Sep 18, 2012

Tuesday SHINE....



Today's Reading: 1 Corinthians 10

Good morning, SHINE girls! 

It is my pleasure to introduce to you fellow SHINE sister and frequent poster here on SHINE, Rebekah Vepraskas. 

Rebekah and I go way back. Way, way back. I love the guts out of this girl. She's the kind of friend that is always in tune with the Holy Spirit. Yes, like always.

She's also the kind of friend that when she says she will pray for you, not only will she pray for you, but she will PRAY for you! Seriously, she does. 

Be blessed by Rebekah's post today. Grab your coffee and soak in the wisdom, friends.


for you visual girls:
here is Rebekah and her handsome boys!


Preparedness...?
Rebekah Vepraskas
I have been puzzled by certain thoughts lately… it's been really weird. I’m sorry, indulge me.  I have been thinking about how as modern day women, we have all of these accoutrements or items to prepare us for any inconveniences, elements or problems. We have glass cleaner for foggy glass. We have a vacuum for crumby floors. We have bibs and diapers to help us control definite messes to come with our babes.  We even have seat belts to keep us safely in our seats. (Not to mention the little bell that rings if someone forgets to buckle up!) Somehow, God created our faces to hold glasses… with ears at the perfect angle to hold on spectacles enabling us to see or be protected from the sun. Frankly, we are prepared for almost any obstacle life throws our way.

On Sunday morning, I got into the front seat of our car. The sun was at the perfect height to be almost blinding. Light was bouncing everywhere. It was about 9am.  I sat down in my seat and thought, ‘sunglasses. I think they’re in the other car…’ Then, I thought, it will be ok, the light was bright, but beautiful and I began to pray as my husband began to drive us to church. ‘Lord, what is it with these preparation things that you keep pointing out to me with all of our modern conveniences? We have something for everything, I understand that. So now what?’ 

Nothing. He said nothing to me and I began to run through in my mind all of the preparation I went through to get ready: shower, blow dryer, make up, coffee maker, travel coffee cup and a purse to carry around anything else I may need… My thoughts ran away with me and I was still confused.

We began to worship in song at church (my favorite part of Sundays) and I prayed to God, silently in my spirit, ‘Lord, please show me how all of these things (I keep on recognizing) apply to you? I don’t understand. We are spoiled? Not able to deal with anything inconvenient?’ I heard, ‘Put on the armor of God.’ 

Me: ‘Oh, of course. We can prepare spiritually by putting on the armor of God! It’s our spiritual answer to protection… But, Lord, can this be what you have been trying to tell me for weeks? Is it? If this is what you have been trying to tell me, show me, Lord!’

Fifteen minutes later... We sat down after worship and our pastor, Kris McDaniel, asked us to open our Bibles. He said, “Today we are going to look at what the Bible says about the armor of God.”

I AM NOT KIDDING!!! 

I began to shake my head, I closed my Bible and I began to cry.

Now, listen to this~ Our sweet mother had us recite this long prayer every morning as we started our day, which included the armor of God. I know this passage of scripture by heart. A passage of scripture that I have not dusted off in at least 20 years. Many of those years, I have faced life more or less unprepared, spiritually. Not anymore.

Ephesians 6:10-18
New International Version (NIV)
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace,16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.


These are my notes from the incredibly enlightening service and some more grown up reflections about the Armor of God. 
In the 14th verse: Paul begins- 
1st) By putting on the belt of truth: because truth is the foundation of our lives.
2nd) Then the breast plate of righteousness: because this is how are hearts are protected.
3rd)  Next our feet are covered with the Gospel of Peace: because we need His peace wherever we go.
4th) Paul explains that our we are to take up the Shield of Faith: because it protects us and keeps us safe.
5th) We place the Helmet of Salvation on our heads because: we need to protect our minds (our minds are where our faith comes from.)

This is the best part!

6th) Finally, we take up the Sword of the Spirit: because, Paul explains, it is the word of God.

(as a little girl I always imagined wielding the Bible like a sword. That may not be exactly what Paul had in mind.)

THIS WAS WRITTEN BEFORE THE BIBLE EXISTED IN IT’S CURRENT FORM.

Here, we can refer back to the gospel for an explanation of what Paul is saying. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” 
John 1:1

The word=God

Y’all, the “sword of the Spirit” is God. It’s Jesus. It’s His power in us. We have Him when we take up the sword of the Spirit.  I submit to you that it’s not only the “word of God,” it’s the “words of God!” 

As a counselor, I am entering crisis situations every time I meet with a patient. Sometimes, several times a day. I cannot tell you what a comfort and difference it makes to enter these situations with the armor of God to protect every vulnerability I have in my life.

I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit about the significance of the armor of God in your life!

Slipping on my Armor,
Rebekah

4 comments:

  1. Bek! If u only knew...This post had me smiling from ear to ear! God has literally reiterated this verse to me for years now(& here again today:) -- I pray it daily bc of all the spiritual warfare we face...Ephesians has recently become my most favorite book of the Bible! I love "suiting" up our family in his armor every day!!!

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  2. I remember you girls and my Frankie D suiting up!! Woo Hoo!!! I remember him praying Psalm 1 as he walked every day to the bottom of our hill to the bus! Glory!!! Out of the mouth of babes, girl!!!! Glooorrryyyy!!!! I have prayed this prayer daily for all of these years in the prayer blanket every single morning...and have realized most recently as I pray His Word each day...drawing that sword...that what immediately follows is that we pray for the saints with all kinds of prayer...in order to pray for others, we must be armed and dangerous...I guess you'd say...lol!!! I'm laughing through my tears ...Beka Boo!!! ...out of the mouth of babes....God is laughing as I rejoice!!! Woooo Hoooo!!!!!! <3 much!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox....You have made my day!!!!! You and that Linnetta...as she's walking this valley with me she said as my Mama did her...and I'm soaring under His wings as He rises above and out of sight!!! Woo Hooooo!!! :D!!!!!!!

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  3. I am so encouraged by your encouragement. This was an awe inspiring thing for me. I can't believe how faithful the Lord was to show me how prepared He was willing to make me! Let's use this passage for His Glory!
    xoxo,
    Bek

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  4. Anonymous9/19/2012

    Bek, it is so wonderful to realize and acknowledge when God is speaking to us. I love how you knew there was something and kept on asking God to reveal it to you. And, O what a moment, when the preacher begins to preach on what the Lord has spoken to your heart. Praise God! The Word instructs us to keep on praying unceasingly and I reach for that and still fall short but it is my desire to pray about everything in my life while I am living it - "on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind be alert, and always keep on praying for The Lord's people." Wow! What an assignment we have and a good reminder that our battle in this world is not with the people around us, not our husband, wife, children, neighbor, friend or boss, but we have unseen enemies who are not flesh and blood but who are trying to defeat and discourage us and cause us to believe we are failures. O, Father God, help us to be diligent to put on the Armor of God which he has provided for us and take up our weapons and be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Love your ministry to all of us. Gloria Hudgins

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