Summary: The Belt of Truth
Stand and Fight: Learning to Accessorize
Beartown Road Alliance Church
There was a game that we used to play when I was little called King of the Hill. We used to play it almost every recess on the side of the schoolyard, next to the baseball field. There was a small hill and the object was to get to the top of the hill by removing everyone else, including whoever had formerly been at the top of the hill. Then, you had to defend the hill against attacks form all sides. Everyone wanted to be the “King of the Hill.” I’m sure this game has gone the way of dodge ball and red rover and has been banned from recesses for fear of what effect it may have on the fragile psyche of grade school children. But when I was young, they didn’t care about our psyches so we could play all sorts of fun stuff. I can remember the feeling of being the king. I can remember standing there and looking down on everyone else and just daring someone to come and knock you down. You had to watch your back and your sides. You had to watch out for coordinated attacks from groups of kids, I’ll tell you, third graders can be sneaky little guys! If you could stand, you had won. Whoever held that position when the recess bell sounded, was king for the day, they had victory and tomorrow, the hill was theirs to defend again. I could do alright against kids my own age, in the same grade that I was in. There were plenty of recesses that ended with me up on top of that hill, still standing after everyone had given me their best shot.
I remember one summer, playing this game at Mahaffey Camp in Western PA with my cousins. It was a little different with them because a couple of them were older and bigger and stronger and they knocked me off of the hill without a problem. It was frustrating and I can remember finally giving up going to play with the younger cousins that I could still push around! The Christian life is a little bit like this game. God is calling us to stand at the top of the mountain and to declare that He is King, He wants us to defend the spiritual ground that He has given us, but Satan is determined to knock us down. Satan wants to be King. We can hold our own against some things, we can survive certain attacks from people, but Satan is bigger and stronger and smarter. He can come from any angle at any time. Too many Christians have taken their spiritual stand only to be knocked off the hill, they get up and immediately they’re knocked down again. Eventually, they decide that they can’t do it, it’s not worth it, and they quit in frustration. So many never achieve what God is calling us to achieve because they don’t know how to fight in the spiritual realm, they are unprepared for the spiritual warfare that is guaranteed to be a part of life for a healthy, growing Christian. God is calling us to stand and fight.
Last week, we began a look at this topic of spiritual warfare and specifically at what it is that God provides for us to be able to stand our ground. It’s found in Ephesians chapter 6, beginning with verse 10, listen as I read it again to refresh our memory.
Paul lays out for us the secret of winning this war and he tells us of the armor that God provides for us in this battle. Last week, we looked at four keys to winning the spiritual battle. First, Paul tells us that we need to know where our strength is. This is huge! We cannot defeat Satan in our own strength. But Paul tells us to stand strong in the Lord, in the strength that He provides. Then he tells us that we need to dress the part, we need to dress for the battle. We’re told to put on the whole armor of God! All of it, every last piece is vital to our success in God’s Kingdom. Paul then tells us that we need to know our enemy. Our struggle is not against man, it is a struggle against Satan and the forces of the spiritual realm, it is a struggle for our hearts and minds and it is a struggle with eternal consequences. I mentioned last week and I will reiterate it today, my intent is not to frighten you with thoughts of Satan and demons. When you mention Spiritual Warfare, most people’s eyes get big and their first emotion is fear. But, we serve a God who is greater than our enemy and if you truly grasp what we’ll be driving at these next few weeks, you will leave this place, not fearful and defeated but in awe of the power of God that gives us victory in the spiritual realm. Finally, last week we looked at the action step. When we understand our strength, when we put on the armor of God, when we know who the enemy is, Paul tells us then to stand and fight. All of the armor of God is for the protection of our front, Paul mentions nothing that covers our back so that we can turn and flee. We are called to stand, that is the goal, that is the command.