Are You a Spiritual Streaker?

You may or may not recall the popular fad in the 1970’s called streaking. For various reasons, to fulfill an individual dare, en masse, or just as a hobby, men and women alike were running au natural across college campuses and professional football fields. Even the Academy Awards wasn’t without its own flashing blur. Not long after the awards show incident, Ray Stevens, Country & Gospel singer best known for his novelty songs recorded The Streak. It became a number one single and was certified a gold record in 1974. Needless to say, the sensation took the country by storm.

In our busy lives today are we running through life as a Spiritual Streaker” living unprotected, setting ourselves up for attack from the enemy? The Bible tells us we must prepare ourselves for battle with the spiritual armor of God.

In his letter to the Ephesians the Apostle Paul writes:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. – Ephesians 6:10-18 NKJV
What strikes me about this passage of scripture is that in order to be strong in the Lord’s mighty power, WE have to put on the armor. God supplies it for us but we have to put it on! Let’s look at the individual pieces of armor, their spiritual meaning and apply them to our daily lives.
  1. The Belt of Truth – Naturally speaking, a belt is used to hold things in place; spiritually the belt of truth does the same thing. Truth keeps us secure in Christ and makes effective all the other pieces of armor. We must keep God’s Word of Truth securely wrapped around us every moment.
  2. The Breastplate of Righteousness – The breastplate is made of iron and covers the chest. In our case it covers our heart and is made of righteousness. To be righteous is to be made right with God, free of condemnation. If you’ve accepted Christ as your Savior YOU have been made right with God and are indeed robed in His Righteousness!
  3. The Shoes of Peace – Natural shoes protect the soldier’s feet as she travels to battle. Spiritual shoes aid our movement and defense. Equipped with truth and the confidence of being right with God, we journey with purpose, in The Shoes of Peace. With a focused and clear understanding of the Gospel, we’re ready to make Christ known to the world around us.
  4. The Shield of Faith – The shield defends not only the soldiers whole body but also the other weapons. A skilled soldier moves her shield with the attack holding back the enemy’s darts. Faith is produced first when we hear the Word of God, then drops into our hearts when we receive Christ as our Savior. It keeps us from doubting God’s Word, reminds us because of Christ we can stand freely before God the Father. Faith is the foundational message others will see walked out in our daily lives.
  5. The Helmet of Salvation – The helmet is of course a protective covering for the head; without it the soldier would be very vulnerable. Spiritually, we too are vulnerable without it because the mind is usually the first place the enemy attacks. While continually filling our mind with God’s Word, working toward transformation, we must diligently guard its inputs as if our very life depends on it, because it does!
  6. The Sword of The Spirit – Last, but certainly not least, the only offensive weapon in the group, the sword. A soldier wouldn’t dare attempt battle without her double edged sword. She might be able to protect herself for a minute, but without the sword a soldier will never win the battle! Did you notice the word SWORD = S + Word? I love that! Our Sword is literally a Spiritual Word! Spiritually our sword is God’s Word. We must use it consistently and effectively in our daily lives.

Notice that God’s Word is linked to every piece of armor: without it we wouldn’t know The Truth; we wouldn’t be covered by Righteousness; we wouldn’t have a Message of Faith or a mind worth sharing it with!
When we dress to meet the day, our natural armor – our clothes, don’t automatically jump on our body; we have to physically put them on. Are you prepared today or are you setting yourself up to lose by walking into your battle spiritually naked?
God has graciously given us armor to protect ourselves with but it’s up to us to use it! Take out your Bible; find scriptures that relate to your battle today. Put your Sword to work by speaking aloud God’s Word over your life and the lives of those around you!

CHALLENGE: Print out the picture of the woman soldier. Post it on your bathroom mirror. As you dress, consciously put on your armor each day. It will make a difference in your life!
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS: What are some creative ways you can remind yourself to put on your Spiritual Armor each day? To keep it on throughout the day?

Don’t Take No When God Says, “YES!”

Last week I had an opportunity to travel with my husband to meet our new company’s board members and investors. During our stay in Dallas I caught up with my small group from Gateway Church, reconnected with my friends Susie, Cindy and Mary, and met new friends Tonya, Monette and Diane. God always shows up in this group and this day was no exception. Cindy shared what God continues to speak to her: “We must not take no when God says, Yes!” She has shared these words with us on more than one occasion, but this time it came to me with a fresh meaning.

Let’s do a little grammar and look at the tense of the word. It isn’t said, in the past tense, but in the present tense, says. Meaning, the promises in the Bible were not just for the people in Old and New Testament times. The Power of God’s “Yes” is for us today!

God says, “Yes!” to so many things that I think we sometimes take it for granted. Maybe we don’t even realize what He says, “Yes!” about to begin with. He says, “Yes!” to marriage and family restoration; emotional, mental and physical healing; financial breakthroughs; deliverance from low self-esteem and freedom from addictions.

Our problem is that we choose instead to believe the voice in our head that continues to repeat messages from the enemy; messages of doubt and unbelief, confusion and uncertainty, discouragement and defeat.

QUESTION: What are you saying no to today? Physical healing, your marriage, addiction recovery…

CHALLENGE: This Christmas say “Yes!” to God’s love; love that was brought to a hurting and lost world in the form of a baby boy that Holy Night 2000 years ago. No matter what may be troubling you, there’s no hurt, no problem too big for God to overcome. Don’t wait another minute, say no to the enemy today! Open your mouth and tell him God say’s, “Yes!” Yes to your body being healthy and whole. Tell the enemy God say’s, “Yes!” to your marriage being fully restored in Christ. Tell the enemy God say’s “Yes!” to your freedom from all addictions! Don’t take the enemy’s no; God has given you The Power of His Yes! Believe it and receive it today!