As we live out the final weeks of 2020, I am convinced we are in a heated spiritual battle magnified by the pandemic, political and societal unrest, and growing division not only in America but around the world. Every pillar of what we once knew and believed is undergoing persistent scrutiny and under attack. That’s not all bad. Battles remind us that there are things worth fighting for.
Spritiual growth can’t occur in a vacuum. When you and I are stagnant, our faith fails to flourish. That’s why our convictions are tried and our faith is tested. Nothing is without cost. Somebody always has to pay the bill. Our faith grows when we intentionally pursue it and strive to experience it more fully.
In his circular letter titled Ephesians, the Apsostle Paul knew that our faith was something we needed to fight for if we were going to fully experience its fruits. Paul recognized that we were in a fight against things unseen as well as those seen. There is both the battle of the flesh and the spiritual battle against evil.
In Ephesians 3, we see Paul open with a prayer before seemingly getting sidetracked concerning his ministry to the Gentiles. Paul begins his prayer in verse 1 of chapter 3 and then resumes it in verse 14.
Verse 1: For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles-
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
The consistent practice of prayer is woven throughout the letter of Ephesians, a circular letter intended to be shared and read among the churches throughout what was then known as Asia Minor. Paul understood that to fight our battles, we must spend time in prayer.
Devoting time to prayer is a critical discipline for us as Christians. Without it, we are the prey of the devil, becoming simple sheep led to slaughter. Apart from prayer, we walk into battle unequipped and unprotected.
Paul prayed that believers would fully comprehend the spiritual blessings God had bestowed on them. Paul’s prayer was that we might grasp the depth of the Father’s love for us.
Amid the craziness of this past year, you might feel distant from God, isolated from people, and discouraged by events beyond your control. I get it. That’s how I feel sometimes, too. But, when I take time to talk to God—pray-–He is faithful to show me that faith, hope, and love still exist in this world. Nothing can seperate us from the love of God once we have received His son as our Savior. Nothing. You and I can stand confident that God is with us and that He is for us. He has blessed us beyond measure because of His immense love for us.
I find that humbling. Do you?
- Have you been humbled by the love of God?
- What are you grateful for today?
- Do you feel discouraged or isolated?
- What is one blessing you can think of right now?
Father God, thank You for Your immense love for us. May we love others as You have loved us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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May the Lord shower You with His grace and mercy.
The Devotional Guy™
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I personally believe that in order to experience life the way God intended, you and I must receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ, God has made this gift available to all who ask.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Will you personally receive the gift of eternal life so that you can experience the total forgiveness from your sins that come through believing in the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”
“We need to fight for faith if we are going to fully experience its fruits.”
I hadn’t thought about our walk with God from this angle in awhile. Faith comes from God, but it must be nurtured by us.
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While I believe the Holy Spirit works in us to help sanctify us, I agree that we need to nurture our faith through prayer, Bible reading & study, and other disciplines, David. Thanks for reading and sharing your insights. I’m contemplating on exploring this idea further in a future post. Blessings!
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By grace from God we are saved, in orders to do works, for his glory…
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