WRITE: Devotionals, Out of the Dust, Ready for Battle
As we’ve already read in these devotionals from our new book Out of the Dust, Avis Goodhart is no stranger to spiritual warfare. And it probably won’t surprise you to learn that she encountered many such battles within the public school system.
#9: Ready for Battle
Scripture Reading: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:10-17).
Thought: As believers, we need to put (and keep) on the full armor of God.
Excerpt, Out of the Dust: Because God led me to continue working with students even after my children were grown, I enrolled in college at age forty-two, graduated, and became a special education teacher. My time in the schools taught me more about how the enemy attacks God’s servants.
At the high school, it didn’t take long for my faith to become a problem. Someone complained after I was seen carrying a Bible. “I thought this was America,” I responded. “Can’t I carry a Bible at any time?”
In the six years I taught in that district, I was reported at least seven times for such suspicious activities as praying silently over my kids, putting up a “God’s in all of us” sign that one of my students had made, and displaying a manger scene. My students’ parents knew and approved of everything I did. It was those outside my classroom who wanted to cause problems. The battle became more and more obvious.
God used this opposition to increase my dependence on Him. It took courage beyond my ability to walk into a classroom and teach reading when I couldn’t pronounce all the words or straighten out all the letters. At times, I froze. I had graduated with fancy papers and letters after my name, but I kept wondering if someone would take them away.
About that time, I discovered a wonderful invention called the Franklin Speller. It allows you to type in a word the way you think it should be spelled, and a list pops up with spelling options. It also reads the word out loud when you click on it. I used the Speller to help me teach sixth grade reading. But God was teaching me to trust not in technology but in Him.
Every morning on the way to school I put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18). He was heightening my awareness of the battle to prepare me for the mission field and the attacks I would face there. He was also moving my heart out of the classroom and toward the work He had for me overseas. (Chapter 9)
Prayer: Father God, I do not know what battles lie before me. But I do know I can stand strong in you. Clothe me in all of your armor and prepare me for the work and warfare to come.
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Read about Avis Goodhart and Go Ye Ministries.