Thursday, September 01, 2016

"Standing Firm"

Ephesians 6.11, 16 NIV

“Put on the full armor of God so you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

I am assaulted by the “flaming arrows of the evil one” every single day. Thoughts of failure, disappointment, and resignation crowd my mind. I sometimes question myself… my calling, my abilities, my resources, my resolve. “Do I have what it takes? Will I make it?”

I imagine an other-worldly conversation between “spiritual forces... in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6.12). Jesus and the angels are rooting for me. They are instilling in me the confidence necessary to stand up to demonic bullies and expect to win. There is an active spiritual battle for the welfare of my soul. I sense it. Constant, quiet yet noticeably present, the combat intensifies around me. Demonic forces contend for the control of my mind and tempt me to acquiesce to their malevolent will.  

In the face of this temptation, I am commanded to “stand firm”. I may feel shaky but I must remain standing. Perhaps this attack on my spirit is part of God’s plan, testing my dependence upon Jesus and slowly ridding me of what is not of Him. Scripture refers to “the removing of what can be shaken – that is, created things – so that what cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12.26-28). I am one of His beloved “created things” and I “can be shaken”, but the part of me that is of Christ will remain. I am receiving “a kingdom that cannot be shaken”

There is an effective defense against the “flaming arrows of the evil one”. God allows the devil’s assault to develop in me a strong internal defense system. God may believe in me more than I do. He possesses for me the confidence I myself lack. He permits Satan take his best shot and offers me “the shield of faith” to deflect the arrows of my enemy. My faith is in Jesus Christ who alone enables me to stand up under any pressure. I don’t have to fold, cave, give up, acquiesce, or surrender. I may rest and remain content to trust Him who is my strong defense. I believe. My faith in Him is a shield that will “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”.

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The "Stand Firm" logo was created by Steve Davis of Cranium Designs for a Campus Crusade for Christ conference and used here with his permission. You can find out more about Steve's Hayward, California-based company and his excellent graphics work at http://www.craniumdesigns.com/.

5 comments:

One Sided said...

Jeremiah 29:12

The fight, is personal it, is individual. The whole safety in numbers idea is lost. We must fight this battle in a hand to hand combat style and we are ill prepared to do so. So often in the midst of the fight we become to focused on what is in front of us, in fighting against it we are drawn toward it, we tire and set aside our shield, or drop our sword, or we just grow weary of the fight.
It is at this time we should remember we never need be alone, even in this most personal of battles. This is the time we need to stop and recall where we were last in the company of God. And we are to retrench at that point. Go back to where we last knew that God was, because he did not move away from us, we lost sight of him, we focused so hard on what is in front of us, we wondered away.
Notice that the armor of God provides no coverage for your back, Historically it was to discourage the soldier from retreating , Often I hear the point made that is because we Christians should always be facing the battle ourselves, but I think in this particular battle, it is because God has our backs, he is that protection we need. And if in the fight we move forward with him, we take comfort that he is there, that he sees what we are facing, that he can hold our arms up when they grow weary, that he strengthens us.

YBIC

Larry

Dave's Bible Blog said...

Hi Larry,

Great comments. Thank you. I especially like the part about the historical reason for no armour protection on the backside. I have never heard that insight. Thanks brother.

I agree. Its not wise or necessary to fight our battles alone. Its good to have brothers and sisters who can join us in mutual support and encouragement.

Your Brother,
Dave

One Sided said...

I wonder how Joshua felt knowing Moses so well and knowing what was before him. I think Joshua 1:1-9
holds direction and promise for all who lead.
Some desire to be leaders.
Some have it thrust upon them.
Some take it up reluctantly.
Some may not even be aware that they lead.
Some feel it is only a position to be held by a selected few.
Some folks are followers. And they may be surprised at who is following them.
But if we find we have accepted the challenge to lead (for Christ), we have a responsibility to know (the Word), to know place (on the path God set us on), to stay on track. If we do we have God's promise to always be there.

Lee Thomas said...

It's true about the Roman soldier's costume protecting only the front, but I'd also heard that in addition to discouraging retreat, it also encouraged soldiers who were surrounded to fight back-to-back, in pairs. Makes me think of the upcoming Men's Retreat for Sunset Pres. True enough that God has our backs, but also true that God tends to delegate to us whenever possible.

Dave's Bible Blog said...

So we cover each other's back whenever possible. That's the right thing to do in the body of Christ. Thanks Lee.

Dave