October 6

Psalms 32:1-2, 5 (NIV) 1Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.

5Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"– and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah

In the Old Testament, there were laws that governed the ritual of dealing with sin. The sacrifices and offerings that were prescribed were a picture of Christ who would become the sacrifice in our place. Though the people of Israel followed the instructions given, some of them knew that it was impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to wash away sin. They knew the sacrifice was important, but they also knew it was not changing them.

In the psalm today, David tells of the blessing on the man whose sin is covered. Guilt is a heavy load. As he kept silent, trying to hide his sin, he said he felt the heavy hand of God upon him, causing his bones to feel old. Quite a description of guilt! How did David find relief?

He ended his silence. In the New Testament, we find that we are to confess our faults one to another so that we can pray for each other. Our old nature tells us to keep silent, but that just makes it worse. Once it is out in the light, we can deal with it and truly forsake it. As long as we hide it, we entertain thoughts of continuing in that evil pattern. But when we decide it is destroying us and needs to be forsaken, we bring it out by confession. Then we can ask for forgiveness and find that wonderful blessing David was speaking of. Is there a secret sin you are hiding in the darkness? Hold it up and examine it in the light of the cross where God's love is displayed for you. Ask yourself if that sin compares in value to His love. Bring it into the light, confess it to God, and if necessary, if it still haunts you, confess it to a mature saint you can confide in.

Remember: Bringing sin into the light has a way of destroying its power over you.

October 6

Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV) 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Paul's final suggestion to the churches of Asia Minor was to be completely prepared for spiritual battle. Soldiers had a set of tools and clothing that helped them to be fully prepared. Paul related each article to something we need spiritually to be prepared for the spiritual battles we face.

Our passage today is not about the armor, but about our attitude and understanding, so that we can use the armor properly. First, it must be the Lord's strength that we rely on and not our own. If you are thinking that you can't make it through the battle, you are right. Only the Lord's strength can see you through. Do not rely on your ability but His.

Put on the full armor (I encourage you to read and relate to that). Don't get cocky and think you don't need part of it. Our adversary is cunning and looks for weak spots. Don't present any to him.

Realize that it is not a flesh and blood battle. That seems obvious, but part of the enemy's tactic is to get you to think it is personally between you and an individual or group. Then you become bitter, and the enemy has the upper hand. Always look past the individuals to the spiritual realm where the battle is really raging. There are spiritual forces manipulating weak individuals to get at you. They work through lust, jealousy, greed and every fleshly desire to cause people to try to get you off track and out of the Spirit.

Take your stand against Satan's schemes. Realize where the battle is really coming from. Fight with the word of God and prayer. Keep your shield of faith up, trusting in the Lord to bring about good, because you are His.

Prayer: Lord, help me see where the battle is coming from and not to fight it on my own.