TRANSCRIPT: Good morning, Five Minute Families. We are continuing in Ephesians chapter 6. So far we have highlighted how families need to know that their esteem is in Christ and not solely in ourselves and that there are battles all around us but those battles are not against each other but against principalities and powers, things that get us off track from putting our faith in connecting to the Lord for strength and encouragement. How do we construct our lives and families to follow the guidance we see Paul teaching here?
We get the answer to that question in Ephesians 6:13 – “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” We have said this before: when you see a ‘therefore’ in Scripture, it should make you ask, ‘what is it there for?’ The use of the word ‘therefore’ tells us that we should reflect on what we just heard and be prepared to learn something new.
Five-minute families, we should not base our lives on our feelings, which can change quite quickly given different circumstances and situations, but rather we base our lives in the words and concepts that God provides. Here in Ephesians He is providing a way to deal with circumstances and situations in a resilient, definitive way, bringing strength and stability, no matter what is happening around us.
Thus, how do we prepare our hearts and families for what God has prepared for us.
1. First, verse thirteen says to ‘take up the full armor of God.’ We will expand on the multiple pieces of the armor in the next several FMF devotions, but it begins with “taking up,” an intentional choice and a decision to move forward. Lead your family in the right direction – God’s direction.
2. Next, we must ‘be able to resist.’ Know that when you focus on God and not your own understanding, you will be successful. You will be able to resist the temptations and trials that you face. Promote faith that even when you feel weak, He is strong, and you are victorious through Jesus.
3. Third, we ‘recognize the evil day approaches.’ Life is complicated and difficult much of the time. We need to recognize those struggles but not give the struggles more power than God. He is superior!
4. Fourth, we are to ‘do everything.’ That can sound overwhelming to think we may miss something in the midst of our struggles or temptations, but God gives us many tools, even a whole set of armor we can choose to wear. Doing everything is laid out right before us, and we have the opportunity to allow God’s already-provided plans to play out for us.
5. Finally, God’s word in Ephesians 6 verse 13 tells us to ‘stand firm.’ We can be prepared, immovable, and victorious because we have taken the necessary steps to ensure our success. Those steps are not in our power, but in the grace of God that empowers us through Him. A great illustration would be from John 15 – He is the vine and we are the branches. We must abide and stand firm in Him.
Take up, resist, recognize, do, and stand… those are all active verbs. God is telling us in this scripture that we are to be active participants in what He calls us to in this world. He could do all of it without us, but He wants to partner with us. He knows what will work and what won’t. He is the expert, and He tells us to be involved and be active – Take up, resist, recognize, do, and stand. We are not to passively sit around and do nothing. Even in periods of waiting, God wants us to be active in His word and in the application of His word.
The amplified version states Ephesians 6:13 this way: “Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious].”
Our heart here at Clear View Retreat is to see families transformed as they learn and apply God’s relationship principles. We speak with families who are in both the norms and storms of life. As each family works together to grow closer to the Lord and to each other, we see the hope, connection, and strength of these families magnified. Family members actively work together to create the abundant life God has planned for them.
Five-minute families, be encouraged today in Christ. Be successful and victorious through the Words He has spoken. And, be blessed!