Never Let Your Guard Down

His combative voice reverberated in all corners of Male Intake in the prison last night, as I relieved the Intake Nurse for her lunch break.

"You little boy! If only I can hold you and grab you, you'll see..." he threatened one of the deputies who was much taller than him and was just doing an appropriate job of dealing with his being uncooperative and lack of respect with the authority.

He sat down in front of me. He started talking mellow. I couldn't find any obvious injuries. The gash on his anterior right shin, looked like an old superficial abrasion. He knew I wouldn't let him disrespect me nor would allow his ranting that would not be appropriate answers to my health screening questionnaires.

"Only 'yes' or 'no', Sir. I can only deal with your medical or mental health issues and that's what I want to know," I commanded.

After 5 quick minutes of quick observation and questioning, I let him get up so he could be put in a cell. He became combative to the deputies so one of them ended up twisting his arms which were already in a handcuff. Down on the floor he went as he was paralyzed, unable to move any part of his body as deputies' knees and hands were all over him. His mouth never stopped yelling though. Accusing them of more abuses and injuries.

2 Sergeants walked in and started recording his complaints. As they tried to communicate with this disrespectful man, they allowed him to voice out his lies and be recorded. This would be the evidence they could hang on to if this man would sue us. He didn't know. His ranting wasn't making sense at all. It was all blaming and showed a lot of disrespect to authorities.

In a humble way, I noticed that when he was dealing with me, he was respectful and never yelled at me. But with the deputies, even the Sergeants, his behavior was the opposite. If I have to brag, I would only brag about the protection that comes from the Lord. After all, "He is our Shield!" [Psalm 3:3]

We are engaged in a spiritual battle right away as we accept the Lord into our hearts. Believers are subjected to the devil's attacks because we are no longer on his side. But God provided us the Armor to resist the enemy's attacks and for us, to be able to stand in the midst of all these. We don't depend on our own strength as we battle. We rely on God's. We don all of His Armor to withstand the devil's strategies and tricks. The Armor stays on at all times. It doesn't come off. We don't choose to only put it on as we want to. It must stay on at all times because the enemy's accusations and attacks never stops! We use every piece to resist the enemy.
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HELMET = Salvation...Who else wants us to doubt God but our spiritual enemy? Who is busy making us doubt our salvation and not trust in Jesus? The helmet protects our mind from doubting God's work for us. ["We use God's mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the devil's strongholds. With these weapons, we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ." - 2 Corinthians 10:4-5]

BELT = Truth...Believers know God's truth. And as Satan fights with lies and sometimes, the lies even sound like the truth, we can depend on God's truth and his lies will be exposed.

BODY ARMOR = Righteousness...The enemy often goes after our hearts. Why? Because the heart is the core of our emotions, trust and even self-worth. It is not our righteousness that saves us. It is of God's. His righteousness is the body armor that protects our hearts. He sent His Son to die for us and Jesus, our Lord and Savior, became the righteousness for us. "Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don't let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires." - Romans 13:14 [NLT]

SHIELD = Faith...You have temptations? Being insulted? Losing hope? Think you're incapable of things? These are some of the forms of the enemy's attacks. The Shield protects us from such fiery darts. Knowing God's outlook and plan for believers, we can see beyond circumstances and know that the ultimate victory is ours.

SWORD = Word of God...The sword is the only weapon of offense among all the pieces of the Armor. There are times when we need to take the offensive against the enemy. Jesus, Who is the Word [John 1:1]has given us His written word - the Bible. It was given to men by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness [2 Timothy 3:16-17] ["For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are." - Hebrews 4:12]..How tragic when believers fail to wield the sWORD and just put them on a display, beautiful to look at. Let us not wait until the battle gets intense in order for us to use the sWORD. Store up Scriptures in our mind and as we do so, we are able to wield it more than just store them for ourselves at times that we need to use the sWORD. We can gain confidence in speaking the Word, praying the Word and even to sing It. ["Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts." - Ephesians 5:19]

SANDALS = Readiness to spread the Good News...That's where our enemy comes in...making us think that telling others about the Good News is just worthless and no use. That we are not capable of doing so. That it will be hard to accept the negative responses by others...But God wants us to tell others about the Good News. The shoes proclaim the true peace that comes from Him. We are God's enemies until we get our relationship right with Him. In order for us to share the Good News with others, we must be at peace with God first. Then, we are called to go and share His peace with others. ["How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!" -Isaiah 52:7]

We are always on alert in the jail. Newly arrived arrestees have very unpredictable behaviors, even worse when they are under the influence of illegal substances.

As we all belong to God's army, there is time for rest and refreshment but there must never be a time for complacency. We can't let our guard down! We can't be comfortable! Because when we do, that's when we give the enemy an advantage for the kill!

Remember what the Lord Jesus said:

"The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness." - John 10:10
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The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].