“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.” Ephesians 6:12-13
This is one of those verses that you hear taught in every Sunday School classroom. It’s easy to help kids imagine putting on armor, like the latest action figure, and fighting off the bad guys. But as it came up in my devotions the other day I was reminded that this verse reminds us of several things, more than just that we too can be like an action figure.
First, each day brings us challenges: challenges that may seem like they’re just physical (car accident), or just mental (yelled at by your boss), but the truth is that most challenges are both mental and physical, and sometimes they’re spiritual too. You probably remember the story of Job, who the devil wanted to test and God let him. In his case he did experience mental, physical and spiritual challenges. Maybe you’ve had a day where you did too. It’s OK to admit you’re struggling and being attacked, no action figure (or medieval warrior with a brain) goes into battle alone, they always have a side-kick or army with them. Which brings me to the second point.
Second, you’ve got the ability to deal with the challenges. You don’t have to go through them alone, nor are you powerless. In this age of technology, it’s easy to connect with any number of people in groups on Facebook or individuals on Twitter who will listen, support and pray with and for you in your struggle. There are also tons of local pastors who would be thrilled to have an opportunity to speak with you and encourage you. But just like an action figure won’t go into battle without his sword, neither should you face life’s challenges unprepared. Subscribe to some newsletters (or my weekly devotional or free bi-weekly newsletter), read inspirational and encouraging books including the Bible, and join a local small group that will help you build up your arsenal of tips and tools to support you when challenges come calling.
There will be struggles you’ll face in life, but you don’t have to fight the challenges of this life alone. There’s hope and help if you would just ask.