As I prepare for my trip to Colorado in 2 weeks, one of the many things they asked us to do is to re-read John Eldredge’s book, Wild at Heart. When I first saw this on the list, I thought, “really?”. I’ve already read it 3 times over the past couple of years. After going through some of the other things, I picked the book back up again began to read it once more. After not reading it for a year and half, I was immediately sucked in again. The reason being is the practical teaching that Eldredge placed in this book.
My last post a couple of week’s ago, I wrote about the Father’s restoration. I thought more about that as I read through this book. I’m on the last couple of chapters now. I realize just how desperately I needed restoration again and how complacent I was getting in my own spiritual discipline. Life moves so quickly, so fast, and mine is no exception. I’ve been on such a fast track that I think my time with God became more of an obligation, than a full on desire to be with God and walk with Him. It really hit me yesterday, when I was sitting in prayer and a million thoughts began to run through my head, distracting me. Later I was sitting and reading the book again and on the first page I was on, it talked about this very thing, being in prayer and just consumed with so many other things.
In essence, this is a battle that the Enemy is waging against us. Knowing you’re trying to speak with the Father, the Enemy immediately thwarts us in some way. I recognized that this was once again, another one of his tactics to distance me from the Father. Satan will try in every way he can to pull you way from the Father. William Gurnall stated, “It is the image of God reflected in you that so enrages hell, it is this at which the demons hurl their mightiest weapons.”
So what do we do with all of this? How in the world do we handle this? Knowing we are in a world at war. Knowing as Jesus said, that thief wants to kill and steal and destroy. Knowing as Peter stated that our adversary, the devil, prowls around the world, looking for someone to devour. What do we do? Discipline! Being disciplined every day to walk with God, not out of a sense of obligation, but from the reality that we are in a world at war and we need to be able to stand strong and firm in the faith of who we are in Christ.
Spiritual discipline seems so hard for many of us though. John wrote, “A man will devote long hours to his finances when he as a goal of an early retirement; he’ll endure rigorous training when he aims to run a 10k or even a marathon. The ability to discipline himself is there, but dormant for many of us.” In essence, although it requires work, when we have our own goals in life, we can find a way to discipline ourselves to attain those goals. The Father has the goal of walking intimately with each and everyone of us. It’s readily available to us, yet we find it so difficult to do. We don’t want to get up in the morning. We don’t feel the sense of connection with the Father when try praying or reading Scripture.
This may, for many of us, be easier said than done, but we have to become more intentional, more disciplined through real prayer, meditation, fasting, submission, journaling, and studying of Scripture. All of these disciplines coincide together. If we don’t get intentional about how we walk with God and if we don’t stay on alert through this armored with the full Armor of God, which He has given us, the Enemy will easily gain a foothold in our hearts and find a way to take us out.
Eldredge wrote, “Against the Evil One we wear the armor of God. That God has provided weapons of war for us sure makes a lot more sense if our days are like a scene from Saving Private Ryan.” God has given us the armor for a reason. This is no fairy tale we live in. Don’t live in fear of the Enemy, but rather live with a sense of knowing he is there and wants in every way to destroy your connection with the Father, through lies, deceit, pain, and struggles. Being disciplined enough to prepare yourself each day and not walk through this world, blind to this reality will help you stand stronger.
This armor is what you need and you need to pray it over your life every day, authentically. Put on the belt of truth, choosing to live a life of honesty and integrity, the breastplate of righteousness, knowing that His righteousness can stand against any condemnation and corruption, the shoes of the Gospel of peace, choosing to live for the Gospel at any moment. He has given us a shield of faith to deflect the arrows that the Enemy will try to fire our way. Those arrows come in the form of wounds, sin, agreements, and anything else meant to draw you from God. We have the helmet of salvation, which declares nothing can now separate us from love of Christ and our place in His Kingdom. Lastly, we have the sword of the Spirit, through which the Holy Spirit reveals God’s truth’s through His Word to enable you to counter the assaults of the Enemy.
Being disciplined and intentional enough each day to walk with God and pray His full armor over your life, will help you to be prepared for the onslaught that is to come. We will continue to be attacked. Look around you. People we love are being taken out everyday. It’s a reality. We have to be prepared and discipline ourselves to truly walk in this reality and walk with the Father allowing Him to come over our lives to Father us and guide us in the way we should go. It’s a daily struggle. Don’t let complacency set in.