Are You Wearing The The Whole Armor Of God Correctly?

PUTTING ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD

There is a world at war going on and has been since Adam and Eve. It is a war of good verse’s evil. This was manifested when Cain killed Able. Ever since then the battle of good over evil has been a prevalent theme throughout the Bible.

It’s no wonder that the Apostle Paul admonished the Ephesians to put on the whole armor of God in the war that has been going on for thousands of years.

THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 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, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Ephesians 6:11-18)

The whole armor of God is described metaphorically as having your loins girt about with truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit. But the armor of God is not all, Paul goes on to say that we should put on the whole armor of God and then pray always and watch for the evil enemy with perseverance.

Doing this will ensure our victory against the evil one. Let’s look more closely at the whole armor of God and see how each piece of the spiritual armor will protect us. The spiritual pieces of armor are truth, righteousness, the preparation of the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the spirit, praying and watching.

whole_armor_god_labeledSome of the spiritual armor makes sense and is somewhat obvious like truth, faith, and prayer. Some not so obvious like the preparation of the gospel of peace and helmet of salvation.

Let’s look at all of these pieces of armor individually and in doing so we can also do an inventory check to see what we need to do to make sure our spiritual armor is on and ready to use against the powers of evil.

TRUTH
Truth comes from the Bible and the better we know it, the less likely we are to be lead astray by what other people think is truth. For example, if we are firm in our understanding of the book of Genesis and the creation, the floods etc. then we can understand the truth about how the earth was formed and not be lead astray by false science.

FAITH
Faith is to believe in that which is true but not seen with the naked eye. Faith is to believe something by feeling it, not by seeing it. You can feel the wind but you can’t see it. You can even see the effects of wind but you can’t see the air blowing in all its fury. You can feel faith by the whispering of the spirit of the Holy Ghost and you can see the effects of faith but you can’t see it with the naked eye.

In the case of Jesus Christ and his gospel we see with our hearts, not our eyes.

RIGHTEOUSNESS
With the help of the dictionary, “righteousness is the state or quality of being righteous. Righteous is characterized by uprightness or morality. Acting in an upright, moral way, a righteous and godly person.”

Righteousness is a way of living. If you are righteous then you are living and applying the gospel principles taught by Jesus Christ. It’s one thing to read “thou shalt not commit adultery” but it’s another thing to live by the higher law of not lusting after someone.

Living the gospel, not just reading about it . . . applying the gospel not just getting motivated by a Christian meme on Facebook is what it’s all about. If you are busy doing good and serving the Lord then you will be protected against the evil one.

PEACE
The gospel of Jesus Christ as outlined and taught in the Holy Bible is the gospel of peace. If you love the Lord and are busy striving to keep his commandments then you are living the gospel of peace.

Looking up the word ‘preparation’ in the dictionary helps to make sense of the phrase
“the preparation of the gospel of peace” which could otherwise be phrased being prepared with the gospel of peace. This could also indicate that you are a peacemaker to the extent you can be, in a war between good and evil.

SALVATION
The gospel of peace or the gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel whereby salvation comes from. If we know that we will be saved by the gospel of Christ, we can be brave in the fight against evil.

SPIRIT OF TRUTH
The spirit of truth testifies of the word of God which is found in the Holy Bible. If we are filled with the spirit of truth we will not be deceived in this war of temptation, thoughts and ideas contrary to righteousness.

PRAYING ALWAYS
Praying always is not compared to a piece of armor but it is mentioned prominently in this section of scripture because it so important that we talk to God. All the armor in the world and all the armies in the world can only prevail against wickedness if they are directed by the will of God. We find that will and word of God through prayer.

Armies are guided by a commander that sees the big picture and knows if the army should attack head on or in a flanking maneuver. God is our commander in this battle and praying to him makes perfect sense. We will let Heavenly Father guide our armies in defense of truth and righteousness.

Is their anything lacking in your armor that God has designed to protect us? If so, it is not to late to fix that armor and get it back on for your protection.

Troy Wagstaff © Copyright, All rights reserved.

back on for your protection.

