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Thursday, October 30, 2014

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Ephesians 6:10-20
Psalm 144:1-2, 9-10
Luke 13:31-35

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armed and dangerous

"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, the word of God." —Ephesians 6:17

Life is a wrestling match against demons (Eph 6:12). Our offensive weapon in this battle is the Holy Spirit working through His Word and in prayer (Eph 6:17-18).

To defeat the devil, we need to do what Jesus did when He was tempted (Mt 4:4, 7, 10) — we must wield the sword of God's Word (see Rv 1:16) in the power of the Spirit. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Rm 10:17, our transl.). Therefore, the Word of God is the basis for faith. Moreover, we must grow strong in our "holy faith through prayer in the Holy Spirit" (Jude 20). Both proclaiming God's Word in the Spirit and praying in the Spirit strengthens our faith. By such faith, we conquer the world (1 Jn 5:5) and claim Jesus' victory over Satan, the prince of the world. The Spirit gives us the gift of faith (1 Cor 12:9) and the fruit of faith (Gal 5:22). Moreover, faith is how we move mountains (Mt 17:20) and destroy the strongholds of the evil one (2 Cor 10:4).

Consequently, Satan repeatedly tempts us to sin and thereby stifle the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19). This is his attempt to disarm us. We must resist his temptations and thus live the life in the Spirit, the life of faith and victory.

Prayer:  Father, may I be armed and Satan disarmed (Lk 11:22), and not vice versa.

Promise:  "Pray that I may have courage to proclaim it as I ought." —Eph 6:20

Praise:  Jim's wife felt her parish was dead and wanted to leave the Catholic Church. Jim refused to allow her to leave. Years later, the two are major leaders in several Catholic ministries.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Spiritual Warfare.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 24, 2014

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