United as God’s Army This past weekend we took a look at what it means to be in God’s Army. We came away with 7 key ideas in living victoriously as part of God’s Army: Be Aware. Be United. Be Courageous. Be Wise. Be Prepared. Be Ready. Be Sure. What area do you need to grow in? Be Aware We do not battle against Flesh and Blood but against the Spirit world. This idea is key to ‘battle’ as it is not a physical one, but one fought in the heart and mind. We are to be aware of the dangers and alert to how we can avoid them. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NIV) 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. (Ephesians 6:12) For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. (1 John 2:16 NIV) Be United. In the Army of God there are ‘NO Spiritual Rambos’ who can take out the enemy by themselves. Being united gives us strength and encouragement to stand against spiritual darkness. Similarly, a single person cannot be every part of the Body of Christ. God gives gifts and abilities to others so together we serve the church. So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV) Be Courageous. God does not call us to be cowards, but courageous, facing difficulty be the power of the Spirit of God. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:14-16 NIV) You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (Ephesians 5:8 NIV) Be Wise. Throughout the scripture we are encouraged to live wise and hold onto wisdom.. Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV) Be Prepared. For any planning person they know that preparation is key to preventing problems. Similarly, if we remain strong as people of faith we will have the tools needed for spiritual battle… Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For 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. (Ephesians 6:10-12 NIV) Be Ready. The armor of God is about protecting your self spiritually. As is with good defense, you are only as protected as your weakest link. We are to work towards being ready with the message of peace… Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17 NIV) Be Sure. Just as we learned in our series More Th>n Conquerors, we are to be sure of who we are in Christ. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38, 39 NIV) — By living these seven challenges we will be victorious in our pursuit of being United in Christ. Will you live United?