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::Devotional:: ‘Rebuilding Your Relationship With The Lord – Part 5’

March 12, 2010

It has long been said that the best defense is a good offense.  In football the team whose offense controls the clock and puts points on the board generally wins the game.  In soccer and basketball the team that keeps the ball on the opponent’s side more has to deal with defense less.  Even in the game of chess the player who holds the initiative, the offensive attack, controls the game and forces their opponent to use their turns to parry (defense) rather than attack. Rebuilding our relationship with the Lord requires that we take an active role in maintaining the initiative against the enemy.

Our relationship with the Lord and the attacks of the enemy is no game.  The stakes are infinitely and eternally higher.  The Bible describes the an enemy as a roaring lion who is out to destroy us.

The Final Stage

Nehemiah was the leader who worked to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem after the Babylonians seized the city.  This was the third phase of the rebuilding of Jerusalem that followed Zerubbabel’s rebuilding of the altar and temple as well as Ezra’s reform of the people.  The wall was for the physical defense of the city but it was also symbolic of the restored relationship between the Jews and the Lord.

Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in:  Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire.  Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.”  I also told them about the gracious hand of God upon me and what the king had said to me.  Nehemiah 2:17-18

Like the wall of Jerusalem, our restored relationship with the Lord brings us out of disgrace and into God’s grace.  It is important that we are on guard against future attacks from the enemy.  Remember, the best defense is a good offense.

Preparing for Battle

I sometimes wonder if the enemy was plainly visible, flesh and blood, prowling around outside my front door if I would leave the house as unprepared to face him as many times as I do.  I would like to think that I would have enough sense to arm myself someway and somehow as I looked out the window and saw him poised and ready to pounce on my front porch.  Unfortunately, the enemy is not that visible.  Therefore we must be purposeful in our preparation to fight against him.

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.  Ephesians 6:12

We fight a spiritual battle against spiritual forces, and that requires spiritual armor.  As elegant as that may sound it is not a fancy metaphor or figure of speech; it is to be taken literally.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of Gd so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  Ephesians 6:10

The armor of God consists of the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the footgear of readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit.

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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.  Ephesians 6:13-18

[If you’d like more information on the armor of God, check out these blog posts from Pastor Terry Covey:  Have Your Loins Girt About With Truth, The Breastplate of Righteousness, the Helmet of Salvation, and the Shield of Faith]

Maintain the Initiative

With a rebuilt and restored relationship with the Lord, we must maintain it.  Our focus is to maintain the initiative; with God and against the enemy.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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