“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.” Ephesians 6:10-11
Last week as I was sharing the Live Facebook message, (click here to view last week's video) I suddenly felt a great need to lean into the camera and encourage someone that had sat down on the narrow path. Life can become extremely difficult at times. Discouragement, fear and unbelief show up as unwelcome companions. At these junctions in life the urge to just sit down and give up is a call that is difficult to turn down. In weariness and weakness the danger in sitting down is that we can easily become lodged like a large stone pressed into the dark ground.
I remember a walk with my grandson that led to a bit of exasperation. His mom’s office is a short walk from their home and we always enjoy walking there and engaging in many made up games. When he saw her office, knowing that she was up the stairs, he demanded that we go up and visit her. I knew that she was with a client and a visit was not on the agenda. In tiredness and rebellion he plopped himself in the green grass and told me he wasn’t going with me. I pleaded, prodded and pulled but he was not budging. When I attempted to lift him, he would draw up his legs and refuse to stand. I could only carry him a few steps, because his dead weight was more that I could manage. Upon hearing a dog barking, I enticed him by telling him I thought it was his dog begging him to come home. Little by little we returned home with him walking a few steps, sitting down and then me carrying him a few steps.
Dead weight is almost impossible to get in motion. The longer we stay down, the more we become lodged in place. The darkness looms like a heavy cloud and we determine in our heart to just stay where we are and give up. We begin to demand our rights and many more discouragement companions show up.
I believe June 2020 finds us in a dangerous curve in the road. We have sheltered in place for months, being cut off from our normal places of encouragement. We have been shocked by inhumane injustices and the rioting in the streets is more than we can endure. The evil darkness is something you can almost smell in the air. Personal issues are escalating in the midst of it all and finding a reason to stand can appear useless.
And that is exactly what the enemy wants us to feel. If he can get us down and keep us there long enough, he knows we will give up and he will gain territory.
We are not left helpless in these evil times.
John Piper explains the enemy’s strategy in the following quote:
“Now, fiery darts can come at you at that moment of disappointment, or regret, or anger, or fear, or loneliness, or incapacitating grief. Satan’s aim is that nobody be saved and come to knowledge of the truth. And one of the key strategies is to start battles in the world, which draws our attention away from the real battle for the salvation of the lost and the perseverance of the saints. So the more wars, conflicts and revolutions of flesh and blood he can start, the better for his plan.”
Paul prepared us for days like this in Ephesians 6:10-18. He not only called us to stand but he taught us how. He calls us to be strong in the Lord’s power and to wear His full armor. Piece by piece, he teaches us that we can stand and in Christ we have everything that we need.
“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.” Ephesians 6:13
We are living in the day of evil and I am writing today to tell you that you are able to stand. If I could sit with you, I would cheer you on. I would plead, prod and pull you up from the low place. I would point you to the author and finisher of our story. I would speak truth into your ears and pray that the Spirit of the living God would lift you up.
I have never fought in a literal battle, but I think I can assume correctly that if you sit down in the middle of the battlefield, you will be destroyed. Scripture is clear that we are in a spiritual battle and we have the supernatural ability to stand against all the plans and strategies of the enemy.
Our struggle is not against flesh and blood.
We are not destroyed because Jesus made a way for us to stand in His mighty power. Jesus calls us up and forward.
Arise my friend! Suit up! Gear on!
His armor is all of Himself. He provides everything that is needed.
Belt of Truth. Breastplate of Righteousness. Gospel of Peace. Shield of Faith. Helmet of Salvation. Sword of the Spirit. Unceasing Prayer.