“He makes my feet like deer’s feet, and sets me up on my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” Psalm 18:33-34 (NASB)
Life isn’t a straight, smooth path. There are mountains to climb, cliffs to be wary of, valleys to traipse through, and rivers to cross. Unexpected enemies loom. With God’s help, these obstacles become surmountable. He strengthens ankles to stand where we could not stand on our own. He prepares us to fight those looming enemies.
I love to think about the strength of the Lord — how He is strong where I am weak. Indeed, His grace carries me through. Yet, I have to be proactive and put on the armor of God each day. I can’t sit back and expect Him to outfit me with no effort on my part . . . I’d never grow up!
We have to show up and bring willing hearts to Him, ready to be trained and equipped for the day ahead. If we cooperate, when the challenges come, we’ll be ready to stand strong and possess the God-given ability to “bend a bow of bronze.”
In Ephesians 6, the apostle Paul goes in depth describing the armor of God that we need to be girded with every day.
“Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation 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 6:14-17 (CSB)
It was recently brought to my attention that the sword is the only offensive weapon mentioned in the armor passage above. The belt, breastplate, sandals, and shield are defensive in nature. We have the awesome privilege of wielding the sword of the Word. We get to decide how well we know it and how often we use it.
We’re beyond blessed to be able to study the Word, meditate on it, pray over it, and memorize it. Memorizing is the best way to keep the Word readily accessible. Psalm 119:11 (ESV) says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Scripture memory equips us to face the battles ahead. Just as Jesus refuted Satan with Scripture when He was tempted in the desert, we can shoot down the enemy’s lies with the truth of His Word.
One of my all-time favorite memory verses is Romans 8:1 (ESV), “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Most of us deal with self-condemnation to some degree. We kick ourselves for words we regret and our failure to live up to our own expectations. Perhaps at times, we need to ask forgiveness and make things right, but we don’t need to live under a cloud of condemnation. Romans 8:1 reminds me that I’m not condemned.
Another treasured verse — if it’s possible to wring a verse dry, this one would be completely wrung out by me — is Galatians 1:10 (ESV): “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” A perpetual people pleaser, I have to return to this verse to remember that I’m not here to please people. My priority is to bring glory to God and please Him. He frees me from the pressure to please people.
I want to know the Word and be ready for battles as they come — to be able to position the arrow of the Word on the “bow of bronze” and render the enemy’s lies useless.
Do you have a favorite Scripture you return to time and time again? Please share in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!
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Patty Perkins is a Contributor for Humble Faith Ministries. She enjoys long walks with her husband and gathering friends and family around her kitchen table. She and her husband love living back home in Kentucky and are grateful for their growing family. They are blessed with two grown, married sons, and one grandchild.