Saturday, October 10, 2009

Doing Sentry Duty

When Paul wrote to the Ephesians about putting on the armor of God "so that you can stand against the devil's schemes," he knew that his audience would understand how the Roman army worked. The Roman army had two kinds of soldiers — their equivalent of our Marines, the guts and glory kind of guys and then the everyday foot soldiers. The everyday soldiers stood sentry duty at the guard houses along the wall. They were instructed to stand firm even as the enemy was advancing. They were to stay put and could be put to death if they abandoned post.

Dr. John Kleinig spoke at our church about spiritual warfare and he used Ephesians 6:10-18 to tell us that in our struggle against Satan that our way to stand firm was to pray! Prayer, prayer and more prayer, to stay firm in our faith. Satan wants nothing better than to divide God's people from God and to have us falter in our faith.

This photo of me was taken in September 2005 at Hadrian's wall in the north of England. I am standing in the sentry's gate.

I am posting this photo to remind you to stand firm in prayer, to remind myself to stand firm in prayer. Lisa and I are working hard on our presentations but we feel Satan tugging at us in various ways. Nit picking at our schedules, diverting our attention from the tasks at hand, even picking at each other, even doubt. Lisa and I are going to Africa to support folks who are actively spreading the Gospel. This is our part in Christ's kingdom.

Thank you for your partnership and thank you for your prayers.

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

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