Sitting with the Shepherd
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (Ephesians 6:11-14 NKJV)
This passage seems to revolve around one key word, "stand." It is found four times in these four verses and although it often refers to a passive condition elsewhere, here that cannot be the case. This is made evident by the fact that in the process of standing we are called to wrestle against some formidable opponents. We must defend ourselves with the armor that God provides for us.
I am reminded of the time when young king David was offered King Saul's armor to face off against the giant, Goliath. He couldn't use it because in spite of it's superior quality, it just didn't fit. In contrast the armor that God has provided us is perfectly suitable.
The enemy here is clearly formidable and no mere figment of our imagination. But the battle belongs to the Lord and it was already won at the cross. We must now actively defend our position. The problem is that many of us have spent our lives running away from everybody and everything. If we weren't running geographically, we were hiding in a bottle, a substance, or a compulsive behavior.
One of the greatest lessons that we can learn in our Christian life is that we no longer need to run away from anybody or anything. While it is true that we are called to surrender our will to God, we never have to retreat from the enemy. Instead we are to abide in Christ, wearing His armor, standing shoulder to shoulder with our Christian brothers and sisters. Not having to ever run away again even in the face of great danger and formidable opposition is one of the greatest freedoms we can possess. That freedom can only be found in Christ alone.
Questions for Meditation or Discussion
1. Why is standing in our own strength not an option?
2. What are the ways that you have retreated in the face of danger in times gone by?
3. What are the enemies, practically speaking that you need to stand against today?
My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, blessed be Your Holy Name. You came to earth and fought a battle for me that I could have never won on my own. Thank You dear Lord that one day You will return for me, not as a babe in a manger or a sacrificial lamb, but as a Warrior King clothed in the garb of a Conqueror. Thank You for the freedom that I have to stand in the face of opposition and walk in the victory that You have provided. Amen