Monday, February 1, 2016

The Armor of God Bible study by Priscilla Shirer (book review)

This study took me FOREVER to get through! I believe I started it when Princess was under 4 months old. Perhaps 2 months old, we'll say, so this took me 4 months to get through. Please do not take this as an indication of the material. It's not, just an indication of my season of life.
image via LifeWay
"Armor of God" by Priscilla Shirer is NOT the study that goes with the movie "War Room." That's the "Fervent" study, which I also posted about. However, "Armor of God" may as well have been intended to go along with them both. There is much the same ideas in "Armor of God" as in "Fervent." I can't relate it to the movie because I have yet to see it. But, in fact, some of the exact same material is in both studies/books. This was part of the reason I feel it took me awhile to get through because I have a difficult time re-reading the same material.

However, I am thankful to have gone through this study (just an FYI, this study is just as great without the DVD portion. I didn't have access to that part, so I just did the daily study part). It opened my eyes to many areas of weakness that have succumbed to spiritual warfare. I feel like I'm at a weak season of my life with a new baby and all the exhaustion and emotions that brings, a child with a very difficult demeanor and all the exhaustion and emotions that brings, and a child with special needs and all the exhaustion and emotions that brings. PLUS just being a woman living with other people and all the exhaustion and emotions that brings. It's exhausting. And emotional. (haha)

I've never extensively studied Ephesians 6:10-19 but now I have (even though I know there is more and more and more to this) through this book. I feel like I better see my own sins and weaknesses that are gaping holes to the enemy. I feel better able to defend these areas in my life with prayer. I feel better able to be truthful with myself and God and trusted others in this to allow them to help me defend myself.

I'll just share some spiritual truth nuggets I gleaned from this study (there are so many more!):
- "He (the enemy, Satan) propagates fantasies, causing temporal and insignificant things to somehow appear immensely valuable and favorable. He hides consequences in the fine print while highlighting only the parts that appeal to our shortsighted, self-gratifying flesh."
- "And one of these areas where it (the practice makes perfect premise) can actually cause a problem is in our spiritual lives...when we practice and practice in the illusive pursuit of perfection, either to gain approval from God (which is completely unnecessary since we already have it) or simply to impress others."
- "the gospel never stops being a miracle..."
- "Whether or not a chair can hold my weight has nothing to do with how much faith I have. I could possess all the faith in the world, by my faith doesn't make the chair any more strong or sturdy. So increasing my faith is not necessary, but becoming better acquainted with the strength of the chair is. The stronger I discover it to be, the more willing I'll be to sit in it and allow it to carry my weight."
- "'Good faith' isn't a certain size or strength; it's simply faith that's directed at and rooted in a good God."
- "We may feel like we have very little faith, and yet still be a woman of strong faith because we choose to move forward despite what we feel."
- "...the enemy made me believe I was unaccepted by certain groups of my peers for this one reason: because I was unacceptable...making me constantly feel the need to prove my value in hopes that others would accept me into their company. It's an exhausting way to live."

So much out of this spoke into areas of my life - some I was aware of before but some I wasn't. And "Armor of God" is not just a passive Bible study where you fill in the blanks and answer some questions and that's all. It encourages you to write out prayers (called prayer strategies) using the "Actionable Intel" (things you've learned) so that you can take up the armor of God against the enemy, defending yourself with the words of God. Prayer cards were included, too, which is a nice bonus.

If you're just in a place where studying the Bible yourself is overwhelming (been there!), this is a wonderful option. Even if you're fine studying the Word by yourself, this is a great option. It's just full of wonderful, godly wisdom coming straight out of the Bible. Consider this for yourself or a small group.

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. All opinions are my own and may differ from others' opinions. 

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