Monthly Archives: October 2011

Heaping Burning Coals

During the summer between my junior and senior years, a rumor spread throughout our community that the six-foot-eight center from a neighboring town was going to transfer to Webster City. We had a great basketball team, and all five starters were returning. What our team lacked, was a tall—powerful, player on the inside. Our hopes ran high, but the transfer never occurred. We had a very productive season, however, I occasionally considered how much more productive we could have been if we had acquired this powerful center from the opposing team. His presence on our team would have made us intrinsically stronger, and our opponent significantly weaker.

In the episode of The Office titled “The Sting,” Michael—the Branch Manager at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company—sets up a sting in order to determine the winning tactics of a rival salesman. After the sting is revealed, the salesman attempts to storm out of the office. Before he makes it to the door, Michael convinces him to accept a job at Dunder Mifflin as their traveling salesman. Even though Michael—for all intents and purposes—is a bumbling buffoon, he occasionally surprises you with his keen sense for business. If you can’t beat them, convince them to join you.

Did you know that Satanists pray daily? A friend of mine told me a story once about a man who was praying next to him during a flight. After striking up a conversation, he discovered that the man was a Satanist. The Satan worshiper explained that he was specifically assigned to pray for the moral demise of Christian leaders throughout the world.

It is actually quite fascinating to note the specifics regarding the Satanist’s prayers.

Satanists recognize their enemy—Christ followers—and their prayers converge upon the destruction of that enemy. Satanists pray for the moral collapse of Christian leaders, for the breakdown of Christian ministry, for marriage failure within Christian families, for the rebellion of Christian children, and for conflict and disunity within the Church. One specific prayer the servants of the enemy express, is for Christians to ignore their Christ-commissioned call to share the Gospel…and instead preach a message of peace, liberation, and feel-good/self-help psychology.

The enemy, along with his servants, recognizes the power of the Gospel.

The only offensive weapon in God’s armor is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17b). This offensive weapon, called a gladius, was a double-edged sword. Similarly, the Word of God—the Gospel of Jesus Christ—has two very important functions. The Gospel convicts and converts. The Gospel cuts to the heart of those who hear it. The power of the Gospel convicts us of our sins and converts us to follow Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The Gospel is a powerful offensive weapon against the enemy because it not only removes a valuable soldier from the enemy’s lines, but it also adds a powerful soldier to the army of Christ.

Before his conversion, the apostle Paul was one of the greatest enemies of Christianity. Paul was brilliant. Trained by one of the greatest theological minds of the first century, Paul was prepared to do whatever it took—theological persuasion, political rhetoric, religious litigation, and violent hate-crime—to bring down a small band of early Christ-followers. Paul’s conversion provided Christianity with one of its greatest assets. Where Jesus’ death and resurrection was a stab in the heart of the enemy, the Apostle Paul was definitely a critical wound.

The following passage in Romans is interpreted in several, juxtaposing ways:

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

—Romans 12:17-21

Paul is quoting Proverbs 25:21-22. Some scholars, such as Origen, Augustine, Jerome, and Chrysostrom interpret this passage as kindness to your enemy reaps a greater punishment from God when he avenges us.

I tend to disagree with these early church fathers. When rendering this passage under such light, one cannot help but ask, “How can you truly be kind to your enemy if in the back of your mind you want to heap burning coals on his or her head?” The desire for vengeance would not contribute to an altruistic heart. William McKane wrote the following, more compelling, commentary on this particular Proverb:

“Kindness shown to an enemy, because it is undeserved, awakens feelings of remorse. When the enemy has steeled himself to meet hate with hate and is impervious to threats of revenge, he is vulnerable to a generosity which overlooks and forgives, and capitulates to kindness. . . The pain of contrition purifies and recreates; it is the birth pangs of a new brotherhood.”

—William McKane, Prophets and Wise Men, p. 592.

I would conclude that the concept of heaping burning coals upon someone’s head correlates with the idea of you contributing to the melting and softening of someone’s heart. By sharing the Gospel with your enemy—by heaping coals on your enemy’s head—the message of salvation in Jesus Christ will melt and soften his or her heart, purifying your enemy to change…to see you as a brother or sister, and burn with love.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most powerful weapon against the enemy…and he knows it. No wonder his servants pray that Christians neglect the true Gospel for an imposter. Arguably, the false gospel of feel-good/self-help Christianity is a weapon of the enemy, and it does us more harm than good. By holding fast to the sword of the Spirit—the Gospel of Jesus Christ—we can move against the enemy by convicting and converting everyone we encounter. The more souls we have marching against the enemy, the less the enemy has to oppose us…and the closer to victory we become.


