Be prepared to stand

Ephesians 6:13 – 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.

Therefore put on the full armor of God. Every piece. Don’t forget a single piece. Put on the truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the word of God. I can almost picture my mom asking me, “Did you get your peace? What about your faith?” in much the same way she would ask if I got my coat or gloves. I know it sounds strange but that is what I need to remember in the morning when I start my day and also throughout the day. As evil comes and attacks throughout the day, we need to be prepared. I need to remember what I can stand on. It won’t be on my own two feet or my own strength or wisdom or power. It will be on the firm foundation only found in God. It will be on the Rock of salvation.

In much the same way that I put on my clothes to go to work, I think we all need to remember to put on the armor of God. Maybe if I were to envision myself putting on the “readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (v.15) as I put on my socks and shoes that it would be a helpful reminder to me. I don’t know about you, but for me I don’t think about putting on the armor of God before I leave. I am in a rush most of the time, that I kind of forget the very simple task of putting on the armor. But, that is what we need to do. As we have our quiet time in the morning, as we set aside time for God to lift our prayers up to Him, maybe we should make a conscious effort to talk through these verses to “put on the full armor of God”. I don’t want this to be a box to check off so I can move on to the next thing. In a way, I believe it is to meditate on those words and behold what God has done. Behold what He has given. Behold who He is.

This is where I fall into the sin of hurriedness and busyness. I fall into a trap of trying to get things done that I forget to slow down and enjoy God. I forget to enjoy the simple yet profound pleasures of God. I get in such a rush that I don’t slow down to just be still and quiet before the Almighty. What a hard thing to do for people in these times. Just to slow down and be still before God. But what an amazing privilege and sight that we have been given. How awesome and amazing it is that we have this privilege, this God-given privilege bought by the precious blood of Christ to come before the Creator. A person who holds no worth in this world can come before the One who finds extreme value in His adopted children.

Every day evil attacks us. It attacks us in ways we may not be ready for on that day. But don’t fret, God has given you everything we need to succeed. He was given us so many weapons to stand up to sin and evil.

Quick tangent, for some reason as I wrote that last sentence, I got a picture of Neo from the movie The Matrix when at the end he had all these bullets fired at him and he held up his hand and looked at them in dramatic fashion and uttered the word, “No”. In classis Keanu style too!

That is what I wish I would do more of. God has given you and me everything we need to stand up to sin. Every. Thing. He has held nothing back. He didn’t even hold back His only Son. He gave us Jesus, who has done immeasurably more for us than we can even begin to fathom.

Even going back to the movie, before Neo could stand up to those bullets and tell them “No”, he had to believe. If you saw the movie and remember, Neo “died”. As he lay there, Trinity spoke to him and told him to believe. Believe he was “the one”. Believe the power he had. Of course, he comes back to life and stands up to the bad guys. The good guys win.

The thing is he had to believe. Just like we need to believe that God is with us. We have to believe that God has empowered us with His weapons to stand against evil. But on our own, we will fail. The burden of failure will become too much. The defeats will wear on us. That is why God gave us His Spirit. The Helper. He has given us the power of the Spirit to rely and depend on. If we believe in God, believe in what He says, believe that He is good and true then we can stand. He will strengthen us to take our stand against evil and our old selves. With Him, we can and will overcome. Only with Him.

I really like how The Message puts verse 13:

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.

Be prepared. You don’t know what will happen this day. Before you leave for work, or do a presentation, or go to school, or go for a job interview; God tells us to be prepared. Connect with Him. Put on His truths so that whatever comes your way, you will be ready for.

As with verse 12, we are up against more than we can handle. We will try to do this on our own. We will try and keep trying, but the sweet reminder in the midst of battle is that when we surrender our battle, whether it is cancer, divorce, spiritual attacks, loss of job, depression, addiction or any number of other things, when we surrender and admit we need a Savior, God will help us. The only way we can stand our ground when the evil comes is by surrendering fully to God. Surrender all of our lives and whatever the situation is. In that surrender and submission, there will be an amazing gift that will come. A gift that is priceless. It will be a gift of peace. A gift of rest. The problem will keep coming back to weigh on our minds but that is where we keep giving God our anxieties and fears, and “…the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

I pray you just let this verse speak to you as I need it to speak to me. Meditate on the promises. Take all the help you can get because God has given you a plethora of weapons to fight this battle of life. And when it is all over, you will be able to stand. You will be able to rise out of the ashes and stand up. In the full armor with everything God has given you and by belief, you will stand in victory. Sweet, sweet victory. Bought by Jesus, we are blessed benefactors of His divine gift. Against evil you will be able to stand. You will get knocked down, but by the grace of God and for His glory, He will let you stand tall overcoming evil. How sweet is that!

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