or do you desire to remain in His will… even if that means staying sick? This is reminiscent of Jesus’ prayer in the garden; ‘take this cup from me’ or ‘take off the pressure!’ But Jesus didn’t stop there, He continued, ‘But Thy will be done!’ or ‘I will go forward in your will even if it means suffering a cruel death… I trust that you know what is right and good.’ Here in the garden, Jesus is taking up the Armor God has provided Him in prayer, not in his own strength.
Paul mentions just before listing the Armor God has provided that the Believer is able to ‘take up the full armor of God and resist in the evil day’ because they ‘had down everything TO stand firm’ (6:13), this meaning the Believer is already ‘keeping His commandments and doing what pleases Him.’ Jesus didn’t just blurt out that prayer in the garden, His life was already marked by the desire to walk in God’s will and keeping Gods Word for the purpose of Glorifying the Father. So we too must follow His example if we want to be effective and not weak failures. Stop now and ask God to show you how to pray… even if that prayer is simply ‘help’, He will hear it and come to you when your desire is to walk in His way and not your own. God knows we struggle with this and has provided His Spirit to assist us in prayer. Paul tells us, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” (Romans 8:26-27)
You can know God’s strength today… you can effectively wear His armor, resisting evil and standing fast in His will. Help is only a prayer away…
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:5-6)
Praying U choose Christ today.
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.