Stand Firm / Day 3

BIBLE READING

Ephesians 6: 10-13

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 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. 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.

1 Corinthians 16: 9

….a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.

Philippians 1: 27-28

….stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved – and that by God.

 REFLECTION

As we move towards the conclusion of our study in Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, it’s helpful to reflect on where we have journeyed.

Paul began in chapters 1-3 of describing our position ‘in Christ’, all of the benefits and blessings that the Father has made available to us as part of our royal identity. Then from chapter 4 into the early part of chapter 6, he goes on to explain how this new identity practically impacts our daily lives including our relationships, marriage, work, parenting and overall sense of purpose. We are people of light who illuminate every sector of society and corner of culture. However, we need to understand that press into our assignment and inheritance, our advancement will not go unopposed. There are spiritual forces of evil whose desire is to draw us out of our design and distract us from our destiny. We will face struggles and setbacks, some of which will have a supernatural source.

In the midst of all that might come against us, Paul exhorts us repeatedly to ‘stand firm’. Our strength is not in our own resources or resilience, it is in Christ. We are to “be strong in Lord and in his mighty power.” The risen Jesus is exalted above all things and whatever you are facing is already under his feet. The victory has already been secured therefore our ability to overcome every attack is assured.

It is so helpful if we can change our thinking and perspective around spiritual attacks. Instead of seeing them as something intimidating or threatening, view them as a sign that you are taking ground and advancing the Kingdom, therefore the hordes of hell have starting paying attention because the enemy is scared of who you are and what you carry. As someone once said, 'if you never face opposition from the enemy, it could be because you are both heading in the same direction.'

It is also worth noting that significant spiritual attack can often occur around a time of transition, acceleration and promotion. It took a Goliath to get a shepherd boy noticed as a warrior. Therefore try to see above and beyond the opposition or attack to what is awaiting you on the other side. If the enemy is trying this hard to prevent you from attaining it, it must be good! Ron Carpenter puts it like this:

“You will never be an exceptional person if you only fight ordinary battles…Because you have a God-given purpose, this means the devil has painted a bull’s-eye on your back.…It’s good to have enemies and the trouble they bring - it means you’re in the game.”