I recently took a good look at my arms and realized they were getting rather flabby. (No comments, please) I find that even on the warmest days of summer, I shy away from wearing anything that reveals the extra baggage on my upper arms. I used to be in such good shape! They tell me that once you turn forty, everything sort of goes to pot. And now that I’m approaching sixty I can assure you that is true!! (Only took me twenty years to admit it!)
Not only have my muscles gotten flabby, but my strength is failing. I find I can't lift or push or pull the kind of loads I used to be able to carry with little effort. I held someone's fifteen-pound baby for a few minutes not long ago and found myself having to sit down on the job! It could become rather depressing! Or I could do something about it. But I find that my will to do something about it has gotten rather lacking. So it's my own fault. I really can't blame it on "being over the hill."
The same goes for spiritual strength. Many times I feel like my spiritual strength is getting flabby as well. I find that I can't carry the kind of spiritual loads that I used to carry. Oftentimes I find myself sitting down on the job, lacking the fervor that I once knew. The desire to study and learn and grow is waning. And it certainly isn't because I know it all! Far from it. But my will to do something about it is lacking. Again, it is my own fault. I really can’t blame it on God or my circumstances.
In God’s message to the Ephesians we are given a pattern for living that will keep us strong in the Lord if we follow it.
Oh Lord, please help me to remember to put on this armor each day of my life that I may be able to stand those fiery darts that are out to get me down. Help me to take up my sword, Your precious Word, and to read it daily, so that I will have the protection of your promises and assurances to keep me from falling. And Lord, help me to remember to pray for others who are also out on the front lines of this battlefield. Lord, “strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” and make straight paths for my feet, “so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.” (Hebrews 12:12-13) Amen.Paul says in verses 10 through 18 of Chapter Six that we should “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” We are admonished to “put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” We are reminded to “stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”