Equipped For Victory Part 1

Any athlete will tell you preparation is the key to success. Practice and hard work, along with properly maintained equipment, are the foundation for victory. Within the body of Christ, we each have a responsibility to prepare ourselves through earnest prayer (Ephesians 6:18) and to maintain and use our equipment, the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11).

Preparation: Earnest and Unceasing Prayer

Ephesians 6:18 – “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”

First, the Apostle Paul tells us to pray “always.” When I read this verse, I find myself asking, “How can anyone pray always?” I have a busy life. I have kids, a wife, full time job, and my pastoral responsibilities. Where does prayer fit in beyond a few minutes each morning and evening? As if knowing my doubts, Paul reiterates his exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 when he says, “Pray without ceasing.” To me, praying without ceasing means we are not to allow disobedience or rebelliousness to separate us from Him. This allows us the opportunity to call upon Him anywhere at any time. If we have sinned, we immediately ask for forgiveness. If we see someone hurting, we intercede on their behalf without hesitation. We are ready “always” to reach out to Him. Read more…

Working Together In Unity

As a child of God, you and I are part of the Kingdom of Heaven. Each of us has talents, passions, and wisdom to offer the Kingdom (Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:11, 12), but we must work together to be successful. For example, a team can have a player with phenomenal talent, but if the athlete does not function in unity with other members of the team, winning becomes a lot more difficult, if not impossible. Dr. Tony Evans writes, “One of the elements of God’s rule is His heart for oneness, also known as unity. Unity can be defined in its simplest of terms as oneness of purpose. It is working together in harmony toward a shared vision and goal.”

For believers to operate in unity and to remain in unity, there are three Biblical principles we must apply to our lives.

  1. We are commanded to live in unity with one another (Ephesians 4:3)
The Apostle Paul makes it clear in Ephesians 4:3, we are to strive in unity with one another. It is not optional, but a command to believers to “make every effort” to live and work in unity with one another.  Even if personalities clash, we always have common ground. We are saved by grace through the gift of Jesus Christ our Lord (John 3:16) and are tasked by Him to be His “witnesses” (Acts 1:8).