Summary: For many Chrisitans standing for the Lord day after day, month after month, and year after year can be frustrating because of the enemy’s constant attacks. We have to come to the place of accepting this as our way of life.
I was reading an article and it spurred my thoughts about the message for tonight. The gist of the article was that most of the Body of Christ is not prepared for dealing with the things that enemy throws at us.
It made me think about some of the things we’ve been taught in the past and what we really need to understand about the warfare that we are in. We know that Satan is the god of this world. He is not a puppet pulling strings. But he has enough people in his pocket who are listening to him and doing things he wants them to do.
And the world, just like it was in the time of Jesus, is not in our favor. We must understand that the world – how it operates and what it values – is against us.
Sometimes we get discouraged because we’re doing our best to live how God wants us to but we’re constantly faced with attacks. It almost seems non-stop and depending on which minister you listen to he or she makes it seem as if you have some sort of sin in your life that’s giving the enemy an opportunity to attack you.
But I ask you: who in the gospel had things coming at him non-stop? Jesus. What about in the epistles? Paul. Non-stop, They dealt with issues everyday. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s no different for us. Well, it shouldn’t be if you are living the life of a disciple.
And I thought about Ephesians 6. It’s a very powerful passage. In verses 10 through 14, God uses the words “stand” and “withstand” four times. Let’s read these verses.
(10) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
(11) Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to STAND against the wiles of the devil.
(12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
(13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to WITHSTAND in the evil day, and having done all, to STAND.
(14) STAND therefore having your loins girt about with truth … We’re going to stop right here.
We see what God intends for us to do. First, we are to put the armor on. Second, we are to stand. We cannot stand first then put the armor on. The armor comes first. Do you see this?
I want us to think about a few things. There are some reasons why we fail to stand in our Christian walk.
One reason we fail is because we don’t take the time to build a clear picture of the Hope in our minds. Turn to Hebrews 6. We’re going to read verses 13 through 19.
(13) For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself.
(14) Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
(15) And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
(16) For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.
What he’s talking about here is the ancient custom of cutting a covenant. When two warring tribes cut a covenant, they became “brothers” and were no longer enemies. If one of them is attacked by another tribe, the other tribe would also considered itself under attack and would join forces with its brothers in the battle. In other words, the enemies of one tribe became the enemies of the other tribe.
(17) Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
What did God confirm by an oath? His promise to Abraham.
(18) That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie [What are the two immutable things? The promise and the oath.], we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.
(19) Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.
What hope do we have? The promise that God made to Abraham, the father of all those who would believe. And that hope shows up in whom? Jesus.
Another reason we sometimes fail as Christians is that we don’t mentally prepare ourselves for the long and difficult fight with evil. We don’t prepare ourselves for a long fight because we’ve taught we don’t have to do anything. All we have to do is put it in God’s hands.