Monthly Reflection – February 2016
STAND YOUR GROUND!
The Armour of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 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. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Ephesians 6: 10-20
Stand your ground!
I have something to tell you all this month and it may come as a bit of a shock- I need to inform you that we are at war! Yes that’s right brothers and sisters we are at war; not with another nation or another group of people- but we are at war against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (As mentioned above!) We need to be aware that there is a constant battle on the go in the Heavens and on the earth. God gave Adam a commission to have His rule over the whole earth (Gen. 1:28), and immediately after that the devil came and convinced both Adam and Eve to disobey God and abandon their posts as God’s vice regents over the earth (Gen. 3:1-8). Since that time Satan has been jealously attempting to protect his control over the earthly realm he stole through subverting Adam, including its systems of government, commerce, media, the arts, science and education. Those who attempt to bring God’s influence in these realms will most likely experience some of the highest levels of satanic resistance. The apostle Paul had a messenger from Satan follow him everywhere he went that caused riots and persecutions (2 Cor. 13:1-8), only because he was turning the present world system upside down (Acts 17:7).
And sometimes in a battle or in a War we have to make a stand- even when the odds are stacked against us or it seems impossible- At the Battle of Waterloo, when the fight became its worst, an officer galloped up to the Allied Commander, the Duke of Wellington and said, “My Captain says we are being destroyed, we need reinforcements quickly.” The Duke said simply, “tell him to stand.” The officer galloped back to relay the message to his Captain. Shortly the same messenger galloped back with the same message. Again, Wellington said simply, “tell him to stand.” Very soon another officer same with the same request. Wellington’s response was this, “I have no help to send you, tell him to stand.” The officer saluted and replied, “You will find us there sir.”
When the battle was fought and won the Duke found each of those men at his post. All dead, but they stood. They had laid down their lives for the victory.
A very poignant picture of men who gave everything when called to do so by their commander in the heat of battle!
I was speaking with a friend recently who has felt like he is under attack at the moment- well he is right; he is under attack. Although it seems like some of the people he works with have got it in for him at the moment this attack stems from somewhere else- it is the enemy trying his best to harm him, discredit him and make his days at work troubling and difficult! This is all going on because my friend is a strong and committed Christian who doesn’t hide his faith in the work place and the enemy hates it!! He is choosing to make his stand daily in the workplace even though on occasion it can be hard and it can lead to some ridicule from those who do not believe!
These battles can come in a number of guises and can spring up from seemingly nowhere to catch you by surprise! For each of us individually they will all be different and to others our viewpoint on the matter may appear deluded, radical or wrong- but we must be willing to stand up and be counted when we need to just as a soldier is required to! As followers of Christ we are called to resist the devil (James 4:7) that doesn’t mean that we just acquiesce, compromise and quietly go along with what others want or do but that on occasion we must take a stand and in the wisest possible way say No! In short there are times when we must ’Stand up for Christ and be counted!’
The wonderful thing about our faith is that unlike The Duke of Wellington at the battle of Waterloo our commander always has help to send us and is always willing and able to stand alongside us in the midst of the battle! When the enemy is pressing in and everything seems hopeless our Lord is there right on time to give us the strength to continue, the right words to say or guides the right person through the door to offer us support- How great is our God!!! In Psalm 120 verse 1 we read: ‘I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.’ What a wonderful verse- You call; he answers!
We are called in the scripture above from Ephesians 6 to put on the full armour of God so that we are ready to fight when we need to- No soldier goes into battle without their equipment ready to use and we should be no different! When we put on the full armour of God we are ready- ready even when a battle appears out of nowhere; when the battle is at its fiercest, when there is no hope or when we feel lost- we are ready to fight, to Trust in our Lord and win the battle for him daily! We read in 1 Timothy 6: 12:
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
So this month I want to encourage you that if you are in the midst of the battle and you feel lost or surrounded- You have an ever present commander who will come to your aide if you call! And also I want to encourage you to stand up for Christ; be counted and wisely make a stand for him when you need to!
Have a Blessed month!