“We always carry those domestic enemies with us—sin and the old Adam.”
Olympia Morata (1526-1555), Reformation Women
This quote took me by surprise. On the days when I think I’m doing pretty good at staying connected to Jesus, I can easily let my guard down. I coast on yesterday’s quiet time, and wait till I can grab a few minutes during my kid’s naptime to pray. No, no, no. I’m walking around oblivious to the reality that I’ve already lost the battle.
The sin that lies dormant in my flesh while I’m sleeping, is roused the minute I wake. Satan, too, has devised his schemes, perfectly timed to target all my weakest moments. With the enemies of my soul so poised for battle, and me so often oblivious, I have lost before my head leaves the pillow.
Mindfulness is a buzzword in our culture right now, but spiritual mindfulness suggests a whole new dimension doesn’t it? There are two realities at play; synchronized and intermingling–but we need eyes to see that unseen kingdom and the powers that fight for control over us.
“For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13
Don’t get the wrong idea here. God is not intimidated or outnumbered. Satan does not have free reign. The King of heaven sits on His throne and laughs (Psalm 2)! Thankfully (huge understatement) Christ has already crushed the serpent’s head! The power sin and death had over us has been broken by the blood of Jesus! We are now dead to sin and alive to God–but the fight is not finished.
How often do we go about our whole day, clueless about the monkey on our back? Until we die, and join our Savior in heaven, we will carry those “domestic” enemies with us. What a difference it can make if we wake each morning mindful of them, prayerful, and eager to put on the armor of God so we can be victorious.
As a mother, the battle often begins before I even want it to—all the more reason for me to be prepared. One goal and idea I am continually challenged by is asking the Lord for help the minute I open my eyes, rather than grabbing my phone (as if there is anything more pressing). This seems so simple, but the degree to which I fail at this just reveals my inverted priorities. Ugh! Do you want to grow in this as much as I do?
I wrote the following poem as a way to meditate on the instruction in Ephesians to put on the full armor of God. I don’t think I’ll be winning any awards, but I hope this poem envisions you to ready yourself for war each day.
Battle at Sunrise
When morning light announces day,
Disrupts the spell,
Calls sleepers to attention where they lay.
The war at once begins again.
Rouse to meet their foes who press hard to win.
Exposed to threats on every side,
The call to arms rings out both far and wide.
Be watchful, alert, armor-clad.
Arrows fly fast.
Take up the shield of faith and then, truth add.
Fix righteousness upon your chest.
Wield the Spirit;
Pray. Pray and trust His sword to do the rest.
Hold fast to His word—do not cease.
Go eagerly declaring Gospel peace.
Hope in salvation, be thou bold.
Defend your heart from Satan and sin’s hold.
-Stephanie L. Smith