Be Stong & Stand Firm

The Christian life we live is an on-going battle full of spiritual warfare, but never one that we should be fearful of or discouraged in.  In Ephesians 6:12, Paul teaches us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”  This battle is never-ending and its stakes are life and death.  This, under any circumstances, would be a terrifying reality if you didn’t know the Word of God. 

John 10:10 provides us with a glimpse of the adversary’s commander; Satan is, “the thief who comes to rob, kill, and destroy.”  Peter describes him as our great enemy, someone who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Despite this vivid image of what we face, we are instructed to stand firm and be strong in our faith.

What we must realize is that our strength is in the Lord and in His mighty power and that even in our weakest most vulnerable state, His power supersedes any need we might have or battle we are engaged in.  Our Lord has also provided us weapons and armor of our own to protect us from the evil in this world, so that we may stand firm, and so that we may fight back.  The armor we put on is Christ Himself and the weapon we wield is the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God.

Paul wrote Ephesians while he was imprisoned in Rome, so he used the armor of Roman soldiers to illustrate God’s mighty power and protection.  The belt of truth allows the truth and honesty of God to encompass us and create trust and unity among us.  The breastplate of righteousness is our moral purity, as the Lord bestows righteousness to those who trust and give their lives to Him.  Our feet are what allow us to share the gospel of peace with others.  The shield of faith protects our hearts and our lives from the fiery arrows of the devil.  Satan uses gutless warfare tactics consisting of temptation, discouragement, doubts, and countless other ploys that the shield of faith, through the power of God repels.  The helmet of salvation brings us new life and identity in Christ by providing us assurance of salvation.

We must always be ready for combat by knowing and equipping ourselves with the weapons God has provided us.  Prayer, although not mentioned in this passage of scripture, is one of our most powerful offensive and defensive weapons.  It not only deepens our relationship with God, but it brings us perspective by allowing us to see through any smoke and mirrors and deceptiveness that might be permeating a situation.  Prayer can also provide guidance in life by prompting us a course of action to take.  Prayer is crucial for bringing us or those we pray for encouragement, but more than anything, because God listens to our prayers and petitions, they make it possible for God to meet any need anyone might have.

Remember, God fights all of our battles, either for us or through us, so the next time you feel overwhelmed, discouraged, in-doubt, or under any form of attack – turn to God,  stand firm and prepare to watch His victory.

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