In all things, stand, steadfastly and sound.
”Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” ~ Ephesians 6:13-18 (NLT)
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Stand firm to hear vict’ry resound.
Stand up for righteousness, stand out in prayer (Mark 11:25); stand firm with courage in spite of despair. Stand your ground to conquer fear, stand firm to grasp God’s strength when near (Ephesians 6:13-14, 2 Thessalonians 2:15). Finally, stand at holy home’s gate, proclaiming the call to elevate our Lord and Savior through dwelling in presence, worshiping Him, His nature and essence (Jeremiah 7:1-3).
When versatile kisses the supernatural, standing stands in elite company. For to stand is to participate in the most powerful posture within surrendered relationship; however, scratching must occur beyond the surface to uncover its layered call. Adjoined to upright prerogative, standing expects greatness from outstretched hand (Isaiah 9: 12, 17), fixes eyes on the author and finisher of faith (Hebrews 12:1-2), marries intimacy with humility through prayer in the wings of prevailing power and inevitably stirs us to honor Christ by engaging the mission to love as He loves. Whenever God stands, He does so to reveal dominion and might (Isaiah 33:10) for the invasion of glory and dispersion of story, truths bolstered by supportive references in both testaments.
In Exodus 14, Moses encourages the Israelites to stand firm in the wake of deliverance from Egypt. In Joshua 1, Joshua is instructed thrice to stand firm during his commissioning, not to yield to anxiety and discouragement. In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah stand firm when seeking help from God in the heat of battle against the Moabites and Ammonites. In Ezekiel 22, God seeks out a man who desires integrity over compromise, willing to stand in the gap on behalf of a backslidden people. And whether focus is parked in Judges, Nehemiah, 1 Samuel, or even the Minor Prophets, we ultimately discover hundreds of God-fearing believers who recognized resting, kneeling, bowing and other submissive expressions to have root in standing.
Crossing into the New Testament, Paul, James and Peter pad the principle of standing firm (Galatians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 1:21,24, James 5:8, 1 Peter 5:9), in each case, identifying the converse of timidity and fear as both the acceptance of sealed sonship (Romans 8:15, 23; Galatians 4:5) and the posture of standing against principalities of darkness. Once commitment to these terms is established, the Bible says we are given the strength to stand firm in grace (1 Peter 5:12) and truth (2 Peter 1:12). So amidst the scriptural segueing, we find a common denominator in fulfilled freedom in faith, by faith, capturing the significance of stance.
Needless to say, to stand is paramount.
Note how Paul cites two “stand” references prior to his presentation of the armor components, and then concludes with a charge to “pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion”. Such a directive not only links spiritual warfare to standing in the gap, but also deposits a stratum of faith that maintains the application of armor as habit. Whether praying on the armor or praying with armor on, it’s important we stand in the gap the right way, since many weaken their ability to fight by ensconcing, rather than embracing the battle. When spiritual war is negated, we lessen the chance of encountering victory, breakthrough and character development, and risk a decrease in joy supply necessary to sustain holy posture. Joy, alongside love execution, cannot be sugarcoated over a subtly, narcissistic peace, but should motivate one to stand, pray and rest in the gap continuously. What is the gap? It is the moment and place we extend our hand to one already extended to us, with complete hope of radical experience.
So as you sharpen your swords this week, don’t forget to forsake entitlement that glues butt to the chair of complacency. Rather, stand before and after armor application, preserved by an equipping excitement each and every day.