Roping Religion: God is your armor
Last updated 11/20/2020 at 8:56am
Many of the ideas and scriptures for this article are from the devotional "God Wants You To Win!" by world champion calf roper Jeff Copenhaver.
Jeff's favorite scripture is Isaiah 41:10 "Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand."
There are times in life when we may become discouraged or we may feel like giving up or calling it quits. God wants to encourage us through the difficult situations and tough circumstances so that we learn how to persevere through tough incidents and come through challenges both victorious and thankful.
Another name for the Holy Spirit is the Helper or Comforter. Matthew 24:6-7 states: You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
As believers we can have peace because we know that God holds our right hand. He tells us to fear not. I have found peace in trying times when I know that I am where God wants me to be and doing what He wants me to do. I certainly do not like some of the trials and problems that I have had but I do like knowing that it is calm in the eye of the storm and that God can speak to the storm and calm it.
Some believers have all the right gear but never seem to be able to apply it to their lives. Jeff told the story of a young bronc rider who was a student at a bronc riding school in South Dakota. The student had a new vest, new bronc rein, and a new saddle but he never got off the bleachers because he was in fear.
Perhaps at the end of our lives our biggest regrets may not be what we did but perhaps they will be what we did not even attempt. The Bible teaches us that though a righteous man falls seven times the Lord God picks him up each time.
We need to remember that we are clothed with Jesus and that we are not supposed to listen to our flesh or our carnal desires. When we put on the armor of God we are clothing ourselves for battle. We are taking a stand against the devil's schemes. We ought to remember that 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 instructs us to have the belt of truth buckled around our waists and have the breastplate of righteousness in place. Our feet are to be fitted the gospel of peace. We are to take up the shield of faith so that we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. We also take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. After taking up our armor we then pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. We need to be alert and keep on praying for all the Lord's people.
With all of this armor and the leading of the Holy Spirit we can operate as the righteous who are bold as a lion. This summer I taught our congregation to pray at night when they can't sleep. As long as you are awake you may as well be praying for someone and fellowshipping with the Lord.
Let's use our weapons to make a difference in the kingdom. You may have to use your faith to help someone obtain a healing or to get set free. Be one who speaks the truth in love and let your life give off the aroma of Jesus to the world. Jesus is our righteousness. We no longer have to try to earn His favor or love. God already loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to give His life for us.
The next time you are fearful, afraid, or can't sleep try counting your blessings instead of counting sheep. God already has His sheep counted and protected.
May God bless you big.
This is the 29th in a 30-column series of Roping Religion columns by Kevin Barsotti, pastor of Ark Church in Havre.