“Pull Your Head Out!”

While I sojourned through the jungles of jr. high and high school, I lost my wallet six times. Each time, I had to re-order my driver’s permit or license, my social security card, and my hunter’s safety card. One occurrence, while I was passing out the latest gorgeous portraits of yours truly, someone stole my wallet from its position on the top of my desk. I stood up at the front of the class and demanded my wallet back. I announced, “Keep the money and return the wallet to the principal’s office—no questions asked.” It never showed up. Of course, losing my own wallet was a frustrating matter. However, my dad would always seem more frustrated about it than I would. He would say, “You’d lose your head if it wasn’t attached to your body.”

Interestingly, that wasn’t the only thing my father said regarding my head. When I was in sixth grade, I concluded that it would be thrilling to ride a broken skateboard in the middle of the street, down the hill next to our house. Unaware of the car bearing a patient driver behind me, I proceeded down the hill in a slow, but steady manner. Seeing this display of idiocy, my dad stepped out on the front porch and yelled, “Shawn, pull your head out of your butt.” Once again, my absent-mindedness, tendency to be easily distracted, and inability to focus contributed to frustration…more so the frustration of my father than myself…but frustration nevertheless. If I continued to lose sight of the vital things in my life or if I had remained unaware of the dangers that surrounded me—if I kept my head inside my own butt—I would have become more and more vulnerable to destruction. On the other hand, keeping my wits, avoiding distractions, and focusing on that which protects me from the enemy, could prove to be lifesaving.

Helmets protect our melons—they keep our extremely vulnerable minds from being squashed like a pumpkin on All Hallows’ Eve. In battle, the helmet protected the Roman soldier from downward cuts and glancing blows. The helmet also protected the soldier from falling debris or projectiles from catapults. The enemy knows how weak our minds actually are—he’s been tempting us for many millennia. He knows how frequently we all ride down the middle of the street on broken skateboards with our heads up our own butts…and he thrives on it. Salvation is an ongoing process. The Apostle Paul’s soteriology (the study of salvation) was “already—not yet.” The Scriptures teach that upon a confessing faith in Jesus, his death and resurrection, we are “already” saved from the consequences of sin. Faith in Christ saves us from eternal death (Romans 6:23; 8:1). However, that confessing faith is “not yet” complete. Salvation is an ongoing journey—a process of spiritual maturity that will eventually culminate once we see Christ face to face. Paul writes:

“The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”

—Romans 13:9-14

In a nutshell, Paul is instructing us to remember that our salvation is a process toward completion. It involves loving others as ourselves, behaving decently, and keeping our heads out of our own butts. Wearing the helmet of salvation is consistently keeping our minds in tact by remembering that we were once sinners on our way to destruction, and by the grace of God we were saved by believing in His Son. As we remain walking on this planet, we continuously profess our loyalty to Christ as our Lord—as our General. Salvation is our confidence and assurance that our General will always be there to protect us from the enemy. Wearing the helmet of salvation protects our mind from the enemy’s attacks. Doubt, fear, carelessness, the desires of the flesh, sticking our heads up our own butts…all these things can thwart our journey and progression toward the arms of Christ. By wearing the helmet of salvation, we prevent the downward cuts, glancing blows, falling debris, and flailing projectiles from squashing our melons and keeping us from the hope we have in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Staying Together

The Spaniard kneels to remove a handful of dirt from the floor of the hypogeum beneath the arena of the Coliseum.  He rubs the dirt between his hands as he contemplates the battle that is about to ensue.  With shield in hand, he carefully selects his helmet, receives his spear, and enters the arena. The crowd responds to the entrance of the gladiators with applause and celebratory ovation. The Spaniard, along with the other gladiators, spins and gazes in awe and wonder at the Coliseum’s grandeur.  The trumpets announce the entrance of the Emperor, and the gladiators—with the exception of the Spaniard—salute him. The announcer introduces the battle as a reenactment of the infamous “Fall of Mighty Carthage.” While the announcer is pumping up the crowd, the gladiators nervously stare at the gates through which the attack will eventually occur. The Spaniard petitions the rest of the gladiators saying, “Whatever comes out of these gates, we have a better chance of survival if we work together. You understand? If we stay together, we survive.” With pompous enthusiasm, the announcer introduces the Legionnaires of Scipio Africanus as several chariots charge into the arena. The Legionnaires begin to attack those gladiators who refuse to stay together. The Spaniard shouts, “Come together…lock your shields, stay as one…hold as one.” The gladiators who stay together with the Spaniard form a protective shell composed of shields in the center of the arena. Every time the chariots attack, the shields protect them. As the chariot returns for another attack, the Spaniard encourages the men shouting, “Hold.” At a precise moment, the Spaniard yells, “Diamond” and leads the gladiators in forming a diamond with their shields…and like a powerful machine, the combined shields overturn the chariot and hurtle the Legionnaires to their death.

