Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Sitting for Everything...Standing for Nothing
“Stand strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might...so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes...so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground” Eph. 6:10-13.
The word schemes or tactics refers to deceptive strategies...dirty tricks...manipulation...distorted truths. For the majority of Christians we will never engage in what we consider as blatant evil such as murder, violence or stealing. It is easy to take a stand against these obvious and destructive behaviors. The devil knows he has to be much craftier than that when dealing with God’s children. What he wants to do is more subtle that will keep a barrier between child and Father, Kingdom apathy and spiritual impact. His evil ways deal more with indifference in the work of God. He dangles the same old temptation our way that has controlled us for years. His ways are convincing us that we don’t have the resources to help, the time to serve or the ability to make an impact. He discourages us from spending daily time in God’s word lulling us into a false sense of security. We can be good Christians without serving and spending time in the Word, right? Wrong!
Satan knows that he cannot destroy us. It’s too late for that if we are believers thanks to the work Christ accomplished on the cross. ‘The best thing he can do is to make our time on earth futile and unproductive, to suffocate us with temptation and sin, insecurity, fear and discouragement until we are unable to live freely and fully. He can’t unseat us, but he can intimidate and render us ineffective and paralyzed.’ The Armor of God, Priscilla Shirer, p. 20. Why would God caution us in the Bible so many times to stand strong against this force? His warnings are clear that when the day of scheming comes we must be prepared and armed. How can we stand strong when all we do is sit on our own agenda and desires? We must get out of the habit of being spiritually lazy, get out of our comfortable and cozy lives, and be willing to be a little inconvenienced for God. These are the attitudes that help us stand our ground and be strong in the Lord. We are being strong when we are focusing on His work instead of our desires. We are standing firm when we do things for others when we don’t feel like it. We are standing our ground when we leave our cozy homes and engage in the suffering of others. We protect our testimonies when we respond differently to the same old sin that binds us. We have everything we need in Christ to stand against the enemy.
"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it" 1 Co 10:13.