We know we are in a fight. We know the enemy tries to deceive us with lies that are true-ish. How are we supposed to win this fight? What’s the battle plan? What does God call us to do? Ephesians 6:11 says, “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.”
That’s the battle plan – to stand. Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand. Eph 6:14 begins with “Stand firm then…” He says it four times in four verses (v.11-14) because he wants it to be crystal clear. We are to stand firm! We don’t have to go on the offensive; we don’t charge in with guns blazing, there is no nuclear option. Our instructions are to stand firm.
I know it should be more complicated than that, but remember who we are fighting. Our enemy is Satan. He is a liar. Jesus has already defeated him and we need to stand in that victory.
Go back and read how Jesus did battle with Satan in Matthew 4:1-11. He stood His ground using the truth of the Word of God. He didn’t waiver.
When we stand firm it means we hold our convictions and we do not waiver. But who has convictions anymore? In our post-modern culture we are told there is no Truth, everything is relative. There is no such thing as sin. Well, the only sin is to say there is sin. (Ever notice how those who preach tolerance do not tolerate those who disagree with them?)
Few Christians make a stand anymore because you cannot take a stand and remain open-minded. Statements are couched with “maybe” and sentences are ended with question marks instead of periods. (An exclamation point would be too judgmental!) More and more Christians choose tolerance rather than truth. Show me in the scriptures where we are to be tolerant of sin. Show me in the Word of God where Jesus was open-minded towards sin. I don’t expect different from the culture, but from Christians?
It reminds me of people with saggin’ pants. I tell my sons that if I ever see their underwear hanging out of their pants I’m going to pull it over their heads. I don’t care where we are or who we are with. I can’t stand seeing pants saggin’. It is ridiculous. It only took a couple of times of singing a few octaves higher before they got the message. Pull up your pants and wear a belt.
There are not many people who pay their own bills who like the saggin’ look. Police officers are the exception. Do you know why? It’s because you cannot run very fast when your pants are saggin’. You cannot stand your ground and fight with your pants coming down around your knees. You can be knocked over with ease.
We are to stand on the truth of God’s Word! It is not a coincidence that the first piece of armor Paul talks about is the belt of truth. That’s because the belt holds everything in place. Truth is the integrating force in the life of a victorious Christian. But once we let a lie in, the belt doesn’t fit right and everything starts to come undone. We won’t be able to stand. We will be knocked over with ease. We will lose the fight.
I realize many people have a hard time discerning the truth in God’s Word. But I also know that many of the same people have a hard time accepting the Word of God as the truth. Mark Twain is famous for saying, “It’s not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that bother me. It’s the parts I do understand.” I have found that the more obedient I am to what I understand, the clearer the other stuff becomes.
James 1:21-22 says, “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Can we humbly accept the Word planted in us? When we don’t, our belts get loose.
How are your pants? Are they saggin a bit too much? Are you getting knocked off your feet? It is time to pull up your pants and tighten the belt of truth. I’ll show you what it looks like to stand firm in the last post of this series.