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

—Ephesians 6:16

Constructed by combining two wooden boards together, wrapped in canvas, and then covered in leather, the shield protected the soldier against swords, spears, arrows and debris. However, when the arrows were lit, the shields would catch fire leaving the soldier vulnerable and unprotected. Therefore, soldiers would soak their shields in water before battle. The leather would absorb the water and extinguish any flaming arrow that came their way. When we trust in God and believe in His Son…with all that we are, we can protect ourselves against temptation. We can extinguish the weapons of the enemy before they take their toll on our lives This is true, but it can only partially protect us from temptation when we use it on our own—when our faith is exclusive—when we segregate ourselves from other Christ-followers.

The shield was a practical defensive weapon when used alone. However, it proved to be almost impenetrable defensively—and a powerful offensive weapon—when used in collaboration with the shields of other soldiers. The front-line would create a wall with their shields. The soldiers on the flanks would protect the formation on the sides, and the soldiers further back would place their shields overhead. Called the testudo formation after the tortoise, this formation protected the army on all sides and from above. In addition, the soldiers would wedge their formation in the shape of a diamond and advance—like a powerful machine—toward their enemy dividing their ranks and rendering them useless.

In the same way the shield was meant to function with other shields, our faith is intended to operate with other believers. Whatever comes out of the gates—whatever weapons the devil throws our way, we have a better chance of survival if we work together. Support groups, sponsors, a supportive and Christ-centered spouse, accountability partners, small groups, brothers or sisters in Christ…all these protect us against the devil far better than we can protect ourselves…even with a solid shield of faith before us. Together, as a community of faith, we can lock our shields together and hold fast. By staying together, we can deflect the spears and arrows of the enemy, overturn his chariots, and hurtle his Legionnaires to their death.

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

–Ecclesiastes 4:12

Why Worry?

Toward the end of my Jr. High tenure, I had acquired a few trustworthy friends. Nevertheless, due to my inability to progress, I continued to ruminate on the torture and ridicule I endured my seventh grade year. I pledged to never again frolic along the water’s edge of the pond scum that is the teenage pecking order. No longer would I accept my lot as mere plankton. I vowed to do whatever it took to climb the social ladder—whatever it took. This vow blinded me to the blessings God had already provided. I would never be content until they noticed me…until the ones who once wounded me accepted me as an equal—as their friend. This vow instilled within me a viciousness and cruelty that, upon reflection, causes me to cringe in fear of my potential to be inherently evil. I stabbed good friends in the back to move up a rung. I slandered my brother, who had always—up to that point—stood beside me as my best friend and confidant. My discontent for who I was, and with whom I associated, darkened my soul. The enemy fed off my discontent, and I willingly submitted to his assault.

Fifteen years later, I sat in my living room and wallowed in my discontent. I vowed to do whatever it took to climb the corporate and social ladders. No longer would I accept my lot in life. This vow blinded me to God’s providence. I longed for more—more money, more possessions, and more prestige. I had a loving wife, two healthy, adorable children, a fulfilling and thriving career, and a church home full of amazing and supportive brothers and sisters. For some reason, what I had wasn’t enough.

Upon standing up, pulling up our pants, fastening our belts around our waist through biblical preparation and personal integrity, confessing our faith in Jesus and embracing the righteousness of God, we fit our feet with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Our footwear is the next piece of God’s armor. By standing firm on stable footwear, that is, the gospel of peace, we prepare to stand firm against the enemy. The Roman soldier’s shoe, in fact—any soldier’s footwear—is essential in battle. The Roman soldier’s shoes were made from thick leather and were studded through the soles with hobnails, which provided stability and traction during battle. Peace—with others and within ourselves—is vital when standing against the enemy. Conflict with others distracts us from our purpose, which is sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Conflict within ourselves—anxiety, discontent, fear, and doubting God’s providence—opens our hearts to the enemy’s destructive weapons. When we fit our feet with discontent, we are no longer ready for the immediate battle that lies before us. Instead, we are focused on tomorrow’s battle that may or may not even occur.  According to one of the most brilliant sages of our time:

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the ‘present.’”

