Living on the Offensive Side

Monday, October 15, 2012

I'm just going to be really honest here-

I typically have a very difficult time finding the motivation to read my bible.  I know it is supposed to be something that comes joyfully and out of a desire to better know my Savior, but it often feels like a chore.  And in my world chores are typically put to the side at the mercy of fine hobbies such as sleeping, cooking, and eating. Like my sweet husband who always forgives the messy living room and unswept floors, I know God forgives my lack of discipline.  I am, after all, a work in progress.  This has been my mindset on reading the bible-- until recently.

For the past few weeks I have been particularly plagued with stress and anxiety.  It is generally in relation to my health, but it can also come with no pretense whatsoever.  I know I'm not alone in this- we are all plagued with feelings of stress, sadness, anxiety, and worry.  I believe all of these are things the enemy uses to pull us away from God.  Ephesians 6:12 lays it all out:

"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."

We can fight off these things by putting on the armor of God.  We read a few verses later that we are to

"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."

As I was talking to Ty today about the anxiety that I have been grappling with, he brought up this passage.  He pointed out that, among all of the tools that Paul tells us can help in our struggles, being seeped in the Word of God (the "sword") is the only offensive strategy mentioned.  Now, I'm not trying to downplay the importance of prayer, righteousness, and faith.  However in my own life I tend to turn most strongly to those things only when I am in need of something. Bad things happen, and I put on my armor to defend myself.  But as they say, the best defense is a good offense.  In his article about spiritual attacks, Jack Wellman says,

"...reading or praying back Scripture is the most effective weapon there is.  The Word of God is the very power of God Himself. It is alive, active, and powerful."

With that mindset, reading my bible is no longer a chore.  It's a necessity!  If I am to go about my day fully armed and fully ready to live the life God has in store for me I need to be on the offensive.  That's not to say that bad things won't still happen or that sadness or anxiety will never creep up.  It just means that when they do I will be prepared with the Truth and Power of God on my side.

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