Lately I am fixated on a word from one of my favorite set of verses. It is the word stand found in Ephesians 6:10-20. Yes – the whole set is about donning the armor of God. However, in the NIV, it says stand four times. “11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” “13 -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. 14 -Stand firm then, ….” In one instance, it is used as a noun – to take your stand a mindset or decision in which you will not be moved. I think the other instances are metaphorical in nature to figuratively take a stand; to not run away from a fight.
The context is a battle we are engaged in involving the spiritual realm – basically a battle of and for our mind and soul. Romans 8: 27-38 speaks to this reality. 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,#
8:38Or nor heavenly rulers neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is more than the cartoon angel/devil sitting on our shoulders. I actually picture that scene from The Return of the King when Eowyn engages in combat with the Witch-King and he knocks her down. She has fear in her eyes, but she does not stay down nor does she run away. . The Witch-King raises her up claiming that “No man can kill me” to which she, while piercing him with her sword cries out “I am no man!” She made her stand and defeated her enemy, which changed the course of battle. In life – we too get knocked on our butt, unfortunately too many times, we choose to stay there and play the role of a victim instead of getting back up and getting back into the fray. Sometimes we just run away thinking we can outrun our problems and challenges.
Whoever tells you being a Christian is easy, is full of it. Life is messy and sometimes – just horrific. In addition, there is too much proof in the Bible stating we are engaged in a battle and we are told over and over to Be Strong and Courageous. Technically, those words were spoken to Joshua upon entering the Promised Land. Correction –taking the Promised Land. To be who God intends us to be, takes action on our part, even if it’s standing. To go where He intends for us to go – a promised land – we will need to be prepared to fight for it.
I also do not believe we need to go looking for battle because I think the battles come to us.
Standing up for what is right, standing by the hurting, standing shoulder to shoulder with others in battle, standing against injustice, standing your ground when the enemy taunts or tests you. It is not an act of cowardice. Oddly enough, the stance for me is quite often on my knees – in prayer or battle for my loved ones. Our society has become soft. We have lost our grit and have become wimps – in many ways. We quite often sit it and whine that life is too hard or why is God being mean. Last time I checked, God doesn’t live in a golden lamp. He knows we have battles, but we don’t fight alone. Metaphorically, He leads the way into our battle and brings up the rear guard. We are completely surrounded – by His glory. Do we trust Him to help us? Yes – we may be wounded. Situations may not turn out how we wanted them, but I still trust in God’s sovereignty. He is the only one who sees the big picture and all the various timelines our events can travel down. We cannot.
Since the word stand has been on my mind of late, I can’t help but wonder if God placed it in my heart as a means of preparation for the coming year. Am I or is someone in my family headed for yet another battle? Not that we are unfamiliar with battles – you name it -we’ve probably gone through it or something similar. We are a little weary from the fight, but I’m not giving up. I will clean my armor, sharpen my sword and prepare for whatever lies before me. I will prepare my heart, soul and mind through prayer and be reminded that in each battle – the Lord has gone before me and is my rear guard. I am never alone. Neither are you, Remember, when you’ve done all you can do – stand. .