As I travel around the world proclaiming the gospel, I’ve discovered a great thief among Christians lurking quietly in the hearts of God’s people. This thief has stolen the most powerful weapon known to the follower of Christ – the mighty weapon of prayer. Perhaps this robber has inflicted more damage on the Body of Christ than any of the known enemies of the Church.
Permit me to illustrate to you who this thief is. We have a man that I will call “Disciple.” He has everything he needs to be victorious in life. He has all of the authority and power of heaven as well as spiritual weapons to defeat any known enemy. He has the whole armor of God at his disposal – truth, righteousness, faith, salvation, and peace. He even has the powerful sword called the Word of God. There’s no weapon great enough to defeat “Disciple.” But he also has one responsibility. He must dress himself each morning, putting on the whole armor of God.
On the other hand, there’s a dangerous foe that I’ll call “Enemy.” He knows that he’s no match for “Disciple.” He can’t penetrate the armor that “Disciple” wears. “Enemy” must devise a plan to defeat “Disciple.” Therefore, he appoints one of his fiercest commanders to devise a plan to destroy “Disciple.” The commander’s name is “Busyness.”
“Busyness” goes to “Disciple” one day and says, “Hey, I don’t want to coerce you to do something evil. I don’t want you to commit adultery. I don’t want you to murder someone. In fact, I only desire you to do good things. Let’s get busy with a lot of good things in life – busy with work, busy with school, busy with church, busy entertaining ourselves. Let’s keep ourselves occupied.”
“Disciple” only wants to please God and would never contemplate cheating on his wife or killing someone. So, it sounds reasonable to him. He gets busy doing a lot of good things – totally involved in church, working hard to provide nice things for his family, going to football, soccer, the theater and anywhere that makes him feel better about himself.
Then one day “Enemy” comes around his backside and attacks. “Disciple” is devastated because he’s not had time to put on the whole armor of God. He’s been so busy that there’s been no time in his schedule for prayer. He’s so full of activities – good activities – that there’s no room in his day to put on God’s protective armor. He’s left vulnerable to the wiles of the “Enemy.” He wakes up one morning and discovers himself doing those things that he would never have dreamed. He’s completely defeated.
That’s only a parable, but it’s the situation of many believers today. Scores of Christians are defeated – not because they set out on a course of sin, but simply because they scheduled God out of their lives. Consequently, churches are filled with people in the pews that are powerless. They are defeated by a toothless enemy that’s been stripped of all his power and authority over the believer. Yet, this enemy slyly and deceitfully removes the protective armor of God from the follower of Christ, and he finds himself defeated.
Every Christian has every thing he needs to be victorious in Christ. He simply must put on the whole armor of God. In short, that means taking time to spend with God in prayer. Prayer is the practical method by which we put on the whole armor of God. Why don’t you spend some time today alone with God. Open your Bible. Read God’s Word and pray. Ask God to meet with you. Clothe yourself with truth, righteousness, faith, peace and salvation. Don’t allow “busyness” to lead you down the path of defeat. Remember, He lovingly tells us – “Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps 46:10, NIV)