Two of the things I look forward to each day are the daily challenges for my online sudoku and solitaire. It is my chance to test my intellectual and problem-solving abilities and congratulate myself when I succeed. Though not a daily challenge, I also enjoy hitting the golf course at every opportunity to see if I can improve on my previous round. Suffice it to say, I look forward to these tests of my abilities.
However (and here is where the hypocrisy comes in), I do not look forward to the daily challenges to my spiritual life. My unstated prayer for each day is that I won’t run into anything that might cause me to have to “up” my spiritual game. I want Satan to be on a permanent vacation.
A couple of weeks ago, I restarted Priscilla Shirer’s Armor of God bible study, and I now understand why I have this difference in perspective.
In the former challenges (sudoku, solitaire, golf) all possibilities of success lie within my own capabilities: my problem-solving skills or my golfing abilities and my willingness to improve both.
In the latter (my spiritual battles) it doesn’t––but that’s what I was trying to do. Improve or succeed on my own. But the study reminded me that we are to “put off” our old self (which would include that reliance on self-sufficiency) and “put on” the Armor of God. And that is what I had forgotten: It is God’s truth, God’s righteousness, God’s peace, God’s shield of faith (faith = trust and reliance on God), God’s salvation, and God’s word. These are the attributes that defeat Satan, and they are God’s not mine.
In light of this new revelation, I think I can now look at those daily challenges to my spiritual life in a new way. Each one provides me an opportunity to witness all that God is able to do if I just rely on Him.