During my morning prayer, God directed me to I Chronicles 20 (NIV). I read it and didn't understand until God told me to go further. So I read 21:1 and that's when the light bulb went off.
Here's what I read:
20 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, Joab led out the armed forces. He laid waste the land of the Ammonites and went to Rabbah and besieged it, but David remained in Jerusalem. Joab attacked Rabbah and left it in ruins. 2 David took the crown from the head of their king[a]—its weight was found to be a talent[b] of gold, and it was set with precious stones—and it was placed on David’s head. He took a great quantity of plunder from the city 3 and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then David and his entire army returned to Jerusalem. 4 In the course of time, war broke out with the Philistines, at Gezer. At that time Sibbekai the Hushathite killed Sippai, one of the descendants of the Rephaites, and the Philistines were subjugated. 5 In another battle with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod. 6 In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha. 7 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him. 8 These were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men. 21 Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.
Here's what I saw: We win the battle but listen as the wrong voice directs us on how to act afterwards. Some of us may gloat, some may be humble, others may celebrate. Yet, David won war after war then sinned against God. How? He not only listened to Satan but acted based on the whisper of the devil. How many times have we gotten a good Word on Sunday then get to work on Monday to have someone do or say something that sets us off? Sometimes, we don't even make it to Monday. Some will get in their cars and road rage will take over. Others will walk into their homes where their unsaved spouse will do something that incites an inner riot in the one that just received the Word of the Lord.
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. (Ephesians 6:11-12 NIV)
Our battles aren't always external. There are times when whispers in our ear carry us to do something. Notice I said carry not force. We have the choice to do or not to do. It is our choice to listen to or cast down the imagination. Because that's what it is, an imagery of a possibility. A possibility that isn't real until we put flesh to action. Satan incited David to take a census. If you keep reading Chapter 21, you'll read that David sent one of his men to do just that. Do you remember when the devil attempted to tempt Jesus?
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (Matthew 4, NKJV)
Three times he tried. Three times he fell. How many times did he try and fail with you this week? Today? No, we certainly are not Jesus. However, as we grow in this walk, we should be able to see clearer to know that the weapons the devil uses against us come when we are weak. For David, it came during a time after he had won battles. Can I take a moment and surmise that the people were celebrating victories? They was probably a sense of happiness in the land that they had overtaken their enemy and the enemy had not overtaken them. Who wouldn't celebrate? I do. Each time there is a victory where the enemy didn't win, I do a little victory dance and send thanks unto God for the grace and mercy He's shown me, for the victory He has given me. Yet, while I dance, I keep my armor on.
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. (Ephesians 6: 13-18 NIV).
The key for me isn't in just wearing the armor. The key comes in verse 13 that tells me the day of evil is coming and in verse 18 where I'm told be be alert and staying prayed up after I've put my armor on. It's one thing to put on armor but its another thing to put it on and know how to use it.
When he comes - and he is coming - make sure you not only have on the armor but you know how to use it.
Be A Blessing and Not Just Blessed