"Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood, but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits of the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of piece. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
-Ephesians 11: 13-17
The first time I heard this verse was in college, and the imagery of putting on the armor of God has stuck with me since then. It's easy for me to identify with the feeling of spiritual warfare and the idea that the devil is constantly trying to attack me. He wants me to fall from my relationship with God, and it starts with some of the smallest things. Sometimes it's thinking something negative about myself or another person, sometimes it's feeling discouraged and disheartened when I see what's going on in the world and in our culture, and sometimes it's frustration or irritability with the little things in life. I've noticed that this seems to happen the most when I do not start off my day with God, when I just go about the busyness of my day without taking the time to talk to him.
When I do start off my day with prayer and reading the Bible, I really and truly feel like I have a shield around me for the day. No matter what happens to me, I am able to remain positive knowing that God is with me in all that I do. This probably sounds hilarious, but sometimes I really do feel like the girl in this picture...
However, it's definitely much easier said than done to start off the day with God. It's easy for me to make excuses - "I'm too tired," "I'll do it later tonight," "I'll do it after a few minutes on the computer." I've been trying to come up with ways to make sure that I pray and read the Bible in the morning. Some things I've found helpful are leaving a note on my computer that tells me not to get on my computer until after time with God, doing better preparation at night for the next day so I have time in the morning, and going to bed earlier so that I feel more refreshed in the morning. It's also just helpful for me to recognize the fact that my days are way better when I feel like God is shielding me from evil.
Do you spend time with God in the morning and do you feel like it impacts your day? Do you have any practical tips for making sure God is a priority in your schedule?
"God will rescue you from the fowler's snare,
from the destroying plague,
will shelter you with pinions, spread wings that you may take refuge.
God's faithfulness is a protecting shield.
You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day."
- Psalm 91: 4-5