“Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Ephesians 6:11-13 (HCSB)
Ok. Without a doubt, the devil loves to plot against humanity. He is full of plans, schemes and war tactics. He will attack overtly and covertly, obviously and oh sooo subtlely. Unfortunately, we often learn the ways of his offenses the hard way. UGH! But God does not leave us defenseless. In fact, in this passage, He is preparing us to be on the offensive!
Standing in this passage brings to mind a soldier on a hill, in full battle array, banner staked in the ground beside him, sword in hand, heels dug in – immovable.. taking his stand. We are given promises, prophetic words, dreams and visions – often I believe, so that we can stand immovable until they can come to pass. Funny thing about a good strong message from the Lord, it’s hard to shrug off and just forget about it. Maybe this is part of standing in the gap; coming into agreement with God’s plans and not letting the enemy have his way otherwise.
So hence comes this armor from God. He doesn’t just sit us out on that hill to face the enemy army in t-shirts and shorts and barefeet. No, He gives us every tool we need to walk out this journey, whether in active battle, or just standing. I shouldn’t even say, “just standing” – for standing sometimes is the only thing you have left, and the hardest thing you ever have to do – right up until the next time. For example: a momma standing on God’s word for her wayword child praying them to come out of the dangerous paths they’ve taken; praying, believing and contending for their very lives. Yep, you ask anyone of those momma’s – they made a decision somewhere along the way, that ‘here I am, and I’m not budging till this is over’. That’s standing.
This armor of God’s is no ordinary armor. It’s great imagery that Paul gave us and the Ephesians, but the simplicity of it is so beautiful. And it is all God. These are the things that a Christian should be clothed in everyday. We are just often made more aware of the need when the battle is raging.
He tells us to stand with Truth, Righteousness, Peace (gospel of), Faith, Salvation, The Word of God, Prayers and Requests, Perseverance and Intercession. These are not things that are out of our grasp or understanding. But like all armor, every piece will be tried and tested. We will greater learn how they are best used as we grow in our maturity and relationship with Him and we’ll be better prepared to resist, to stand, and to crush the enemy’s tactics.
As for Paul, the one who wrote this passage, he gives us great perspective. Vs. 19 and 20:
Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should. (HCSB)
This is a amazing and humbling example of standing. He’s been thrown in jail for believing, preaching and displaying the Gospel of Christ. But instead of moaning and groaning, he’s encouraging, teaching and equipping the Church; all the while with his eyes on the prize of continuing to advance the Kingdom every chance he gets.