I have so many failings and flaws of character, I told myself one miserable morning recently. I haven’t changed, I never will change, I never can change. I should just give up and throw myself in the trash.
Do you ever feel that way?
Still Small Voice: You’re not alone, you know? I’m always with you.
“I know You live in my heart,” I said. “But I’m such a poor representative.”
Maybe you’re looking at the wrong person?
As I lay on my pillow, I remembered a sweet Texas drawl from many years ago—it was my friend’s mother as she said: “Well of course you’re having trouble, darlin’–you’re goin’ into battle nekked!”
I realized I was doing it again.
And I was getting throttled.
My Texan sister was referring to Ephesians 6 and the full armor of God. That morning it seemed overwhelming to walk through the passage step-by-step. But I had to do something. I looked around for a quick spiritual sword to whack at the enemy and push him back.
The sword I swung is from Phil. 1:6, which says, “He who began a good work in you will complete it…”
HE–God–Creator, Majesty, lover of my soul. I remembered how God once granted my childish prayer to prevent an undeserved spanking from hurting. He has answered all such childish prayers since. “He will never leave you or forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6).
With this remembrance I put on my breastplate of His righteousness to protect my heart from Satan’s jabs.
WHO BEGAN–One day, this former runaway teen heard how Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins and adopt me into His family. From that moment on, I had a future. “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too hard for Me?” (Jer. 32:27)
With this remembrance I donned my helmet of salvation to protect my mind from Satan’s trickery.
A GOOD WORK—when I bring my broken pieces and failed intentions to God, He exchanges my ashes for beauty, my mourning for the oil of joy, and my depression for a garment of praise. He exchanges withered sticks for “trees of righteousness, a planting for the Lord.” (Is. 61:3)
I gird my loins with the truth that God makes me beautiful and fruitful for Himself. I cover my nakedness so none other has mastery over me. I am His alone–His beautiful bride.
IN ME–He knows me: I love fields, red clay, baby feet, basil pesto. Loud noise and activities stress me. I want to be braver. He works with it all. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)
The utter joy of being completely known and yet loved leads me to polish my shoes and shod my feet with the gospel of peace so I can tell everyone about this God who loves us to and for Himself.
WILL COMPLETE IT–completion of God’s good work doesn’t depend on me but on the completed work of Christ and promises of God. “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire…” (Is. 55:11)
I lift my shield and take up my sword. I remember that Jesus changed everything–my passage through time as well as my eternal destiny. I strike down the lies that discourage and derail me. I’m rescued from the trash, never to return.
I still have many flaws and failings of character but I rise, fully armored, in this promise:
“…He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil.1:6)
When the Enemy of your soul picks a fight with you, friends, put on your best Texas drawl and don’t go into battle nekked.