—Oogway in Kung Fu Panda

Anxiety is an enormous deterrent in battle. In episode 6 of HBO’s The Pacific, the Marines are fighting for the occupation of the Japanese-held island of Peleliu in the Palaus. Toward the end of the episode, one of the Marines has a nervous breakdown. His worry, fear, and anxiety overpowers him. He begins to scream alerting the enemy to their location. All attempts to calm him down fail, until finally, another Marine hits him over the head killing him instantly.

Worry, anxiety about tomorrow, and discontent exemplify our lack of trust in God and His provision. Discontent is slapping God in the face, because through our discontent, we ignore the blessings He’s already provided.

God provided manna for the people of Israel as they wandered through the wilderness. They were strictly instructed to gather only one-day’s worth of manna, not because God didn’t have enough to provide them with more, but because God wanted to teach the Israelites to know Him, to trust in Him, and to depend on Him. There will never be a day when we don’t need God, but there will also never be a day when God will fail to provide for our needs. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.  Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

—Matthew 6:24-34

Contentment prepares us against the enemy because it illustrates our full reliance on God. Contentment is trusting that God knows what’s best for us and trusting that our brothers and sisters have our best interests at heart…because God is working through them to carry out His pure and perfect will as it pertains to our lives.

Here I am, five years after my episode of discontent in my living room—no money, no wife, no church family, no job, and finally…no discontent. As I look at my life now compared to my life then, I’ve finally come to the comprehension that less is truly more…and with this contentment comes joy, recognition of the blessings that lie before me, and full reliance upon God to meet my daily needs. By dying to my worry, anxiety, inner and outer conflict, and heartless ambition, I’ve risen to embrace my reliance upon God’s daily providence. Not to say that I’m always outside the tomb—that I’m consistently reliant upon God to meet my needs or confidently trust that He will. I still occasionally roll back the stone and dwell within the tomb of doubt, discontent, and anxiety. However, God has revealed the peace and stability that accompanies my relying on him to meet my needs on a daily basis, and if I fit my feet with that…I can withstand anything the devil throws my way.

I’m Right… You’re Wrong

I’m still writing on the Armor of God. Last week’s title, “Caught With Your Pants Down” might have thrown you for a loop, but it was about the Belt of Truth. Today’s post is about the Breastplate of Righteousness—I’m just trying to be clever with my titling. I realize that occasionally my titles miss the mark completely…just bear with me, I’m a work-in-progress. Aren’t we all?

A few months ago, my friend informed me that Reformed theologians, of which I am one, think they’re right about everything. My response was, “We don’t think we’re right about everything, we just think everyone else is wrong.” Don’t we all have the tendency to think we’re right and they’re wrong? It is the slippery slope of self-righteousness. I’m right, therefore you’re wrong.

Arguments with your spouse, kids, roommates, or friends typically occur under this basis:

“If only he would load the dish washer correctly—plates in the back, bowls around the side, spoons and forks pointing up and segregated from each other so you can unload it quicker.” See, I can learn…I’m very trainable!

“I do a lot for this family, and she doesn’t even appreciate me or recognize my contributions…she takes me for granted and won’t even admit when she’s wrong.” “He doesn’t listen to me or notice me. He’s so wrapped up in himself that he won’t even acknowledge my validity.”

“Why can’t he understand that the toilet paper must come from underneath—it’s the right way…why can’t she understand that the toilet paper must come over the top—it’s the right way.”

Self-righteousness rears it’s ugly head in so many formats, one can hardly describe them all. I’m guilty of so many of them. They typically occur through condemning others based on your own rightness:

  • How can you eat that?
  • By believing that, you’re putting God in a box!
  • You use your and you’re incorrectly…and irregardless isn’t a word!
  • You can’t do Santa Claus on Christmas!
  • How can you let your children watch that program?

Self-righteousness instills in all of us, a Pharisaic worldview.

“If I’m right, I’m important. In fact, I’m so important I have no need for Christ.”

Without Christ, we end up putting on our own breastplate of self-righteousness—and that breastplate is about as useful as a stormtrooper’s armor. Check out this hilarious clip from Family Guy…trust me it’s not inappropriate. After viewing the clip, just hit the back arrow on your browser to return to my blog.

