Last night I briefly sat behind a closed-door, away from my kids, and wallowed in my own fear. Lately it feels as if the enemy has found his way inside my perimeter and is on the verge of attack. It is during times like these where I have to pick myself up and prepare for whatever he’s going to throw, fire, sling, or launch in my direction. According to the Apostle Paul, the first step in preparation for the enemy’s attack is to stand:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor 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 armor 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.
Paul mentions the word “stand” three times in this short passage. Standing is obviously an essential component to wearing God’s armor and protecting ourselves from the enemy’s attacks.
I’m reminded of an episode from Seinfeld. Who am I kidding, arguably, every event in my life reminds me of an episode from Seinfeld. In this episode titled “The Maestro,” George Costanza feels sorry for a security guard who works in his fiancé’s uncle’s store. George, thinking he’s entitled to make decisions regarding the ongoing management of the store, arranges a chair for the security guard. After sitting for a few hours, the security guard falls asleep and a burglar robs the store. Standing is definitely more difficult than sitting, but it keeps us alert, prepared, and secure. The Battle of Sterling depicted in the movie Braveheart would have had a completely different outcome, if the men of Scotland were sitting down as the English cavalry stormed the battlefield. Can you even imagine such a thing?
Standing in battle is essential. That isn’t to say, we don’t fall…because we do. When the enemy succeeds in knocking us down, he strikes a blow…but it’s only significant if we stay down. The strength of the Lord found in the Holy Spirit provides us with the fortitude to get back up. Last night, as I floundered on the ground and felt sorry for myself, I realized that if I didn’t get back up—if I continued to dwell on the devil’s arrow as it protruded from my side, the enemy would win. I couldn’t let that happen. I had to break off the arrow, fight back the tears as the pain was coursing through my body, and stand back up.
The song “Stand” by Lenny Kravitz was music to my ears this morning:
Don’t give up,
You’re gonna see tomorrow
That you’ll be on your feet again
Sometimes the world’s gonna knock you over
But you will see who you are your friends
Come on, stand, up again
Come on, stand,
Stand, you’re gonna run again
Your faith and patience will be your soldiers
To guide you through your troubled times
Just put one foot in front of the other
The battles are inside your mind
You have the power to face your demons
No matter how they go on time
And rid yourself of your fear and weakness
So you can start to live your life
In an odd paradox, humility directly correlates with standing firm. When we humble ourselves before God, He provides us with His strength. All of our weaknesses can be placed in His caring hands, and He will provide us with strength, courage, and faith to withstand anything the devil throws in our direction. When we do this, we are like the standing security guard—alert and sober. When we don’t—when we lose sight of God, sit down defeated, and stay down—our mind and strength weakens…eventually causing us to fall asleep. At this moment, the devil emerges to rob us blind.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
—1 Peter 5:6-9
The enemy is still watching me from the shadows…I can feel his eyes upon me and sense him waiting for me to falter. Therefore, my next few posts are going to focus on the armor of God.
I just have a feeling that I’m gonna need it.