Dark Clouds Don’t Always Mean Rain

Inspirational Quotes

Dark Clouds Don’t Always Mean Rain

dark_clouds_dont_always_mean_rainI love this meme. “Dark clouds don’t always mean rain. As someone with Fibromyalgia, I look at the weather closely because I know that most of the time dark cloud mean I will experience more pain than usual.  Sometimes I wake up in the morning and my body tells me their are dark clouds over head or even that their is snow or rain on the ground.

I look out the window and what do I see? Snow, rain or a wind storm with dark clouds over head. I know it’s going to be a bad day.

But, every once in a while, for me with my illness, the dark clouds don’t always mean I will experience more pain or sickness that day. And so it is in life. Dark clouds don’t always mean rain.

Some times dark clouds are a nice shade from the hot sun. Giving us a reprieve from the heat of a long summers heat wave. When we see dark clouds let’s not rush to judgment. The dark clouds may actually be a blessing in disguise.

Greatest Hits Volume 1 — Christian Devotionals and Articles

Greatest Hits Volume 1 — Christian Devotionals and Articles

CallahanWriter.com has well over a hundred posts. The topics of the CallahanWriter blog are Christian Devotionals, Christian Articles, Fibro Awareness and posts related to my journey with Fibromyalgia. Other topics include collections of free memes, creative writing and short stories. Those last two are yet to come.

Since the post is growing I thought I would share a few of my favorite Christian articles that you may have missed.  This blog comes with a search feature and all posts are archived. Feel free to look around.

The Rose Bush. Lessons From The Rose Garden

Sometimes the trials and tribulations that we will go through are deliberate and under the control of a loving, caring Creator. Other times we go through trials and tribulations as a consequence of our behavior.

Joseph And The Coat Of Many Colors

The story of Joseph of Egypt is a story of hope, faith and perseverance. It’s the perfect story to illustrate the doctrine of Romans 8:28 where it says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Lessons Learned From the Parable of the Prodigal Son

Lessons learned from this Parable are emphasized in the preceding two Parables. The Lord our God rejoices in the sinner that humbly repents and seeks forgiveness. The father of the prodigal son celebrates the return of his lost son, restoring him with clothing and food in a joyous celebration.

How Can We Endure the Temptations and Chaos in The Last Days?

How Can We Endure the Temptations and
Chaos in The Last Days?

Are we living in the last days? Read the newspapers and the news sites on the Web, if that doesn’t tell you we are living in the last days then read the prophecies in the Bible about the way things will be in the last days. We are living in a day of chaos, temptation, blood and horror. Wickedness is pouring down upon all people everywhere. How can we endure the chaos of the signs of the times until our last breath?

The Prophet Isaiah speaks often about the last days before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Through his prophecy and those of other Old Testament prophecies we get a glimpse of what things will be like during the Last Days.

In Chapter 40 there is a beautiful verse that is often quoted for its imagery and its teaching of hope, it is Isaiah 40:31 which reads:

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

I love this passage of scripture as much as the next Christian. I want to talk about what makes this passage so special, and why it gives hope to us living in the Last Days.

Let’s look at verses 28-30 which sets up verse 31 and explains some of the meaning of verse 31.

While there are many in the Last Days that will faint with weariness and have no strength, our Lord, the Creator of all things, will have all strength and will never faint. Our Lord will be the one constant to which we can look to for energy as we start to fail. He will strengthen us when we get weary from the chaos and commotion of the wickedness of the last days.

wings_as_eaglesVerse 28 reminds us that “there is no searching of his understanding.” In other words, he is all-knowing which means he can help us better than any other source to which we may be tempted to look.

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths will faint and be weary, and the young men will utterly fall.”

Beautiful imagery. This all sounds great but it’s not as simple as those three verses alone may sound. Their meaning is dependant on what it says in verse 31 where it mentions an important phrase: “they that wait upon the Lord.”

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31)

For those who wait upon the Lord will be given power in the Last Days so that we may overcome temptations and have power to overcome the great wickedness and chaos of the end of times.

