“Stand therefore having fastened on the belt of truth…….” Ephesians 6:14
What does it mean to stand? Ephesians 6:13 says ” 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 firm.” There are two types of standing that happens in Ephesians 6, We stand against Satan and his ways. We also stand with people, comforting, loving, and caring for the lost. The lost who fall subject to the ways of Satan, Eph. 6:12 reminds us our fight is not against people but rather rulers, authorities, powers, of darkness, spiritual forces of evil.
In order to stand we must first put on the Armor of God (as described in Ephesians 6) how does one “put on the armor of God,” would be the instant question of any person who didn’t grow up in church, I would love to tell you that I have had this very key part of scripture down since I was very young, unfortunately that is not the case. There is this process of making your parents, families, and friends faith your own. I believe each kid who grew up in church goes threw this process, and in it we must come to a state of total surrender. In James 4:7 we are instructed to “Submit to God…” in Ephesians 5 Paul reminds us “to submit on the another out of reverence to Christ,” the idea is to put on the Armor of God we must submit and say, “God whatever you want me to do I’ll do,” literally out loud say this, say it every day if you need to. This past semester I found myself daily telling God, whatever you what I’ll do, in moments of weakness and great strength every morning and often every evening to I literally gave God my life. I remember very distinct instance on top of the movie theater off Brent lane, I was standing tall declaring truth out loud to God, and I very literally brought to my knees and I said to God “whatever your will I will do it, whether that is teaching English to Chinese kids halfway across to world, teaching in a small Christian school, raising my own kids and just being a humble housewife, or even working at McDonalds, Lord I will serve you and I will be the best at whatever you give me.” It wasn’t until after that day, God started opening small doors for me to teach in China and I am confident that He will keep opening doors. We start by submitting to the will of God, this is how we can pick up the armor of God and stand.
Standing against the devil this is what Scripture refers to as resistance, like a military force the Word of God commands us to stand against the devil. This is a battle that you have entered between light and dark, good and evil, its all over Scripture the fight for our lives, for the testimony of Christ is at stake. To Stand in a spiritual sense means to be upright in moral ways, to be fixed to our ways, to remain steady and holdfast to truths found in the Word, persistent, unapologetic, and bold. When I was about ten I had a Sunday school teacher his name was Mr. D, he was so adamite of this fight he jumped on top of the front row of chairs and looked at all of us kids, he hollered “You must resist Satan, he wants to destroy your life, whenever you hear him whisper temptations into your heart, things you know the Bible says is wrong you must not just tell him go away but you need to shout, you need to say with all that is in you, SATAN I GIVE NO PLACE TO YOU, speak out loud the Bible whenever you find yourself under attack.” I could not tell you the context of that very expressive charge Mr. D gave that group of kids, to be very honest I can’t tell you much else about Mr. D, or that class, but I remember that day the way his face looked as he said those words, the tears that formed in his eyes as he stood on top that green chapel chair. In James 4:7 the Word says “….resist the devil and he will flee from you,” that’s just what Mr. D was instilling in us that day. Satan is a dissever, he uses anything that you allow him to use for his gain.
This Christian life is very serious, and its not something to be passive about, its a war. James 4:4 says “whoever is a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God,” This does not mean we should lock ourselves away in some kind of bomb shelter, or not speak to people who aren’t Christian, if we did that how would we share the gospel? How would we witness to a lost and dieing world? How would we live like Christ? We are to be set a part, humbly pursuing things that this world would not understand. “Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will exalt you,” James 4:10 We as believers, must actively put on the armor of God, truth, righteousness, peace, faithful, ready to share the gospel bold with all who will listen, in any and every circumstance. Armed with the Spirit and the Word of God, these are our weapons to fight with, don’t walk into the Christian life without this. The Armor is only put on in His power and through total dependence on His abilities. This is not our fight, we are just instruments, vessels (in bible terms) for His glory. In 1Corinthians 2 Paul says “….when I came to you I did not come proclaiming the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom…I was with weakness and in fear and much trembling and my speech and message were not in plausible words of wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit of power.” Paul is humbling himself saying I did not do this but the Spirit of the living God brought you all to understanding of salvation. In Ephesians 6:19 Paul asks the church to pray for him that the utterance may be given unto him, the niv bible translates utterance to say,”the words I speak may be given unto me,” esv bible translates it to “words may be given unto me in the opening of my mouth,” and a commentary I found on google suggested that the utterance is referring to words of wisdom given by the Spirit. Paul’s prayer is, not to look great or sound great not to be more interesting or to know more. His prayer is that the Spirit would speak through him. I tend to mental put together what I need to say before I give advice or go into any situation where I think I should communicate well. I have even gone to extremes and practiced what I planned to say in front of a mirror. This method often gets me in more trouble and hiders the my cause. If I am witnessing to someone and I plan out all that I want to say I usually hider the cause of Christ, its not my earnest intention too, my pride gets in the way and God is not uplifted in the same way that He would be if I just stepped back and let the Holy Spirit inside me lead. I am NOT saying pastors shouldn’t plan a sermon, teachers should not have a direction of learning, or leaders should not direct and guide. I AM saying to many pastors, teachers, and leaders base their lives more on a show, they desire to be ‘interesting’ but do not allow the Spirit to speak through them. The most sincere way to speak the truth of the gospel is to humble yourself to place your own gains and goals aside and let the Spirit of God speak through you the way it intends too.
Resistance is a form of standing, its a action of obedience to God. We must close of any open areas for Satan, do not become passive about the faith. Don’t think just because its summer that the enemy takes time off, that you can put God in the back of your mind and get away with just cruising. Be adamite, be bold, be ready, STAND.