Warrior // Stand Firm in the Faith - Feature Image
Posted On 05/28/2015

Warrior // Stand Firm in the Faith

Epic and Unseen

Let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start (yeah, get that song out of your head!).  We live (mostly oblivious) to an epic battle which is being waged all around us.  We are oblivious, for the most part, because we cannot see it, yet it is still real and it is still true.  This epic battle is being fought for your soul (and mine).  We saw last week that scripture is very clear about this, and yet we live our lives plump, ignorant and chipper in the face of this raging spiritual battle.  No one yells, “Incoming!!” every time a suggestive image pops up on the television.  We step into the path of a grenade each day we pack our schedule so full there is no time left to meet and commune with God in a quiet space.  The bite-size untruths we speak are rarely detected as the biological weapons they are to our souls.  This series is a call to arms; a call to acknowledge and see the battle in our own lives and engage.

Put on the full armor

So what do we do now?  What do we do when the smoke begins to clear temporarily on the battlefield and we begin to see what we are standing in the midst of?  A good and right starting place is to take heed of the warnings and charges Paul offers in 1 Corinthians 16:13.  Commit them to memory and begin living them out loud in your life.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

This week we focus in on the second charge … stand firm in the faith.  What is this “standing firm,” and how is that accomplished?  Quite simply … put on the full armor of God.  This “full armor of God” may sound a bit weird and Medieval, but I assure you it is essential to your survival when you engage in the battle.  Let’s see if we can make this make a bit more sense by taking a look at a passage in the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:

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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:10-17 (NIV)

If we are to survive the battles in the larger war for our souls, there is “armor” which is essential.  In our sinful selves, we are not capable of protecting ourselves from a mortal wound.  And though much of our life may appear more like a pleasant spring meadow than a bloody battlefield, do not be fooled.  The innocence of the everyday can lull us into a complacency which leaves us exposed and ill-prepared for what the apostle Paul describes as “the day of evil.”  This “day of evil” is meant to describe a time of deep and perilous testing.  I’m guessing you’ve already experienced repeated “days” like this, and as Christians we can be certain there will be more.  We need the fundamental elements which Paul illustrates in the form of traditional armor.  The place we must always begin is truth.  Absent the pursuit of truth and a biblical filter through which to discern truth, we will be easy targets of the powers of this dark world.  Truth can so easily be distorted and made pleasurable for our consumption.  We must buckle up our belt of truth.
Righteousness, or goodness, is next.  We can discern and speak truth, but if our life is not grounded in the pursuit of doing God’s good, we become corruptible and a weapon in the hands of the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world.  We must be peaceable, and we must use our strong and tested faith as a shield against the body blows and piercing arrows the enemy hurls at us.  We must wear our salvation outwardly and consume and study God’s Word.  As Hebrews boldly states, it is the sword with which we defend and discern:

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

It ain’t no joke

You can choose to think this a bit dramatic a depiction of everyday life, but I can assure you, it’s not.  The fight which Paul describes in his letter to the Ephesians is absolutely real … as real today as it was then.  We must stand firm in the faith, and we must put on our armor.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.


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