Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.~Ephesians 6:11 NKJV
If New Year’s Day was an indication of the year to come, then I would spend most of it checked out, committed only to the couch, a ridiculous number of snacks, and the screen I held most of the day. It was the worst start to any year I could remember. The days before weren’t much different.
I was burnt out on tragedies. Weary of hearing about death after death, and sin after premeditated sin, the scapegoat for this particular emotional eating binge wasn’t anything surprising. The illogical nature of sin is frustrating. The weight of it is so heavy, and the persistence of it so exhausting, it had become overwhelming to the point of numbness. After a year of what seemed like evil won of battle after battle, and hearts of multitudes as well, I was exhausted. New Year’s Day became “Escape Day.”
“What’s the use?” Was logic’s unspoken question.
“I don’t have a clue,” was my answer.
I accepted the lie of helplessness. I took off my armor, replaced it with my electric blanket, and laid on the couch. Only after my time-out came the realization; I’m not called to understanding, but to a relationship with the God who understands it all. I am to remain connected to Him, led by His Spirit, and clothed in the armor He provides. Snacks are no defense. I became a snack for the enemy that day.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.~Ephesians 6:10 NKJV
Interestingly, my gluttony session had all the markings of the sins that led me to the couch. Simply put, I did what I wanted. There was no faith in it. I did what was right in my own eyes. My feelings were the lie that replaced faith. I followed them into bags of Cheetos, bins of cookies, and whatever else my flesh deemed satisfying. To escape what mimicked affliction, I sinned a while. Just like any other sin, there was pleasure in my Cheeto bender… but for a season.
While it’s easy to be overwhelmed by constant rounds of defeat in this world, and even tempting to drop out of the race and onto the couch, hope still reigns. Christ calls us to minister love to the world.~Shanda Neighbors, contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships
Despite the acceptance, ease, and casualness of evil, all sin has consequences because God is still holy. He’s never complicit in wrong-doing. To overlook it would make Him a party to our evil. Hence, Jesus. While it’s easy to be overwhelmed by constant rounds of defeat in this world, and even tempting to drop out of the race and onto the couch, hope still reigns.
Christ calls us to minister love to the world. Don’t mistake the permissive will of God for a win of the enemy. Kindness is at work. He is calling out to all hearts seeking solutions and peace. Live assured, God is not mocked, nor is He in any danger of defeat. Satan pursues. But the armor of God is protection for His people. There is no substitute. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We are called to be a people of prayer, fully equipped with the armor of God.
Have you put on your spiritual armor today? How can your prayers make an impact?
Father God, being Your child is beautiful because who You are. You are goodness. Apart from You I can do nothing. Clothe me to with Your spiritual armor and make my prayers effective. Help me to remain in You, filled with Your Spirit, and modeling Your Son’s compassion.
In the Name of my Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Copyright 2021: Seasonal Discomfort: Shanda Neighbors: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
Shanda Neighbors’s island upbringing has afforded her the ability to pardon Eve. She too enjoys gardening and picking produce. Her husband eats all she offers him. No questions. She enjoys serving large crowds, but she’s a natural overfeeder. She will supply too much nourishment no matter the crowd size. Food is her love-language.
Shanda was born and raised in the Bahamas. This has determined both her internal clock and thermostat. She struggles with being on time and is not trusted to set the temperature anywhere. You can always find her outdoors…over 60s and sunny…probably in a jacket. Anyone who invites her to go skiing hates her. Period.
Shanda is a miraculous work in progress. She credits her family with helping that work along. Chief among them is her husband who has demonstrated the power of love and patience. Outside of Jesus, she has had no greater advocate than her beef-and-potatoes husband. Shanda has two daughters who are her treasures.
Shanda is passionate about truth and the reputation of God. This translates into her speaking and writing. Her goal is to live amazed by the love, glory, power, and goodness of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to share His story with as many people as possible.
Shanda is a devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, and a contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing). She is a devotion speaker at Word Weavers Piedmont-Triad, NC, and she is available for speaking engagements. Her long-term goal is to enter the media industry.
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