What does the word “wait” mean in this context? There are a few definitions that apply perfectly for this verse. “To be available or in a state of readiness; To eagerly look forward to; To attend upon (especially as a sign of respect); To perform the duties of an attendant or servant for; to call upon.”

Let’s reread verse 31 with some of these definitions in place of the word “wait” to see how it works.

“But they that are in a state of readiness upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Or,

how_can_we_deal_with_last_days“But they that eagerly look forward upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Or lastly,

“But they that that attend upon or perform the duties of an attendant upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

If we want the blessings of verse 31, and what Christian wouldn’t? We need to wait upon the Lord rather than go it alone in the perilous events of the last days. Always work on your faith that it fails not when needed the most.

What Does It Mean To Believe In Jesus Christ?

What Does It Mean To Believe In Jesus Christ?

I recently came across a kindly man who had converted to Judaism from Catholicism. He asked me the following question, “What does it mean to believe in Jesus? I’ve never found a Christian who could answer this based on the faith Jesus lived — Judaism.”

I am choosing to answer this question on my CallahanWriter Blog. I hope this is interesting to the rest of you. Maybe you might be able to use these thoughts sometime in your own Christian walk.

Jesus was born in the lineage of David which is also the lineage of Judah. This made Him a Jew. I think everyone knows that.

When Jesus performed miracles, He often told the recipient to go and give their offerings to the local priest at the temple. Sometimes he told the newly healed benefactor not to tell anyone about the miracle. At least one did tell of his miraculous recovery which caused The Lord to be inundated with throngs of people.

Sprinkled in His teachings were bits and pieces of the Mosaic law and many of His teachings showed a respect to the Mosaic laws. But He taught a higher law, higher than the basic Mosaic laws.

Sermon On The Mount

What Does It Mean To Believe In Jesus?

What Does It Mean To Believe In Jesus?

Case in point. At the beginning of His ministry Jesus taught one of His great sermons called the “Sermon on The Mount.” He referred to the Mosaic law, and the “Ten Commandments” when he said “Thou shalt not kill.” He went on to teach a higher law that we should not be angry with our fellows and whoever ever is guilty of being angry with his brethren shall be in danger of the judgment.

Similarly, He referred to the commandment of old, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” He went on to teach a higher law that we should not look on a person and lust after them.

This was His introduction to teaching higher laws than the Mosaic laws, the laws by which Jews followed.

He taught so many higher laws that a few times the Gospel writers mentioned Jesus as saying something to the effect, “I have not come to destroy the law, but have come to fulfil the law.” The fulfilment of the law was offering His sinless soul to pay the infinite price of sin committed by all who have or all who will live on this planet.

He observed the laws of Moses as much as He was able while teaching a higher law. There were times when He and His apostles were accused of some minor infractions of the law such as when they were traveling through a corn field and ate of the corn. He taught about the realities of life with the parable of a man getting his livestock out of a hole on the Sabbath which strict adherence to the Mosaic law would have forbidden.

Higher Law

Jesus did not live the life of a Jew the way the Scribes, Pharisees and Seduces judged the law. He respected the law that He came to fulfil while teaching everyone He could about a New Testament or new and higher law or gospel.

The faith by which Jesus lived was that of Christianity, not Judaism. He respected the law of ordinances and performances of the Mosaic law but believed, lived and taught a higher law, the gospel of Jesus Christ, not the law of Moses by which the laws and doctrines of Judaism are based on.

I love my brethren of the Jewish faith. We have so much in common. Our main point of difference, is, and it’s big one, is our belief in Jesus Christ, The Messiah.

As a Christian I believe in Jesus Christ as my Redeemer and Messiah. I know he was born Jewish and I know He tried all He could to teach a higher way than the laws of Moses. Like all Christians, I believe Jesus Christ to be the Messiah that most of the Jews refused to believe in.

Troy Wagstaff © All Rights Reserved. May be used with permission by the author.

Should We Worship With Our Heart and Mind? Daily Devotional

Should We Worship With Our Heart and Mind? — Daily Devotional

There is a popular “self-help” idea that has been active on the Internet for several years.

