Will You Stand Firm?
In Ephesians 6, Paul makes it clear that there is a battle at hand. Unfortunately we ignore this and find ourselves defenseless for the fight. This is what he says in Ephesians 6:10-18,
“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…”
See God gives the believer a full set of equipment, and He sends us out into battle with everything we need at our disposal. What’s awesome is that this armor is of God both is the sense that it is from Him, and in the sense that it is His actual armor. In the Old Testament, it is the LORD who wears the armor (Isaiah 59:17).
"He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.”
- Isaiah 59:17 ESV
He now shares that armor with us, so no wonder we are more than conquerors! (Romans 8:37). One thing needs to be clear though, Paul doesn’t call the believer to enter into spiritual warfare. He simply announces it as a fact: we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but (we do wrestle) against principalities and so forth. You are in a spiritual battle. If you ignore that fact, you probably aren't winning the battle.
So what does the Armor of God look like? We can look at all kinds of historical armor, but I believe there is something to notice. The armor is for facing a battle head on. If one turns from battle, then they’re exposed and render themselves defenseless. Remember what God has given you to fight. It’s been said, “Every weapon formed against you will not prosper”, but what about every weapon formed for you? Stated in the armor of God is the “Sword of the Spirit”, which is God’s WORD (the Bible). Are we using the living Word to attack the enemy in-front of us?
God Has Called Us To Stand Firm
Instead of picturing the army of the church seeking out and attacking some kind of demonic fortress, we are to have the idea that Jesus illustrated in His ministry. Jesus didn't patrol around, looking for demons to conquer. That would almost be allowing demons to set the agenda for His ministry. Instead, Jesus knew what God the Father wanted Him to do, He set about doing it, and He dealt with satanic opposition when it arose. When satanic opposition raised itself, Jesus stood against it and was not moved. God gives us a glorious standing to maintain by faith in spiritual warfare as well.
- We stand in grace (Romans 5:2).
- We stand in the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1).
- We stand in courage and strength (1 Corinthians 16:13).
- We stand in faith (2 Corinthians 1:24).
- We stand in Christian liberty (Galatians 5:1).
- We stand in Christian unity (Philippians 1:27).
- We stand in the Lord (Philippians 4:1).
- We should stand perfect and complete in the will of God (Colossians 4:12).
The same idea is repeated in 1 Peter 5…
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
- 1 Peter 5:6-11
All in all, there is a lot bound up in that little word, stand.
- It means that we are going to be attacked.
- It means that we must not be frightened.
- It means that we must not droop or slouch, being uncertain or half-hearted in the fight (no self-pity is allowed).
- It means that we are at our position and alert.
- It means that we do not give even a thought to retreat.
How will you respond today? Will you stand firm?
* Some biblical notes pulled from Blue Letter Bible by David Guzik