Summary: Why is it some have joy and the strength of the Lord in their lives, while others don’t?


~ Part One ~

The Armor of God

There is something wonderful about becoming a Christian.

The forgiveness of God is difficult for people to understand. That is, until they finally surrender their life completely to the Lord.

To know first hand the saving Grace of God is life changing.

It is great to watch new Christians quickly adjust to their new life in Christ. You have seen it. The person that gives their heart to the Lord can change almost overnight. One day their life was empty and without meaning. And, the next day they are full of joy and happiness. It is great to watch people like that. Amen?

Some people experience a true conversion like this and live happily ever after with the Lord. On the other hand, I have seen other Christians who are living for God, but are actually weary and frustrated with what is going on in their life.

Church, it doesn’t have to be this way. None of us should ever have to live without the joy of the Lord. I don’t want anyone to feel obligated to be a Christian. The Lord wants us all to experience the

1. Complete joy of knowing His Son, Jesus Christ.

2. Strength of Serving and living for Christ

Today we will begin a new series - STRENGTH TO STAND


Why is it some have joy and the strength of the Lord in their lives, while others don’t?

Some would say that some people are more disciplined with how they act.

Other people know they cannot give up on their faith. Some are steadfast in their faith, while others just seem to be stubborn...obligated...miserable.

Some people have told me they are frightened of “Judgment Day” and know that without their commitment to the Lord they will face an eternity in hell. They seem to be obligated (or forced) to live for God.

This is a difficult problem that many may not want to admit to.


If you have an obligation to the Christian religion but not a personal relationship with Christ, you will eventually grow weak in your own determination. Eventually you will grow too tired and will give up as many others have done. More often than not obligation causes religion in a church. But it is having your life transformed by Christ that makes the difference in yourself and in your church.


1. How can we keep our joy and strength for the Lord?

2. What can we do to protect ourselves from the attack of the devil and maintain a healthy and vibrant faith in God?”

The picture shown depicts for us a soldier of strength – fit for battle.

My hope is that we grow stronger and more resilient in our faith.

Unfortunately – I am becoming concerned with how many so-called believers are apparently growing more and more weary with their faith.

We all have our problems that may be partially responsible for our fatigue, and I do know that many are still obedient (for the most part) to the commandments found in the Bible. But I would suggest that there are some who are not (let’s just say) quite as strong as they once were.

In the average church life – Christians may often give the appearance that all is well with their soul, but there are times when anyone of us may need to be strengthened by the Lord. The more candid we are with one another the more likely we will confess our weaknesses (to one another).

The fact is there is a war taking place between good and evil.

And none of us are exempt from being in the battlefield. This battle between right and wrong has been going on for thousands of years. Lucifer may be on the loose, but (the Good News is) my God is more than able to defeat Satan and all of his demons.

I am convinced that the modern day New Testament Church is being attacked on every wall and at every gate! Nevertheless –

“A Mighty Fortress is our God…a bulwark never failing…”

• Perhaps you are unaware of these attacks I refer to…

• Perhaps you are concerned and/or frightened by what you have heard others are saying about this church, and Christianity in general.

• Perhaps (worse yet) you are unconcerned, negligent, or even passive or complacent, or you just don’t want to know…

Regardless – the time has come for every blood bought child of God to wake up and get suited up in THE ARMOR OF GOD.

Text: Ephesians 6:10 thru 13;



Many of us continue to grow in the things of God and are finding a stronger determination to serve the Lord with sincerity and conviction.

I firmly believe that anyone can find greater meaning to their faith by doing two things:

1. Allow the power of the Holy Spirit to have His way.

a) Acts 1:8 says we will receive this power after the Holy Spirit comes upon us.

2. Find what it is the Lord has for you to do for Him.

Philippians 3:12

Not that I have already attained…but I press on, that I may lay hold of that which Jesus has laid hold of me.

Jesus has something very specific for your life, and now is the time to mobilize our faith into action in serving Him. Why? Because we are living in the last days. Jesus is coming soon.

We need to serve the Lord with our whole heart.

We need to live out our purpose for Him dressed in


But I would suggest that many have found they are unable to serve God like they would want to. There are many reasons for this. We may have a desire for greater things for God, but some of us are not capable.

Oftentimes, the reason for this is there are spiritual things still needing to be resolved in our lives.

These former things must be forgiven and put under the blood, as they will have a negative impact on our relationship with the Lord.

There are negative consequences of the past that many people have to face everyday. That makes it difficult for us to be strong…

As Well - We should consider that all of us came to this world very fragile.

For example, there is not much strength to a new born baby.

Their skin is soft and can chafe easily. This outer layer of skin is very much like the rest of their body parts, including their soul. Babies are very soft and very sensitive to the slightest pain or discomfort…

This is why a mother and a father can be so protective of their child.

This delicate baby must stay warm and dry.

We all were like this at one time. As we all grew older we faced things that challenged us to become stronger. Many times we were ready for whatever life faced us with.

The fact of the matter is, we all were and still are very vulnerable. We are defenseless to most anything in life. Especially when it comes to the spiritual things.

