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The devotion below is from one of our Locking Arms brothers, John Taormina, from our South Hills huddle group. He is a combat veteran of the Army, having served in two ‘campaigns’ from May 2008 – June 2009.

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11 (NIV)

Make no mistake dear friends and loved ones, we are in a daily battle of the greatest war this world has ever seen. It is a war waged against the possession of our very hearts. The devil comes to confuse us, to isolate us, oppress us, and take life itself. He seeks to destroy our marriages. He wishes to ruin our relationships. He is a master in making us believe that our selfish passions and desires will fully satisfy our hearts, if only we “can have a little more.” Yes, we are in a fight against evil itself that desires to ruin all that we work so hard to preserve. But, we are also in a fight against our own hearts as well. Our passions and ambitions can be motivated by the most selfish reasons. Sometimes these reasons are embarrassing to admit. Ephesians chapter 6 beautifully outlines the armor that God wishes us to use. The only piece of battle gear that is to be used as an offensive weapon is the Sword of the Spirit, or in other words, the Word of God (Bible). It may seem so simple. However, it is powerful beyond comprehension. When reading it, I am challenged to see what needs to be done in my heart. Thankfully, God is there to wrestle with those tough challenges and questions I have. So what armor have you?

Almighty Father, this battle wears me thin in the pursuit to do what is right. But, You have conquered death itself on the cross. Your power alone is capable of destroying the enemy that tries, so desperately, to take my life. It is in Your Spirit that I find rest and learn to fight on my own. May Your Word breathe life into my heart every day. Amen.