Who spurs you on each day? For me it is primarily my bride. She was a cheerleader when we met in junior college so it was natural for her to be my cheerleader for life when we married several years later. And that she has been. As we celebrate forty years of marriage this week, I praise God for the way she spurs me on daily to become the man, husband and father the Lord calls me to be, and that she expects me to be.
The writer of Hebrews spurs the believers on in this way – “let us draw near to God, with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”- Hebrews 10:22-24.
In reference to this passage, Oswald Chambers warns of being a “spiritual sluggard” in his devotion book, My Utmost for His Highest. He says, “We are all capable of being spiritual sluggards; we do not want to mix with the rough and tumble of life as it is, our one object is to secure retirement. The note struck in Hebrews 10 … requires initiative, the initiative of Christ-realization, not of self-realization. The test of our spirituality comes when we come up against injustice and meanness and ingratitude and turmoil, all of which have the tendency to make us spiritual sluggards. We utilize God for the sake of getting peace and joy, that is, we do not want to realize Jesus Christ, but only our enjoyment of Him.” (July 10).
Contrastingly, Paul spurs the Ephesians on with the charge to take your stand against the devil’s schemes by putting on the full armor of God – the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (Eph.6:11-17). At the onset, Paul says that the battle is not against flesh and blood, but “against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Thus, men must be discerning between peripheral battles and the war. That is done through the process of putting the armor on every morning – the belt of truth is reading and living under the word of God; the breastplate of righteousness is doing what is right when facing decisions; feet fitted is Christ-realization on our walk and reflecting His countenance in every circumstance; the shield of faith is the discipline to identify the devil’s attacks and the strength to rebuke them; the helmet is the knowledge of salvation and the boldness to live with an eternal perspective; and, the sword of the Spirit is the offensive weapon Jesus used against the devil in Matthew 4:1-11 - the word of God cuts through the schemes of the devil in defeating fashion.
Look beyond the self-realization the world likes to promote to Christ-realization by putting the armor of God on every morning. Be spurred on to realize Christ to a new level in your life – more today than yesterday and more tomorrow than today, and the kids will catch what you have.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for the woman You blessed me with. Too often I have stood on the sidelines as a spiritual sluggard, a “comfortable Christian”. I have failed to step forward in the war waged against my faith, family and the Church. Forgive me. Help us spur one another on in marriage, family and churches to put the full armor on, to stand against the devil’s schemes and glorify You across our nation in this time. Amen.
A faithful father puts on the full armor of God every morning.