Written By: Sarah Walker
Several months ago, I signed up to go to a women’s conference. This conference is for writers, speakers and those in church leadership. I have been anxiously anticipating my trip for several months, and now it is upon me!
I chose to go to this conference to connect with God, and to learn and grow in my writing. As I began to connect with other women who are also going, my confidence quickly began to fade. Many of the women attending have written books, founded ministries, and are speakers for conferences, radio and TV!
I began to think, “I don’t belong at this conference;” “I will never be in the same league as these other women;” “I have made a mistake! This conference is for women who are much greater than me!”
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be lead astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. (2 Cor. 11:3)
The Bible warns us that the devil is the father of lies, and that our minds will be lead astray from our devotion to Christ if we are not careful. It would be so easy to give in and back away from anything new or different, because the enemy is working hard to make that happen!
It is times like these that it is important to put on the full armor of God! Found in a passage from Ephesians chapter 6, Paul uses “the armor of God” as a metaphor for the Christian fight against the evil one. I recently read a quote by S.D. Gordon that made me see the armor of God in a powerful new way. Before, I just read this passage as beautiful imagery. I was missing the connection to the power that lies behind it!
“Now mark the keenness of Paul’s description of the man who does his most effective work in praying. There are six qualifications under the figure of the armor. A clear understanding of truth, a clean obedient life, earnest service, a strongly simple trust in God, clear assurance of one’s own salvation and relation to God, and a good grip of the truth for others- these things prepare a man for the real conflict of prayer.”
Let’s break down Paul’s metaphor:
“The belt of truth buckled around your waist” – a clear understanding of the truth.
“The breastplate of righteousness in place” – is a clean and obedient life.
“Your feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” – is earnest service.
“Take up your shield of faith with which to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” – is a strong simple trust in the Lord.
“The helmet of salvation” – is a clear assurance of one’s own salvation from God.
And “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” – is in relation to God’s Word, a good grip of God’s truth for others.
I have found this to be a good checklist for when I am struggling. When I am struggling with my confidence, I can remind myself that God loves me, He has a plan for me and God’s power is made perfect in my weakness. I will prayerfully ask God to point out if there any sin issues I need to address within my life. I will ask myself, am I am living out the call to love others? Am I truly putting others first or am I putting myself first? Am I trusting God with my life or am I trying to make things work on my on merit? Am I confident in my own salvation? And, am I trying to walk in step with Jesus on a daily basis?
Occasionally, I can answer “yes” to all of those questions. Other times, I need to take some time to get back on track – whether that means addressing a sin issue, or spending more time with God in prayer and in His Word, or reaching out sacrificially to help someone else, in order to bring me back into that closeness with Him.
Regardless of where I find myself, I can be confident in my God! I know that when I seek Him I will receive the peace I need to be confident in my decisions. He will give me the wisdom needed to tackle any situation, and he will give me the strength I need to accomplish my tasks.
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)