This idea is called “positive affirmations” or “affirmational statements.” These are one sentence statements of truth that a person repeats to him or herself many times a day until the person feels like that truth is a part of her.

For example, I would repeat this affirmation statement “I am strong” countless times through the day. The idea being, that I can reprogram myself to believe that I am strong.

What I love about the gospel of Jesus Christ is that it can be used as the yard stick by which we measure truth. When I first came to learn of this “affirmation statement” concept for self-improvement I kind of raised a brow and moved on.

Then I happened upon this phrase while reading in the Old Testament. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) Put another way, thoughts precede our actions. Then I remembered this “affirmation thing” on the Web and looked into it again.

sharper_thant_2_edfged_swordI concluded that for the most part, the affirmation concept for self-help is valid but it is not a new concept, thousands of years ago this idea was addressed in the Bible.

This concept of controlling your thoughts before they become actions was talked about in the Old and New Testaments.

During the Sermon on The Mount Jesus taught that killing someone is terrible but being angry with someone is also bad. Stop being angry with your brother and then killing isn’t an issue.

The same with adultery, it is a terrible sin but lusting after someone in their mind is also bad. It’s easier to repent from lustful thoughts and anger than it is to repent for adultery or murder.

So if we keep our thoughts under control we will act better and be better. Our thoughts are a big part of our worship. The thoughts and intents of the heart (or mind) are extremely important living the gospel.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Not only do our thoughts affect our wardout actions but God can and does discern the thoughts and intents of our heart. This “affirmation therapy” is rooted in doctrinal truth. We need to be clean that bare the vessels of the Lord. That starts with the thoughts and intents of our heart and mind. Let us fill our heart and mind with the love and joy of the gospel.

Troy Wagstaff © All Rights Reserved

It’s Easier To Fix Small Things

It’s Easier to Fix Small Things

It’s easier to replace the oil in your car every three months than it is to replace a burned out motor. It’s cheaper to fix a small crack in your windshield than to replace the whole windshield.

It’s easier to repent of lust than it is to repent of adultery. It’s easier to fix the small things than it is to fix the big things.

Matthew Chapter 5 is best known for the Beatitudes, rightfully so. It is also the beginning of the famed Sermon on The Mount where wonderful and transcendent teachings were given by The Master himself.

Throughout the Sermon on The Mount (Matt. 5-7) there are many teachings and subjects talked about in that sermon. We will be looking at six verses that describes a concept called the “higher law.” Let’s read from Matthew 5:21-24, 27-28

21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:21-24, 27-28

“It was said by them of old time . . . thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not commit adultery.” That is a reference to two of the Ten Commandments.

The “higher law” so-called, has given us additional and helpful information on overcoming temptation. The essential message is rather than be concerned with killing someone, don’t let anger get that far. Figure out your issues before the anger leads to murder.

Rather than worrying about committing adultery, worry about not lusting after someone. If lust is kept in check, then there would be no adultery.

Who says the Bible doesn’t have the remedies for all of societies ills?

Lets go back to the issue of anger and killing and look a little deeper at this concept of anger management. Make no mistake, God will punish those who commit murder. Jesus said “whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment.”

So now there is a consequence to being angry with your brothers or sisters. First it was don’t kill, now, after the Sermon on The Mount, it is don’t be angry. Nip anger in the bud and you’ll never have to worry about the commandment “thou shalt not kill.”

Like the passage of scripture says, if you have issues with someone go make it right or forgive him and stop being angry. If you’re not angry at anyone then you won’t be inclined to kill anyone. This is a great example of the higher law.

The second example of the higher law regards adultery. It’s a serious sin with serious consequences. To keep you away from the temptation to commit adultery, Jesus taught that we should not lust after anyone. Jesus made lust a sin. Repenting for lust is far easier than repenting for adultery.

It is easier to change your lustful thoughts or to change your anger than it is in dealing with the consequences of such terrible behavior. Change the oil in your spiritual life before it gets out of hand.

Troy Wagstaff

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