Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, March 27, 2016
This Week’s Devotional Focus is, “The Righteousness of Christ.”
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Ephesians 6:18).
Last week, our focus, for those of you do not know, was the whole armor of God. I mentioned in yesterday’s thought that contrary to popular belief, the armor of God has seven articles (or implements). The seventh implement, although the Scripture does not identify a piece of armor directly, is prayer. That’s right! Paul was not finished discussing being equipped to thwart Satan’s onslaught when He said that we should be earnestly praying always in the Spirit with perseverance. Prayer is critical in this cosmic battle with Satan. Can you imagine opening the Bible, which is the Sword of the Spirit without prayer? Can you imagine attempting to experience the helmet of Salvation without prayer? And how could we possibly be successful carrying the gospel of peace anywhere without prayer? So prayer is key to knitting the other implements of this vital armor together.
In whose name must we pray in order for it to be effective? The Bible says: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:12–14). So this wonderful privilege of prayer our Father has given us is blessed when we are enveloped by the righteousness of Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit. When we appear in the presence of the Almighty (blessed be His name) with the attitude and awareness that nothing we can do or say makes us worthy of His love, and that only Jesus’ sacrifice makes us worthy, our prayers can be answered according to God’s will. Jesus is inherently holy; we are not. Jesus knows what’s best for us; we do not. Jesus is a gift given to all humankind to restore the broken relationship between God and us through forgiveness, cleansing, and empowerment to live holy lives.
If you want to be successful in life and be transformed from a lost sinner, to a saved saint, accept the gift of Jesus Christ. When you do so, your armor is complete, and even when you have trials and tribulations, they will not overcome you. Let me let you in on a little secret I had been keeping from you all last week and I will unpack this week: Every single part of the armor is Jesus. Go back and look at the verses I used to hide the blessing in plain sight in preparation for this “Aha!” moment. Every single part is Jesus. And this is the premise that will drive the rest of our thoughts during this week. Here is a verse that says all I have been saying, but infinitely better: “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:14). Having on the whole armor of God is to be covered, from head to toe, with Jesus Christ. It is then, and only then, that our lives and characters will be invulnerable to the fiery darts of the devil who is so enraged and seeking whom he may devour. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27).