“Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” (1 John 3:21-24) NIV
On my way to drop off my girls at school today, I was praying the Armor of God over them. Watching them walk towards the front door of the school building, I could see how many different ways Satan had the opportunity to steal their joy and push them off the track that God has planned for them. It occurred to me that Satan’s weapon of choice is a crowbar.
He finds the cracks in our defenses, wedges in the curved neck of the beat-up tool, and pulls and yanks until the walls we thought were solid come crumbling down.
This is why our armor is so incredibly important. We can’t shore up every piece of brick and mortar we stacked around us because that would take our undivided diligence. Unfortunately, we are constantly facing division due to sin, and with every drop of its precipitation, our mortar will weaken.
First John 3:21-24 is asking us to keep God’s commands, and the very first one is to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ. It is through this belief that we are able to wear the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and carry the sword of the spirit.
How often in our lives do we feel like everything is running smoothly and out of nowhere, there is a division within our family, discourse at our workplace, jealousy and coveting of what others have, dissatisfaction with our place in this world, or love seems lost between a spouse but found in someone else?
This doesn’t start out big. It starts out small. It starts with a fleeting thought, a silent wish, anger at a wrong, or desiring more than God has provided. It’s a scratch in the weakened mortar until enough space is made for the crowbar to do its job.
The weapon of offense given to us is a sword. Our sword is the Word of God. In all honesty, sometimes our sword can be difficult to pick up. I know when I open God’s Word, it creates a call to action. I read a verse that reminds me to help someone, warns against a chosen path I have taken, informs me the anger I harbor at the unfairness of a situation is time being wasted, and asks me to stop living for the world and start living for Him.
Sometimes I will look at my Bible and think to myself, man, I just don’t have time to deal with what God may be asking me to do today. I have a right to be mad, and I just can’t let it go right now. But God, I want new carpeting! Can’t I just charge it this one time? Or my favorite, I have too much of my own things to deal with!
As I walk past my Bible and leave God’s Word idle, Satan is chipping away at the wall I created because I decided my armor was too cumbersome. The sword that he is deathly afraid of is left on my bedside table which makes his crowbar more powerful than it should be. One look at our sword and he will flee. How often do we leave it leaning on the wall to collect dust?
God’s Spirit is in you and Satan hates that. John tells us that by keeping God’s commands, God lives in us. His Spirit is dwelling within our very souls. Let’s show our enemy the glint of our steel by reading God’s Word, believing in His son, and following His commands. He will take his rusted crowbar and run.