“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. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:13-18
I’ve been just a “little” off for the last 5 days. My kids would tell you that I’ve been a mean ole monster mom. My husband would also tell you that I’ve been a little less than fun to be around.
Looking back over it today I can see that it’s of course my own fault. There’s been an important ingredient missing from my life… my time alone with God.
I am not the most scheduled or disciplined person in the world, but I truly desire to be. In fact I am convinced that half the reason the Lord has me as a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom is to turn me into a more disciplined person. It’s been a very painful process, but I’ve come to appreciate the refinement by fire and I’ve also come to know that He truly does know best.
For example, we started school on August 3rd and with that began a new “schedule” for my life. It’s great, really… starts at giving me time to be alone with the Lord and to exercise before the kids wake up. We start school by and we’re done by lunch. The first week and a half was really great. Then we took a break and went out of town for a week and a half and that was great too. But, while we were away there was no schedule and I think that’s where things went awry.
First of all without the schedule my quiet time was sacrificed for extra sleep. My kids were crazy because they had no direction, therefore I was also crazy as I am sure you can imagine. Somehow it still surprises me how easily the fruits of the Spirit can get thrown right out the window and replaced with the devils schemes. The nature of the flesh just comes to life…lack of patience and self-control, anger, unhappiness, unkindness… they all just slip on in as if they’d always been there.
I’m realizing that the busier my life gets the more I need to ensure my time with Him. Without it I become weak and unprotected. My flesh takes over and it’s just not pretty. I really don’t enjoy looking back at myself in that picture.
I know you’ll laugh, but this all got me to thinking about fresh home baked bread. I really enjoy making bread. There aren’t many ingredients in a basic bread recipe, all you really need is yeast, flour, water, oil and salt. There are many variations adding other ingredients, but those are the necessary basics for a delicious, fluffy loaf.
A couple of years ago I made some bread to send over to a friend’s house and of course I made some for us too. I had made many loaves of bread and it came together beautifully and smelled wonderful baking in the oven. As soon as it was done I wrapped it up with pretty paper and a ribbon and quickly carried it over to my friend, so she could enjoy a fresh warm piece.
When I got home I rushed in to sink my teeth into my own warm, fresh piece only to find that something was just not right. The delicious, fluffy yumminess that I had come to expect from my bread was not there. Everything looked and smelled just like it should have, but the taste wasn’t quite right, in fact it tasted absolutely awful. I mentally recalled the process of putting the ingredients in the bowl and oops, there it was… I had forgotten the salt! As that came to memory the fact that I had just dropped a loaf of this bad bread off to my friend also crossed my mind! I was of course mortified!
We’re kind of like that loaf of bread aren’t we? There are many variations to life that we enjoy, some that we think we just couldn’t live without, but really there are only a few ingredients that we absolutely need to survive. Food and water are necessary for us to maintain our physical existence on this earth, but most important our eternal existence depends on consistent time spent at the feet of our Savior.
We mistakenly think we’ll be alright for awhile, and everything dose look fine… for awhile, but suddenly without notice things can turn very bad. Food and water may be providing us fuel to live, but without His Holy presence we literally become the walking dead.
We are being attacked daily… 1 Peter 5:8 tells us to “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”. That someone is us. Spending time in prayer and in His word keeps the Spirit moving inside of us. And, it’s the battle gear that He provides us, giving us the power to resist the elements of this world, the trickery of the devil and the hostile take over of our flesh. We can’t afford to take our armor off even for a second. We must remain alert and armed for the battle at all times.
Are you ready?
Father, thank you that each day is indeed new! Precious moments at your feet breathe the loveliness of your Spirit into our hearts once again, restoring us to you. May your armor become an irremovable part of us, protecting us against all evil. You alone are our un-shakable fortress, our mighty and just protector! We will glorify you God.