Take 5 (June 5-9, 2017)

Michelle Thompson • Early Childhood Director

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I like to win. And if we are honest, I think most of us do. In our modern society we have the “win at all cost” individuals, and some who would say we should just all participate and take the competition out of everything. But, I want us to shift our focus this week to eternal victory – not a temporary game that no one will ever remember. Let’s look at winning where it really matters! 

MONDAY: Understand the Enemy

Ephesians 6:10-12, 1 Peter 5:8

Victorious armies spend time on strategy and understanding their enemy. They know they must understand the opponent’s motives and strategies if they hope to mount an effective challenge.

Similarly, if you hope to live an infinitely successful life, one lived for eternal significance and not for temporary accolades, you need to remember that Satan and his army have an evil strategy. I think we sometimes make it too easy for him. If he can get us distracted by the “things” of this world–possessions, schedules, careers, children, etc.–he doesn’t have to worry about us making a very large spiritual impact on this world. We essentially make ourselves useless in the divine conflict.

Remember, you do have an enemy who is waging a war against you – whether you engage or not!

TUESDAY: Buckle Up!

Ephesians 6:13-14, 1 Peter 5:8

As we discussed yesterday, if we understand our enemy, our chance of victory over him is much greater. But we must also know ourselves!

What is the truth that God says about you? You are a wonderful creation. You are dearly loved. He loved you before you were born, while you were a sinner. When you are tempted to get discouraged, or you begin listening to negative voices (those sneaky lies of the devil), remember the truth and God’s opinion of you. We know that Satan is the Father of Lies, therefore, the belt of truth is an important piece of our Christian Battle Armor.

Today, put on your belt!

WEDNESDAY: Get Your Shoes On!

Eph. 6:15, Jas. 3:17, Ps. 34:14, Matt. 5:9

In our society today, rudeness is often seen as strength. Christ, though, wants us to strive for peace; to be prepared to share the peace that He gives us. It can be the small things that make a difference. I was downtown for an appointment this week and was walking to my car just as a woman pulled into the space behind mine. She pulled rather close and I was wondering how I was going to pull my large SUV out of the space without maneuvering a 52-point turn. But I approached her car with a different motive than an argument. As she rolled down her window, I realized she had a defensive look on her face, but when I said, “I have 54 minutes left on my meter if you’d like to pull forward after I leave.” Her expression changed to pleasant surprise, and she backed up to give me plenty of room.

Today, seek to make a peaceful difference in someone’s day. Tie up your shoes of peace!

THURSDAY: Wield That Shield!

Ephesians 6: 16-17, 1 Peter 5:7-9

I love the fact that a shield is the defensive piece of armor that we can wield around to fend off specific attacks. Other pieces of armor are stationary and do their jobs for specific body parts, but a shield is adaptable and can be quickly moved from one area to another.

Our Christian Shield of Faith is able to handle anything the devil throws at us. Our faith in God’s goodness, wisdom, and protection can conquer anything we face. And just as a warrior practices to become skilled with his shield, we need to allow our faith to grow and flourish daily, learning to trust our Savior as our protector from attacks that may otherwise take us under.

Today, give yourself a faith checkup and polish up that shield!

FRIDAY: Attack!

Ephesians 6:17

Our helmet is important because most of the attacks we face are in our mind–and Satan knows it–he’s been at this game a long time. We can rest secure in our salvation knowing that we are eternally sheltered by the ultimate protector: God.

Once our salvation is secured, God wants us to be prepared to go on the offensive. He gave us only one weapon to brandish against the powers of evil: His Word, the Bible. Read it, study it, memorize it, and use it! Jesus was God in the flesh and when Satan tried to tempt Him, what did He do? He didn’t attempt to outwit Satan, or see how close He could flirt with sin, He simply and firmly quoted Scripture and Satan withdrew. Don’t sit around being defeated in your sin. Fight back!!

Today, claim the victory that is yours in Jesus!