Ephesians 6:10 (ESV) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
DEVOTIONAL FOR ADULTS
At this point in the fast, depending upon how you are fasting, the physical challenges of denying your body, whether a meal, multiple meals, or something else like caffeine, might be very apparent. Let that physical reality help you consider all the more the spiritual nature of the fast. You have been denying yourself physically to fill it up spiritually. Whatever you are dealing with physically should be a reminder that you are spiritually stronger than you were before.
It’s time to do spiritual battle. That is what you always do when you pray, but today you will do this in a more focused manner. Remember that lies, hatred, racism, corruption, deception, murder, and so much more are the languages and methods of the devil and his demonic forces. Our true fight is not against one another, but against “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
As you fast and pray, begin to pray against darkness and for light. Be specific as you pray for what is wrong and what needs to be made right. And take a stand in your prayers! Stand strong! Be sure to ask God for wisdom as you pray so your prayers are guided by His will through the Holy Spirit and not by your will through the flesh.
DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTH
Fasting is all about denying our flesh so that we grow spiritually into all that God has for us.What does it mean to “deny the flesh”? It means that our physical bodies sometimes want things that our spiritual body does not. This can take a lot of forms: eating disorders, pornogrophy, self hate, gossip, anxiety, depression, the list can go on and on. Fasting helps us to grow on the spiritual side in order to achieve the victory in the physical. Galatians 5:16 says that as we let the Holy Spirit guide our lives, we don’t do what the sinful nature desires. This is so encouraging!
Ephesians 6:10-18 is also powerful because it reminds us that our fight is never with people, rather, it is against the spiritual forces in this world (v. 12). That means that when we disagree with someone or when someone makes us mad, the issue isn’t the real problem. The problem behind the scenes is the enemy who lies and causes deception and division. When we are able to see the true causes, Ephesians 13-18 gives us a battle plan for how to attack the enemy to destroy lies and division. This battle plan covers every area we need! Fasting and prayer allows us to see past the physical, past the problems with people. It helps us to see what the real problem is and then gives us the power and wisdom to attack it. When we fight in the spiritual through prayer and fasting, we are able to truly see the unity, humility, and grace that God has available.
DEVOTIONAL FOR CHILDREN
Hey Kids! Ephesians 6:10-11 says: “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” What does it look like to put on the armor of God and go to school or play outside? How can you put on a helmet and carry a shield? This may not go over well in your neighborhood or playground. Well, it is not talking about a soldier’s armor that you can see, but the invisible armor you put on every day. It is the most powerful armor because it is God’s armor which will help to fight against things that come your way. The Bible says that God’s children, YOU, need to stand “firm against the devil’s evil schemes.” There is a battle between good and evil and by putting on the armor you are able to be strong in God’s power! How awesome is that- His power in you! You can fight off fear, untruths, and hatred while standing bold as he gives you the ability to love others, be secure, and live in joy. The Helmet of Salvation, The Shield of Faith, The Sword of the Spirit, The Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, The Boots of Peace. Ask your parent today to help you study God’s armor and how it can help you stand strong!