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Backward and Forward!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

Ephesians 6:10-13

"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 spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

Once more we are standing by the final thread of one more year of our human existence. 2007 is only a short time from passing into history. New Year's Eve has become a time when many people make resolutions for changes which they want to make in their life. The reality is that most resolutions are soon broken and often many hearts are broken along with those resolutions.

As we look back over the past year, we are struck by the good, the bad and the ugly. There have been blessings that have lifted our spirits, but on the other hand we recall the horrible calamities that have befallen our families, our communities, our nation and our world.

Hearts have turned to the Lord in faith by confessing their sins and their need of the Lord Jesus Christ in their life. Others have remained steadfast in total disbelief. Some communities have chosen to acknowledge God, while others have remained obstinate and have allowed a tiny minority of atheists to take away the freedom of believers to name the Name of the Lord.

Back on September 11, 2001, when our nation was rocked by the senseless acts of terrorists who took so many innocent lives, people seemed to change. Prior to those events, to speak the name of Christ in public was almost a punishable offense.

After September 11th, we heard the congress of the United States singing without embarrassment, "God Bless America." People joined hands and prayed that God would bind up the wounds that had fallen, not only upon America, but upon all God fearing people around the world.

How sad that this attitude was so short-lived. It lasted scarcely longer than the typical New Year's resolution. We do not need New Year's Day resolutions, we need a heart changing spiritual transformation all through our land. We often hear the prayer for revival. Generally it is a desire that "those" other reprobates and lukewarm believers to get right with the Lord. But what about the prayer for our own revival? Prayer for revival is wonderful on the surface. We certainly see the need around us. There has been so much compromise in our churches, that anything goes. We accept anything that appeals to the flesh for fear that those who are doing such sinful things may be offended. Where is the clarion call to obey God's Word?

We have seen churches and even entire denominations abandon the strong absolutes of the faith. They have placed authority in their clerical governing bodies, rather than holding firm to the Word of God as the unchanging Word from God to His people.

Yes, we certainly stand in need of revival, but it is not for "THEM," but for ourselves. It is not in the nature of a resolution, but in a transformation. We need to become changed from the inside out. We need to be re-made in His likeness.

Some of you who read this may have been trying to do a good job of being good. I can tell you right now that none of us are capable of that. It is only as we are born again by the Holy Spirit of God, that we become new creatures. After the new birth, we may very possibly become indifferent in our walk with the Lord. We have become spectators of the spiritual battle instead of participators in it. God does not call us to come and watch the battle against the devil, but to become mighty warriors for His cause.

Paul is instructing the church at Ephesus concerning spiritual warfare. In our Scripture for today, he admonishes believers to put on the whole armor of God. I implore you to read beyond today's verses and realize what it means to be prepared for battle against the enemy of our soul.

My prayer for each of us is that in the days that lie before us, we may be found worthy. It is not necessary for us to be brilliant or well educated. It is those who in simple faith, trust in Him, that the battle may be won. The more we learn, the more the Lord will reveal to us. Welcome to a new world of hope and victory through our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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