Boot Camp 101 (Pack Up & Ship Out Your Civies- Put On Your Uniform!). 05/04/14. Ephesians 6:10-18. Principles for every area of life – The defensive is no good for combat. The best thing the defensive can do is to avoid defeat.
Understand this – when you take the offensive BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN TO YOU!
There will be storms in your life – there will be GREAT battles.
But, God will ALWAYS give you the resources that you need for those storms & those battles.
Look at Paul & Silas (Acts 16:22-24) – Striped; beaten; imprisoned; shackled; bloody & raw; hurting.
Did they React or Respond to their lousy, rough, tough circumstances?
They prayed & sang hymns at midnight (during the darkness of their situation – the dark night of the soul)! (Acts 16:25)
Then came an earthquake!!! (Acts 16:26)
The whole place was falling down around them!
The jailer thought everyone had escaped, & was about to kill himself (Acts 16:27).
He would have gone into a Christless eternity into the Lake of Fire.
But Paul said, “STOP! We are all here!
He fell down before them & cried out, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:31)
Because of the faithfulness of Paul & Silas, the Philippian jailer & his whole family were saved & on their way to Heaven instead of the Lake of Fire.
You may even be a spiritual descendent of the Philippian jailer!
Many down through time have become believers because of the testimony of this man who went to work one day not knowing what a change was about to happen in his life!
But, that isn’t all that Paul went through (II Corinthians 11:24-28) -
A really, really inviting life, huh?!
But the Rewards are GREAT!
There are 2 things that hinder us the most from “Standing Strong” – Expectations & Reactions!
We get our expectations from our families, our cultures, & our entertainment.
Expectations cause us to try & manipulate others to conform to our expectations – it makes both parties miserable!
We then react to one another – sooner or later, things really explode!
We must stop trying to manipulate others & start managing our own expectations.
The only expectation we should have in marriage (& in life) is Ephesians 5:21 (NIV) “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
It is interesting that the 2 greatest passages on marriage (Ephesians 5 & I Peter 5) are followed by 2 great passages on spiritual warfare! Context is everything!
The world, the flesh, & the devil will battle against you tooth & nail when you start trying to apply Biblical submission in your life – all hell will fight against you living like this!
Simple question – “Whose happiness am I pursuing?”