As a young man, Saul received extensive teaching in the Scripture of the day, (our Old Testament) and was knowledgeable. Although he knew a lot about God, he really did not know the God of the Bible. This lack of relationship with God resulted in Saul being deceived. He was unable to see the identity of Jesus as Messiah. This deception resulted in Saul being a persecutor of the followers of Jesus.
Acts 9:1Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. 2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains. 3 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him.
Saul did not know he was a pawn in a spiritual battle when he was persecuting those who believed in Jesus. Saul thought he was doing God’s will by persecuting the followers of Jesus, but he was being used by the enemy. After Jesus confronted Paul on the road to Damascus, Paul’s heart was opened to Jesus as the Messiah. Saul, who we know as the Apostle Paul, became a great writer and missionary of the early church. Paul would later write about spiritual warfare in Ephesians chapter 6:10-17.
Have you ever been deceived or been overwhelmed by the spiritual battle? Like Saul, we can be easily deceived and led astray. Other times, we can be overwhelmed by the spiritual battle going on in this world. Paul writes that the best way to fight the spiritual battle is to put on the full armor of God. What does that look like today? In a nutshell, putting on the full armor of God entails being in God’s word, taking time to pray, and being led by the Holy Spirit. As we do these things, we begin to develop our relationship with the Lord. We learn His voice, His ways, His plans for our life, and how He protects us.
As we put on this whole armor of God, we are better prepared for Satan’s attempts to attack us with pride, envy, lust for forbidden pleasures, gossip, disappointment, discouragement, doubt or division, or any other tricks he may use.
Pray: Lord, help me to put on your spiritual armor. Give we wisdom so I don’t fall into the traps of the enemy. Enable me to follow the plans you have for me as you led me by your Holy Spirit. May my prayers be filled with thoughts that come from you. Let me go forward into the battle. Amen.
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