Summary: This is the secnod of a two part message.
This is part two, and the last one, of the message “The Never-ending Contest”. In the first message, I said for many Christians standing for the Lord day after day, month after month, and year after year is very difficult. And it’s due primarily because they don’t have a true biblical foundation on which to stand.
We took a quick look at Ephesians 6:10-14a which uses the words “stand” and “withstand” four times. Let’s read these verses again.
(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 hour loins girt about with truth … And I stopped right here.
I also gave several reasons why many Christians fail to stand.
? We don’t take the time to build a clear picture of the hope in our minds.
? We don’t mentally prepare ourselves for the long and difficult fight with evil.
? We see the path to God requiring a price that we are not willing to pay. And I gave the example of Jesus telling His followers that to be a true disciple they must eat his flesh and drink his blood. He was not telling them this is literally what they had to do. He was teaching them about total and uncompromising commitment.
? We’ve been taught doctrines of devils about the Christian life which have been developed by seducing spirits and delivered by preachers who actually believe they are preaching sound doctrine.
? And the final reason I mentioned for why Christians fail to stand is because they have taken their eyes off of Jesus.
Now, look at verse 10 and the first part of 11 again. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God.”
Do you realize that even if we have on the whole armor of God, it is useless unless we put it on according to verse 10. Let’s read that again. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in yourself and the power of yourself.” No. We have to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. If that is not in place first, then verses 11, 12, 13, and 14 don’t matter.
God is making a point to us. He says “I want you to be strong in me.” In other words, I want you to do something that common sense will tell you not to do. Are you ready for this? God is saying “I want you to put all of your eggs in one basket.”
Common sense says you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. But that is exactly what God is saying. And if you are willing to do this then verses 11, 12, 13 and 14 are going to jump off the page and you’ll know that you know that you know that God is fighting with you and for you!
Let’s read verse 11 again. “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
Do you see where it says “Put on the whole armor of God”? That is not a suggestion. That is not something for you to consider. When God says “Put on the whole armor” it is a command!
I’m going to pick on Barry again. Putting on the whole armor of God is like Doris laying out my clothes so that I can put on things that look good so that I don’t leave the house and embarrass her. The “armor” is laid out and if Barry doesn’t want to embarrass Doris then he will pick up the shirt, the tie, the pants, the socks and the shoes and put them on.
Now listen to what I’m saying. God has laid out the armor for us. He has laid out the armor that we need for the battles that we’ll face. No other armor will do. No other armor has God’s anointing. All we have to do is pick it up and put it on.
Verse 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.”
The Bible says “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood.”