Isaiah 54:1-57:13, Ephesians 6:1-24, Psalms 70:1-5, Proverbs 24:8
Today is the 28th day of September. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I am Brian. It is a pleasure and an honor to be here with you today as we put one foot in front of the other and take the next step forward on our adventure through the Scriptures this year. In the Old Testament we’re working through the book of Isaiah, which is one of the one of the longest books in the Bible. It has 66 chapters. And today we will read chapters 54, 55, 56 and into 57. So, we are making progress but it’s a long book and we’re working our way through. So let’s get to it. We’re reading from the New Living Translation this week. Isaiah 54:1 through 57:13.
Okay. So, we concluded Paul’s letter to the Ephesians today and if we just look back over the last few days in Ephesians, we should be able to notice that we climbed some of them as beautiful mountain vistas of our faith and in we’re able to look out and see just how vast and how beautiful and unspeakable and almost too good is the work that God has done for us and what it means to our lives. So, in light of the treasures of the gospel found in Ephesians, Paul chose to close with what has become some of the most known and quoted portions of the entire New Testament, right? Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. That is a super famous passage of Scripture. But have you ever taken the time to consider…I mean…like…we will quote these Scriptures, but have we ever like sat down and thought about what they’re saying? Because if Paul’s words are true, then our reality is far more vast than we almost ever pay attention to, which would explain a lot. For example, if we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, then why are these the battles we choose to fight? Right? If the issue that manifests itself and the unfolding of our daily lives are influenced by spiritual realms, is it any wonder that we’re confused when we ignore or diminish this reality? But paying attention to it doesn’t mean figuring out what principality made you have a bad morning and is making you late for work today. Paying attention and navigating from a spiritual place is the act of staying present and being present to the Holy Spirit, right? The spiritual realms. We usually, when we’re thinking of the spiritual realms we’re thinking about the demonic, right? The dark. The evil. But which realm is it that the Holy Spirit operates in our lives from? We’re just usually not paying attention. And all of this was a lead in for Paul. He didn’t just close the letter by just saying, you know, you need to pay more attention to the fact that there’s a spiritual context for our physically human lives, right? He gave one last treasure, a little peek at the resources that God has given us to navigate all of this, right? Put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. And then after the battle you will be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the good news so that you will be fully prepared. And in addition all these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. And put on salvation as your helmet. And take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. And stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all the believers everywhere. So, Paul is saying there are resources that are powerful, unspeakably powerful, and available for you to navigate in a reality that is beyond just your physical five senses and your body. Instead, you can participate as you were intended to participate also in the spiritual realm. So, according to Paul, we need to get dressed, right? Like, none of us are gonna walk around naked today, right? Even if we don’t walk out the front door, even if we’re just staying home today, we’re probably not gonna walk around our house all day naked. So, why do we so often walk around naked, spiritually and then blame God when we get blindsided? We have to put on the belt of truth which holds everything together and holds everything up, right? That’s what a belt does. And if we don’t walk in truth today, right, within ourselves and with everyone else then the very element that holds everything else in place is going to be missing. And we have to put on the body armor, the breastplate of righteousness. According Paul’s metaphor, God’s righteousness is the one thing that will protect our hearts. And this is available as we already know. Paul told us to put on our new nature created to be like God, truly righteous and holy. We just read this like yesterday or the day before. Right, so if we’re not gonna wear righteousness we’re not going to have something that is going to protect our hearts, right? So, this starts making sense when you realize, oh man, I walk around naked all of the time. I’m exposing what is most vital to the onslaught and attack of other people’s words or actions. I leave myself exposed. And our shoes are to be the peace that comes from the good news. So, whatever we walk into, our awareness goodness of God and the way that He rescued our lives. This prepares us. Wherever we go, so goes the good news. And as a shield, we have faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. And as we’ve learned, faith is the activator of everything. This is like crucial, fundamental to Paul’s message. And if our faith is rooted in the reality of the gospel then nothing can penetrate it. We can only be vulnerable if we lower our shield through doubt. And our helmet is salvation. It protects our minds, our awareness that we are righteous before God. And our participation in experiencing friendship and intimacy with Him as a beloved child continually renews our identity. So, according to Paul, suiting up like this will protect us, but it’s not just about a defensive posture, we’re also given an offensive weapon in the form of the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, which goes much deeper than just like assuming, I read my Bible today, right? I listened to the Daily Audio Bible today. And when I do, I’m swinging my sword at the devil. Consider the implications. When God speaks and things get created out of nothing. From our reading in Isaiah today. God said of His word it will accomplish all I wanted to and it will prosper everywhere I send it. So, how can we understate or underestimate that kind of power. And this is what we are supposed to carry at the ready. And then lastly, we’re to participate by praying in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. And as we’ve said, many times, this is like too good to be true because what we’re saying is that an ongoing discussion with God is possible, right? One that will instruct us and inform our decisions. That we can have a continual communion and interaction with the Holy Spirit? This is like the best news ever. So, If we like take Ephesians in its entire scope, and then consider all that we’ve been given in order to navigate our lives, we have to agree that we are equipped, like, we are equipped. We may not suit up. We may not go into the day prepared, but we are equipped for this life. God has fully given us everything we need to operate as His sons and daughters in this world. So, like if you…if you ever read the Gospels and wonder, like, how did…how did Jesus navigate as a human being in a fallen world, this is how he did it. These are the gifts that have been bestowed upon us because we’re supposed to be becoming like him, right? We’re supposed to be becoming Christlike. So, we have all of these resources. So, at some point we have to ask ourselves what we’re waiting for. Are we really, really this codependent on the chaos? Do we really need all of this drama? Ae we always cowering in a hole somewhere waiting for the other shoe to drop? That’s just not the description of the life of faith that we find in the book of Ephesians. We are told that we are equipped for things that are so great that they are almost impossible to comprehend. Sons and daughters of the most high God bearing the nature of the Almighty God, fully equipped to navigate in this world if will simply be aware.
Holy Spirit, come. Come into that. It’s very, very encouraging. Like, talking about stuff like this is so deeply encouraging but we lived long enough to know that when we leave this little space that were in right now and get back to the nitty-gritty of the day, it will be stolen from us before we even realize it if we’re not paying attention. You have given us permission to be Your sons and daughters in this world as ambassadors and that’s what we want to be today. And, so, we suit up and ask you, Holy Spirit, lead us into all truth we pray. In Jesus name we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian. I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.