May 20, 2014
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 20 May 2014
Ephesians 1 indicated the believer’s possessions in Christ as being “every spiritual blessing.” Ephesians 2—3 indicated the believer’s position as being “fellow citizens with the saints,” who “are of God’s household.” Ephesians 4—6 indicated the believer’s purpose as living “in a manner worthy of the calling with which [they] have been called.” To accomplish this purpose effectively, believers must “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (6:10).
The church encounters three primary enemies: the flesh, the world, and the devil. First John 2:15-16 instructs believers: “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” To overcome love of the world, we must cultivate the love of God in our hearts and lives (cf. Eph 5:18-21; Col 3:14-17). The latter verses of Ephesians 6 instruct believers how to overcome subtle and unseen conflict.
The devil and his evil hosts use their powers of darkness and wickedness to destroy the life of believers. Christians are to guard themselves against deception: “the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:7-8).
Christ assured the defeat of the devil (Satan) by accomplishing redemption on the cross. “When he had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him” (Col 2:15). Each member of the Godhead works within our lives to overcome the flesh, the world, and the devil. God the Father desires to cultivate His love in our hearts and lives (1 John 2:15, 17). God the Son has defeated all “rulers and authorities” (Col 2:15; 1 John 3:8). God the Holy Spirit works “against the flesh” to generate true freedom (Gal 5:13-17).
Scripture identifies the devil as an accuser (Rev 12:10), angel of light (2 Cor 11:14), liar (John 8:44), lion (1 Pet 5:8), tempter (Matt 4:3), and serpent (Rev 12:9; 20:2). He is a master of deception, who is able to deceive both believers and unbelievers by his trickery. The enemy of the soul is well organized in his “schemes” (Gk. methodeia) through a demonic hierarchical order of principalities, powers, spiritual beings, and world rulers (Eph 6:11-12).
The only adequate strength for the spiritual conflicts of life is to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (6:10). God alone has the “might” sufficient to win the spiritual conflicts against the demonic enemy. To “be strong in the Lord” is to “put of the full armor of God,” which makes the believer able to “stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” The “armor of God” is a metaphor for obedience to certain instructions from Scripture.
The reason for the “armor of God” is due to the reality that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” (6:12). The battle is not against a physical army; rather, it is against a spiritual army, which is the reason for spiritual weaponry. Believers are to be mature in their understanding and application of Scripture “to stand firm.” Our lives are the spiritual battleground for successful and victorious living (by God’s grace and for His glory).
Your Missionary to Our Capitol Community,
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.
* Is there a ministry example that is based upon Scripture, and which then demonstrates how to serve elected officials in a manner that God desires? Indeed, there is! Capitol Commission is a nationwide ministry, with fulltime pastors/missionaries (state ministers) serving in 24 states. Capitol Commission seeks to accomplish the Great Commission in the Capitol communities of the world. As one examines Scripture to learn what God has said concerning the relationship between the church and the state, the primary thought is that the church is called to pray for our president and those in governmental authority (1 Tim 2:1-4). While many things could be prayed on behalf of our elected officials, the context of the passage in First Timothy directs one to pray evangelistically for those whom God has placed in authority.
For a leader to believe, however, the message must be declared, which means someone must be sent with the “good news of good things” (Rom 10:12-15). Therefore, the work of Capitol Commission is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ within state capitols (as those who are “sent”). The mission of Capitol Commission is to reach the Capitol community for Christ, one person at a time, to disciple them, and to prepare them for a lifetime of ministry, wherever God chooses to place them. Won’t you join Capitol Commission in praying evangelistically for all those “who are in authority,” and then seek to have the Gospel sent to them for “how will they hear without a preacher”?