Have you noticed that it just doesn’t seem to take very much to cause a Christian to get upset…and loose the STRENGTH TO STAND for their faith in the Lord? Eventually every Christian will (at some point) “stumble and fall” because they are weak. Perhaps other people have let us down.

We face difficult situations everyday in the natural world.

But without knowing it, we face even greater difficulties in the realm of the supernatural. That is, the spiritual things.

This is what we see in verse 12 of our text.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

We must take this passage seriously and understand that we can only be strong in THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT! The only protection we have in this life is the “Whole Armor of God”. And that should be enough for any of us.

I am weak, but only He is strong. I really have nothing to offer the Lord except my heart. I have a fragile and willing vessel created to be used with His power and His might. But this vessel must be protected with the armor God has given to me.

No longer can anyone of us afford to neglect/ignore our spiritual battles. It is time we all arm ourselves with the WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD, and find our strength to stand!

Consider this:

Without the Lord, I am just as vulnerable as I was when I was born over 50 years ago.

Later in life I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior. At that time, I was just like anybody else. Before I received my whole armor of God, I was easily hurt. Let me explain.

People disappointed me a lot when I was very young…

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Have you ever been hurt?

Are you fragile? Are you thin skinned?

We men can act like we are tough, but we are no different than women or little boys. Any of us can be disappointed or get hurt.

For some, there are things that have happened in our lives that have caused permanent damage to our spirit. We have unforgiveness… bitterness…resentment…regrets…

We should know that the Lord is completely aware of the hurt and anguish in your life.

But Jesus also suffered and died for your complete recovery from your afflictions that you would serve Him and glorify Him in your body and your spirit, and to give to you STRENGTH TO STAND.

The devil does not want you to hear and understand this.

Many times we become very selfish when our spirit is crushed.

We tend to guard our pain and fight for survival. (Sometimes selfishly)

As an example, someone who is drowning will scratch and fight the person who has swam out to save them. Survival will cause anyone to only think of themselves. Wounded, weak and desperate Christians are like this…

No matter how hard you try, you cannot effectively honor the Lord when you have a crushed spirit. The natural tendency for any of us is to glorify what has gone wrong in our lives.

We must begin to glorify what has transformed our lives. Jesus!

We must glorify the Lord with what He has done for us.

This relationship we have with Christ is not just about being whole, it is about us being useful for His name’s sake.

God has given us THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT and He has given us THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD so that we become useful to Him. He has enabled us to become everything He wants from us. Bringing Him glory & honor.

That is why we have to take hold of those things that we know the Lord has commissioned us to do. Serving Him effectively in His church is what I want to speak to you about. The health and vitality of the Church of Jesus Christ is critically important for all of us and our community.

All of that is important to our enemy – Satan. He is very determined to destroy the church, but I am not about to let him.

Satan’s best strategy against any church is attack where people hurt the most. Let’s just say that where there is pain in the church – there is (in effect) a chink in THE ARMOR OF GOD. The enemy always looks for the chink…the weakest point in the armor…

The pain felt by anyone of us may not be intentional, but (regardless) there are many Christians who are having their strength stolen from them by the devil. And this happens many times because someone has offended them…

Jesus warned His disciples that this would be a problem…Luke 17:1

“It is impossible that no offenses should come..”

The sad part of this statement is that the greatest offenses Satan uses against us comes from within the church.

Psalm 55:12 – 14

It was not an enemy insulting me…But it was you, a person like me. My companion and good friend. We had a good friendship and walked together to God’s Temple.

We should know that it is only the people you care about that can hurt you and cause you to become weak. Sometimes we really think we have reason to be offended by what someone has done to us, but many times there has only been a misunderstanding. Oftentimes people become weak because they did not know the whole story and falsely accused the other person.

This is exactly how Satan has attacked this church…with misinformation. The devil made sure there was a misunderstanding between at least two believers who once had a “good friendship”…who once “walked together to God’s Temple.”

We will never have the STRENGTH TO STAND until we destroy the deception and lies being told about one another. Falsehood and rumors within the church are of the devil, but we must have strength to stand for what is pure, holy and true.

Now here is THE KEY how we can destroy the works of the devil, and it should come to no surprise to you when you hear where I found it...

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

We can and will become strong again and be able to stand when we decide to stop saying things like:

“You know what I heard…???

“Here’s what I heard…

“I may be gossiping … but did you know that…???

We can have STRENGTH TO STAND if we only allow those things that are true to come from our lips and our hearts.


In Revelation 3 – Jesus spoke to the church of Laodecia. He told them that they only saw themselves as rich and they had no need for anything. That church…Laodecia…was convinced that they had it all. But Jesus called them “wretched…miserable…poor…blind and naked.”

Finally in verse 18 Jesus told them something I believe we need to do:

“Anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”

See what Jesus?

Our true condition.

My friend – you need Jesus!

Whether you come here every Sunday, whether you are saved or you need to give your life to Christ this morning.

We need to stop seeing ourselves any other way but how Jesus see us.

I am not here to condemn anyone but Jesus is here to apply the salve on all of our eyes. Let us stop looking to see what everybody else is doing… not doing…or (especially) doing wrong.

Let’s examine ourselves for anything that we may have that is offensive to others…ruthful to others…anything that would cause us to be weak and unable to stand up for Jesus.