We’ll be looking at the Armor of God over the next few days. You can read about them in Ephesians 6: 10-20:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power; 11 put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, 12 for our struggle is not against blood and flesh but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on the evil day and, having prevailed against everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand, therefore, and belt your waist with truth and put on the breastplate of righteousness 15 and lace up your sandals in preparation for the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19 Pray also for me, so that when I speak a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.
Today we are looking at something that is not really in the Armor of God, but it sort of is. It is a command that Paul repeatedly gives in this passage. Stand. We see it in verse 11, verse 13, and verse 14. That’s three times in a very short space. Remember what we often say when you see something repeated in scripture that is God’s way of saying, – Pay attention!
So, we are told today to stand. What does that mean? Why is that important? What does this have to do with fighting against evil?
I think it means this. None of us, on our own, are strong enough to fight against the power of evil in the world. We can’t do it, on our own. We need the power of God and the weapons that God has given us to fight against the devil.
But here is our part. We stand. We make a decision, no more. No more will I be passive against evil. No more will I give into temptation. No more will I look idly by at the evil I fight within myself or the evil I see in the world. No more. I will make a stand. I will choose to do what is right. As the old hymn says, “though none go with me, I still will follow.” Or, as it says in the membership vows of the United Methodist Church:
On behalf of the whole Church,
I ask you:
Do you renounce the spiritual
forces of wickedness, reject the
evil powers of this world, and
repent of your sin?
Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you
to resist evil, injustice, and
in whatever forms they present
These are the vows we make at our baptism, or the baptism of our children, or when we make a public profession of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savoir. We make a stand.
That’s always the first step to fighting evil. To know it’s a fight and to decide that we will stand against it. God will give us what we need. We have to take that step. We have to stand.
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