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.
I met my wife in an unusual way, or at least it was an unusual way at the time. We had met online, at a website designed to connect pen pals with each other. In the beginning we would communicate via email, which soon progressed to chat and finally to skype. During this time, as we learned about each other, we began to develop feelings.
One day, the topic of relationships came up, in which I discovered she was a “Christian lady”, who would only date men who also believed, she was also opposed to smokers and men with children. Being a smoker with three children I sensed that this ruled me out.
Eventually, she came to accept the children aspect of things and we would take a vacation together where I proposed, and she accepted. Smoking was still an issue though. So I did what just about everybody else would do, I hid it and lied.
Of course, you can only hide these things for so long. Needless to say, she was not happy when she found out. I would try to quit on and off for the next four years. Every time I would “quit” I would sneak smokes at work, at the store or at friend’s homes. I could see the frustration and disappointment in my wife’s eyes.
Well, eventually I did quit for good. The remedy came in the form of a heart attack, which for me, turned out to be good incentive to put away the smokes. What I found out as I lay in the hospital is that the smoking and the lying around it where not just doing damage to my heart, but to my wife’s heart as well, but in an emotional and spiritual sense.
All those things that drew us together as a couple were slowly being chipped away by the lies and the deceit and ultimately the way I was disrespecting myself and my wife. I have come to realize that this is the way the adversary does his work. It is not some grand assault that we have to worry about. It is the insidious things that we do to ourselves. The Adversary works through our ego. The more egos he can control, the darker our world becomes.
One of the best ways to fend off the darkness, is with honesty and truth. In Ephesians, Paul talks about the armor of God, and the belt of truth. If we put this belt on and live a life of honesty and truth, we can overcome those fears and selfish desires that the Adversary causes to rise in us. The war begins within each of us individually.
I still have a lot of walls and barriers to break down when it comes to being honest. There are a lot of fears and doubts that cause me to hide behind fibs. But this week, this will be the week that I begin in earnest to wear that belt of truth and work on breaking down those barriers. My prayer is that you will join me in this journey, that you too will look inside and begin to work on overcoming your weak moments. My prayer is that the One who created and sustains all things will shower you with blessings!