The breastplate of self-righteousness is useless. Self-righteousness weighs us down, gets in the way, and is a deterrent in battle. Like the stormtroopers, we may as well not even wear it.

The breastplate, however, was one of the most important pieces in the Roman soldier’s armor—it protected his vital organs. Without a breastplate, the soldier was an easy target. God recognized how important a quality breastplate was to our survival and protection against the enemy. Knowing also, how worthless our own attempts at righteousness were, God sent Jesus through whom our true righteousness could be obtained. Through faith in Jesus, through humbling ourselves and recognizing the futility in seeking rightness on our own, God offers us a breastplate of righteousness that can easily deflect the arrows of our enemy.

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.”

—Philippians 3:8-9

Through faith in Jesus, God offers us a breastplate, less like that of the stormtroopers and more like the mithril shirt of Frodo Baggins…where the spear of a cave troll cannot penetrate its protection.

As the enemy’s legions stand on guard waiting for the opportune time to strike, they find my self-righteousness irresistible. Self-righteousness isn’t just a kink in one’s armor, it’s a wide open gap. Like the stormtrooper’s armor, our self-righteousness is useless against the weapons of our enemy. When I’m most vulnerable, I can trust that my faith in Jesus will protect me. By humbling myself, considering my own ambition to be right as useless garbage in comparison to the Gospel, and placing my hope at the foot of the cross, God promises me the protection of His own righteousness. God makes me right through faith…and that—and only that—protects my heart and soul from the devil.

God’s Armor – Stand

Last night I briefly sat behind a closed-door, away from my kids, and wallowed in my own fear. Lately it feels as if the enemy has found his way inside my perimeter and is on the verge of attack. It is during times like these where I have to pick myself up and prepare for whatever he’s going to throw, fire, sling, or launch in my direction. According to the Apostle Paul, the first step in preparation for the enemy’s attack is to stand:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

—Ephesians 6:10-13

Paul mentions the word “stand” three times in this short passage. Standing is obviously an essential component to wearing God’s armor and protecting ourselves from the enemy’s attacks.

I’m reminded of an episode from Seinfeld. Who am I kidding, arguably, every event in my life reminds me of an episode from Seinfeld. In this episode titled “The Maestro,” George Costanza feels sorry for a security guard who works in his fiancé’s uncle’s store. George, thinking he’s entitled to make decisions regarding the ongoing management of the store, arranges a chair for the security guard. After sitting for a few hours, the security guard falls asleep and a burglar robs the store. Standing is definitely more difficult than sitting, but it keeps us alert, prepared, and secure. The Battle of Sterling depicted in the movie Braveheart would have had a completely different outcome, if the men of Scotland were sitting down as the English cavalry stormed the battlefield. Can you even imagine such a thing?

Standing in battle is essential. That isn’t to say, we don’t fall…because we do. When the enemy succeeds in knocking us down, he strikes a blow…but it’s only significant if we stay down. The strength of the Lord found in the Holy Spirit provides us with the fortitude to get back up. Last night, as I floundered on the ground and felt sorry for myself, I realized that if I didn’t get back up—if I continued to dwell on the devil’s arrow as it protruded from my side, the enemy would win. I couldn’t let that happen. I had to break off the arrow, fight back the tears as the pain was coursing through my body, and stand back up.

The song “Stand” by Lenny Kravitz was music to my ears this morning:

Don’t give up,
You’re gonna see tomorrow
That you’ll be on your feet again
Sometimes the world’s gonna knock you over
But you will see who you are your friends

Come on, stand, up again
Come on, stand,
Stand, you’re gonna run again

Your faith and patience will be your soldiers
To guide you through your troubled times
Just put one foot in front of the other
The battles are inside your mind
You have the power to face your demons
No matter how they go on time
And rid yourself of your fear and weakness
So you can start to live your life

In an odd paradox, humility directly correlates with standing firm. When we humble ourselves before God, He provides us with His strength. All of our weaknesses can be placed in His caring hands, and He will provide us with strength, courage, and faith to withstand anything the devil throws in our direction. When we do this, we are like the standing security guard—alert and sober. When we don’t—when we lose sight of God, sit down defeated, and stay down—our mind and strength weakens…eventually causing us to fall asleep. At this moment, the devil emerges to rob us blind.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

—1 Peter 5:6-9

The enemy is still watching me from the shadows…I can feel his eyes upon me and sense him waiting for me to falter. Therefore, my next few posts are going to focus on the armor of God.

I just have a feeling that I’m gonna need it.