Having Done All... Stand Firm!
July 14, 2009
When you step out to do anything for God, anything by faith - to take a radical, firm stand on His promises for you - then be certain the enemy will send challenges and distractions to knock you off course and shipwreck your faith.
It is vital that you recognize the enemy's tactics and fight accordingly.
First, you must acknowledge that you have an adversary whose chief aim is to destroy you (John 10:10).
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
Consider these powerful words: steal, kill, destroy. The enemy pulls no punches. He fights dirty - through stealth, as the best thief on the planet, with thousands of years of experience. He wants to eliminate you from the face of the earth.
The Greek word thy??, translated kill, means to sacrifice, immolate, slay, slaughter - a verb used as they killed the Passover lamb. The enemy of your body, mind, heart and soul wants to slaughter you. In fact, he wants to crucify you like the Lord Jesus Himself: be not deceived!
The Greek word apollymi, translated destroy, means to destroy, to put out of the way entirely, to abolish, to put an end to, to ruin, to render useless, to give over to eternal misery in hell. This is satan's plan for you: he wants to reproduce himself in you - just as he is ruined, he wants to ruin you. Just as he is useless, he wants to render you useless also. He is abolished and given over to eternal misery - and thus his plans for you! He wants to reproduce himself in you.
You must acknowledge that you have a ferocious enemy whose intent is to destroy everything you are, everyone you love and every hope you cherish. He is a "roaring lion" seeking whom he may "devour" (I Pet. 5:8). This word "devour" that Peter uses is from the Greek katapin??, which means to swallow down or to drink down: the enemy's intent is no less than taking you down into himself rather than allowing you to soar like an eagle up into the heavenly realms, where you are now, rightfully, seated with Christ.
We are in a war - but we know the victory has already been won by the Captain of the Hosts!
You must not only acknowledge that you have an enemy, but you must also discern the adversary's attacks against your faith.
The Kingdom of God is "righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Romans 14:17). The Scripture gives us the authority to declare that whatsoever is not in harmony with this Kingdom of righteous, peace and joy is of the enemy's camp - plain and simple. We are either living and moving in the Kingdom of light or the realm of darkness.
Are you feeling confused and doubtful about the future? Learn to distinguish that confusion as the enemy's voice sent to derail you from trusting your heavenly Father.
Are you feeling frustrated and impatient that your prayers have not yet come to pass? Discern that those are the enemy's accusations sent to discourage you from standing firm.
Worry, anxiety, lethargy, bitterness, pride, frustration, envy, impatience - anything that is not in harmony with righteousness, peace, joy, love, patience, goodness, kindness and self-control is falling prey to the enemy's tactics.
Be angry - but do not sin in that anger.
Fear and tremble - but fear God only, with a contrite heart.
The Lord Jesus Himself tells us to "fear not" the circumstances that surround us. We are not to fear the devil, man, persecution, death or loss. Fear not! That is His command! Why is fear not an option? Because "it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom" (Luke 12:32). Run to His throne - not away learn how to live daily in the throne zone. The writer of Hebrew exhorts us:
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
You must recognize that as soon as you step out in faith to believe God's incomparable promises, the enemy will most certainly try to distract you, tempt you to lose hope or offend you so you will enter into unforgiveness - so that your prayers will not be heard.
The enemy may try to send you running, but you have a promise that our beloved High Priest Christ Jesus is working behind the scenes for you. He ever lives to make intercession for you at the right hand of the Father (Romans 8:27).
Your responsibility is to keep your heart right before God and choose to believe His Word, nothing wavering. In other words, you must make a quality decision to stand firm.
This powerful verb stand firm or stand still is from the Hebrew yatsab, which means to station oneself or to take one's stand. Remember the reformer Martin Luther when he was defending his doctrines and would not recant: "Here I stand," he told his accusers! And so you must tell your enemy, "Here I stand! I will not recant, no matter what I see, no matter the consequences." Once my football coach said, "one thing about Conner he has tenacity!" I was somewhat embarrassed because I didn't know the meaning of the word tenacity. We need to stand with true determination and resolve, having our mind made up we are going to stand strong for God and His kingdom.
This perseverance leads to breakthrough, without fail.
This is the stand we must take when the accuser of the brethren is tempting us to recant: "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Eph. 6:13).
This is the verb the Lord used when he told Moses to stand before Pharoah and declare "Let my people go!" (Exodus 8:20).
This is the same stand the angel of the Lord took before His adversaries (Num. 22:22)
And this is the same verb the Lord uses when He promises that "no man shall be able to stand before you, for the Lord will lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you" (Deut. 11:25).
You will be amazed at what God will do in your life when you confront your challenges by faith, receiving the victory by standing on the promises found in His Word - without doubting:
"But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind" (James 1:6)
When you take a stand, you make a declaration of your faith in God and automatically raise that shield of faith, which extinguishes al the flaming arrows of the evil one (Eph. 6:16).
When you take a stand, you make a declaration by the Word of God, which is "living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword" (Heb. 4:12). The Word is the greatest weapon of all eternity!
Take a stand today and choose to believe His promises. He is worthy of your trust. Stay the course the Lord has set for you. Grab hold of the promises of God and make a life-changing decision: decide to stand no matter the devil sends your way. This type of faith is invincible. Why? "Jesus said to him, ??�If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes'" (Mark 9:23).
Take a stand in your prayer life.
Take a stand in your Bible study time.
Take a stand in your acts of service and giving to others.
Take a stand and see the salvation and provision of the Lord in every area of your life!
Having done all - stand!
Pray this prayer with me:
Dear Lord, thank You for Your promise to bring me through to victory in every circumstance of my life. I ask for Your strength as I take a stand to do what is right according to Your Word, trusting in Your promises. I know Your hand of blessing is upon my every act of obedience. I bless Your holy name and seek to better serve You in all I do today. Amen!