April 22 – Armour of God – Stand firm

ARMOUR OF GOD – Stand firm

Welcome again to our Lockup and look-up devotional series. Thank you for tracking with us in this series of devotionals, focusing on the Spiritual Armoury – perhaps it would be fitting to ask you: how are you doing in the war zone?   You see, the Christian life is a battlefield, but the beautiful thing is that the battle is already won, ours is to do the mopping work.

But still, the enemy is not relenting nor giving up, we must still wage the war and the engage him in every turn; we must still remain vigilant and attentive. What we have learned so far is that there are 3 imperatives found in this passage and Richard shared with us two of these, namely:

  • Be strong 
  • and  Put on

Today I will talk about the third one, but before I do that, please let’s turn to Ephesians 6:13-14a and this is what Paul says to the Ephesian believers: 

Therefore put on the full armour 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.  Stand firm…

Ephesians 6:13-14a

Imperative no 3 is simply: Stand or as some translation states – Withstand

To stand seems to suggest a determined state of readiness to do battle.  It means you’re aware and alert of your enemy and you’re attuned to the realities of the warfare you’re engaged in.

The business of the enemy is to attack, therefore we need to be ready at all times and be prepared to fight back. To stand means there is no thought of retreating, negotiating, and no thought of looking back.

Interestingly, the exhortation to stand, is repeated 3 times to show the importance of standing your ground in the midst of the enemy’s attack. The idea behind the word “stand” is holding in to a position, in other words, maintaining your ground even before you launch an offence. The devil is a master of ingenious schemes and strategies and his tactics must not be allowed to catch unawares.

What does taking a stand really mean for us today:

Here are three things I hope you will find time to reflect on and apply in your walk of faith as you do spiritual battle.

The first is, we have to know what we are standing on.

As believers we stand on the sure foundation of our faith and the source of newness of life – that foundation, my friends, is the Lord Jesus. Remember, in the earlier chapters of Ephesians, Paul reminds us of this reality:

….that at one time we were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Gods community and treated as foreigners to the covenants of the promise, we were without hope and we were without God in the world. But in Christ were made alive and now were are to take our stand in him and his finished work on the cross (2:12)

We also are stand on God’s word – the Bible is more than a book, the Bible is more than just a guide or a road map, for a believer. The Bible is the inspired word of God – it has the authority to determine how we live and behave.

I love what Martin Luther’s teaches us about taking a stand when it comes to believing in the authority of word of God and its teachings.  When Luther was confronted by the Pope and the rulers of the day, to recant his stance on what he believed the Bible taught, he boldly uttered the following famous statement:

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise.  God help me”.

Martin Luther

Luther took his stand, and suffered the consequences we too must take our stand!

Secondly, to take a stand means we will have to resist the devil and his lies

When we are struggling with our faith, Satan will whisper words contrary to God’s Word. We have to choose to cast down those thoughts by demolishing arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5).

As soon as we recognise thoughts of fear, doubt, discouragement, anxiety, or temptation, we have to CHOOSE to guard our minds against the deception of the enemy and choose to think God’s thoughts instead.

God has given us spiritual armour to help us stand. When we feel the challenges to our faith, we can remember to suit up and then take our stand.

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

You know what stands out to me in that verse? After YOU have DONE everything. In other words, we have to do our part. We have to put on the armor. We have to actively choose to protect our minds from wrong thoughts, our hearts from pride, and our gut from lies. We have to take up the full armour.

We have to be self-controlled and alert and on guard. But when we have done our part, God does the rest.

The third thing is this, we can’t waiver between faith and doubt

We have to know what we believe and why we believe, so that when the challenges come, we are firm in our faith. Why did you decide to follow Jesus? Why do you choose to serve Him? What do you believe about God and His Word?

I think sometimes we still waver between wanting to follow God and wanting to follow the world. If that is the case, we will definitely struggle with our faith. The Lord is asking you today, “How long will you waver between two opinions?” If you know that God is God and God is good, there’s no question. Don’t let the devil make you think Satan has something better to offer you in the world.

Only God is God and He alone knows what is best for us. He alone is the path to life, love, and victory. Consider Abraham and his faith. He was a man, a real person, just like you and me. God gave him a great promise with little evidence that he could actually see.

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

Romans 4:20

I love that verse! Abraham made mistakes. He wasn’t perfect. But he was “fully persuaded.” Are you fully persuaded today that God is able to do what He has promised?

If you are still struggling to believe God because of trials, tribulations, or temptations that you are going through right now, let me encourage you that the Lord of all can set you free. He can lead you out of that miry place of doubt and confusion and pain, and give you a firm place to stand.

Open your arms wide to the love of Jesus and let Him lift you up. Trust that He is good and He loves you perfectly. He will make a way for you and keep you in His love and in His truth.

So, I urge you stand firm!  And God bless you.

Activity for kids

1.       Draw a Roman soldier:

Follow this link to watch a tutorial on how to draw a Roman soldier – have a go at it as a family! Discuss with your child how Paul uses the picture of a Roman soldier’s armour to explain how we are to fight the battle against God’s enemy. How is our battle different from a Roman soldier’s battle (See Eph 6:12)? Why is it important to put on the full armour of God?