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Ephesians 6

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, MAY 11

SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 6

Today we bring our journey through Ephesians to a close.  Although this book has only six chapters, it really is just full of good, important stuff.  I regret that we were only able to scratch the surface.  But the reality is we all have limited time and limited space for everything including these daily devotions.  I hope our quick tour through Ephesians has been helpful.

Although this final chapter of Ephesians speaks of parent/child relationships and employer/employee relationships, it is perhaps best known for its section on the armor of God.  This begins in verse 10.

As this section opens we are encouraged to be strong and to put on the whole armor of God.  The reason for this is the spiritual battle(s) that Christ followers face on at least a daily basis.  We are told this is necessary to stand up against the schemes or wiles of the devil.  The word translated schemes or wiles is where we get our word methods from but it refers to trickery or deceit.  In other words, the devil does not fight fair.  He is a liar who will use every trick in the book to defeat you or any other Christ follower.

Verse 12 gives us an incredible insight to our spiritual battles.  Our battle or fight or wrestling is not with flesh and blood.  In other words, our actual enemy is not human.  Our struggle should never be with each other.  Instead our battles are with the demons that serve Satan.  Honestly that sometimes takes on a human form and sometimes humans are used mightily of Satan.  But we really need to remember who are real enemy really is.

As you read through the description of the armor of God, you will find that the vast majority of it is defensive in nature.  It is designed to protect our minds and our hearts.  We are to be wrapped in God’s truth and to wear spiritual shoes that will keep us from slipping down or slipping backwards.  We are given a shield that absorbs and extinguishes the fiery, flaming darts of the enemy. 

The only offensive weapon we are given is a sword which this passage defines as the Word of God.  The only offensive weapon we have is the Bible.  The only way we can be adept at using this offensive weapon is we have to spend time with it and in it.  We just can’t carry around our Bibles and swing them at unsuspecting folks.  We have to get into the Word deep enough that the Word gets into us.

But even with all that armor and with that very sharp sword, we still need spiritual help to survive and even be victorious in the spiritual battles.  Verse 18 challenges us to pray for ourselves.  The same verse also challenges us to pray for other Christ followers.  Prayer not only prepares our hearts but also prayer unleashes the power of God.  Remember He is able to do immeasurably more than all that we ask or think according to His power that is at work in us. (Ephesians 3:20)

When you put all of this together, you realize that the Christian life is not for sissies.  And it is not for the faint of heart.  The call to the Christian life is a call to battle that is not only real and intense but it is also often an unseen spiritual conflict.  As Christ followers we have to be willing to stand against the enemy and to pray for our brothers and sisters to stand with us.

Ephesians 5

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

WEDNESDAY, MAY 10

SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 5

This chapter continues the application that Paul started in verse 4.  There is much in this chapter.  There is more about how we are to live.  When you get to verse 22 and following, there is much about how we are to be married.  Never doubt that the marriage of two Christ followers should be a picture of the Gospel at work.

But I have decided to focus on verse 18 and a couple of verses following.  The Scripture speaks here of being filled with the Holy Spirit.  I think this deserves some of our attention.

When we are saved, at the moment we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes to take up residence in us.  Because there is no dissection of the Spirit, when we receive Him at salvation, we receive all of Him.  

But life and its challenges have a way of causing us to ignore the Holy Spirit in our lives or pushing Him down into the dusty recesses of our hearts.  When we do that, we are not prone to listen to His voice or follow His leading.  We just go off and do whatever it is that we want to do.

So the Bible says we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  If you look at this word fill in the original language of the New Testament, you would discover that it literally means to keep on filling.  In other words, being filled with the Holy Spirit needs to be a continuous process in the lives of all Christ followers.

The great evangelist Billy Graham explains this constant filling this way.  He speaks of a lake on the property where he lives.  That lake is spring fed and because it is the water in the lake is always clear and fresh.  He speaks of that spring as continually filling that lake.

That really is a great illustration for us.  As we are constantly filled with the Holy Spirit, He pushes out all of the residue of life, the junk that clutters things up, and the bad stuff that shouldn’t be there.  He replaces that with life that is clear and fresh.

Verses 19-21 give us some unmistakable evidences of being filled with the Holy Spirit.  We have a song in our heart.  We give thanks for all things at all times.  And we submit ourselves to others out of respect for Jesus.

So, the question has to be how can we continually be filled with the Holy Spirit.  One way is we just need to ask Him to fill us.  Yes, it is as simple as that.  Another way is to stay in the Word of God.  The Spirit of God is always in the Word of the God.  Therefore, the more of the Word we have in us, the more His Spirit will be in us.  A third way is to be careful what you allow into your life.  At the end of the day, what you let in will be what comes out.  Every time. 

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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