Devotionals by Dr. James MacDonald

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. . . . and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God(Ephesians 6:11, 17, esv).

In the construction world, nothing good is built without a blueprint. The necessity of a plan is universally accepted. Any time a problem or question comes up, builders examine the blueprint. For every uncertainty or perplexity, they go back to the blueprint.

Interestingly, the principle is not just true in the construction world. It also holds true in life.

You can’t build your finances without a blueprint.

You can’t build your family without a blueprint.

You can’t build your future without a blueprint.

You can’t build your faith without a blueprint.

Professionals in the construction trades would never try to build anything of value without a blueprint, yet all the time, people try to slap together a sort of life without a pattern or a plan. They reach for materials, cut without measuring, and hurriedly nail a bunch of pieces together at random. Bang, bang, cut, cut—and up goes all kinds of craziness in their lives. Even when things go wrong, and life starts to shift or crumble, they never go back to the blueprint, because they don’t have one. Even as they gaze in horror at what they’re building, many never realize, I need a clear plan for my life. I have to consult the blueprint.

Don’t Christians get that concept? Sadly, most people—even a lot of Christians—don’t grasp the importance of operating from a blueprint, much less God’s blueprint, as they build their lives. Christians create extra problems because they know they have a blueprint but refuse or forget to check it for direction.

God wrote the blueprint for human life. God Himself authored all the manufacturer’s specifications for your happiness. He knows how you’re put together. He knows how you work. He knows what will make you happy or miserable. He knows what will satisfy you and bring you joy. He wrote the blueprint for your complete happiness: the Bible.

The blueprint protects us. When we’re confronted with a temptation, we should immediately reference the blueprint. “I feel tempted to do _______________, but God’s Word says I should do _______________. I choose to follow the blueprint.” The power to say no to temptation is the power of the Word of God. If you find yourself in a situation where some temptation is being pressed upon you, don’t even try to stand against it yourself. You don’t have the power to resist it in your own strength. Use the only offensive weapon in your arsenal: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

The power to dismiss the enemy is the power of the Word of God. Satan whispers lies to us, such as, “Does God really love you? If He really loved you, then He would let you have _______________. That would make you happy.” Our response should be, “Let me check God’s Word, because it’s the blueprint for human happiness. You want me to do _______________, but God’s Word says _______________.” Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44); lying is all he ever does. When James 4:7 tells us to “resist the devil,” that doesn’t mean to get out your boxing gloves. It means to draw your sword, God’s Word. Apply truth to the error that’s clouding your thinking.

Want to make a choice that will change your life forever? Commit afresh to God’s Word as the blueprint for your life.


  • To what extent is your life guided by the blueprint of God’s Word?
  • What are some temptations you’re facing in life? What does the blueprint say you should do?

God, You didn’t leave me here, lost and alone and wondering and wandering. You gave me a blueprint for life. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for how it guides my choices. Thank You for its power to defeat temptation and every scheme of the enemy. I choose to build my life according to Your Word. By faith I believe that Your way is best, and a life built on You, with You, will satisfy my deepest longings. In the name of Jesus, amen.

For more from Dr. James MacDonald please visit Walk in the Word on

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Walk in the Word...Igniting passion in the people of God through the proclamation of truth.

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Pastor James MacDonald preaches without apology straight from the pages of Scripture, provoking Christians to think and act on their faith. His Bible-teaching ministry, Walk in the Word, launched on as a radio broadcast in 1997, with the mission of "igniting passion in the people of God through the proclamation of truth."

About Dr. James MacDonald

James MacDonald (D. Min., Phoenix Seminary) is the founder and Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel. He has led the church from the time it began with just 18 people in 1988 to the present, where 13,000 people attend seven campuses in the Chicago area weekly. His practical teaching of God’s Word is broadcast daily around the world on radio and TV through the program Walk in the Word, and more than 160 vertical churches have been planted on four continents under Dr. MacDonald’s leadership. Pastor James has authored several books and Bible studies, including: Act Like Men; Vertical Church; Lord, Change Me; Lord, Change My Attitude; When Life is Hard; Always True; and most recently, The Will of God IS the Word of God. He and his wife Kathy live in the Chicagoland area near their seven beloved grandchildren, and three adult children who serve alongside them in ministry.

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