This morning as I prayed, a phrase from Ephesians 6:13 kept running through my mind, “…stand your ground, and after you have done everything…stand.”
That’s the armor passage, the one where Paul encourages us to “put on the full armor of God” so that we’ll be able to stand our ground “when the day of evil comes.” We’ve heard that one so much that it may have lost its punch. I’ve seen so many kids cartoons of cuddly little soldiers with all the armor pieces labeled… “breastplate of righteousness, helmet of salvation, sword of the spirit, shield of faith, etc.. How cute!
It is time to revisit this passage, because guess what… that “day of evil” mentioned in verse 13? Well it is here. Right now. That terrible day that we heard about in Sunday school, yes that one… that day has come. We are watching it unfold right now in front of our eyes. And turns out it isn’t about cuddly, cute little kid soldiers in brightly colored labeled armor.
It’s blood and death and horror.
And it has come upon us very suddenly, in the middle of the night while we were all sleeping soundly in our comfy warm beds.
Now the alarms are sounding all over the place.
But a lot of us are still slapping that snooze button.
A lot of us desperately want to remain snuggled in our beds, cozy and asleep.
But it’s too late for that. The longer we hit that snooze alarm, the more painful it’s gonna be when the blankets are ripped off of our bodies, and we find ourselves naked, cold, and completely exposed in the middle of a battle some of us deny even exists. If I may borrow a line from the great Tolkien, “War is upon you whether you would risk it or not.”
Yes, we are here. The “YOU ARE HERE” marker on the mall map is now firmly planted in the center of a battlefield. And now, like it or not, it is time to get up and get to work.
How do do that? What do we do?
This is, more than anything else, a SPIRITUAL battle. So our most important work must take place in the spiritual realm. Remember those cute little armor pieces? Well those are the not-so-cute-anymore, necessary components of our defense.
Our weapons of warfare will determine our victory or defeat. They are “not the weapons of the world, on the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” And that is EXACTLY what we are fighting agains… “arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) We are fighting against the “devil’s schemes,” and against “the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12) Do those oft-heard verses have new meaning for you now? They should! If this battle isn’t obvious to us now, then we are hopelessly blind.
Wake up, Christians. Get out of your beds and armor up. Get on your knees and pray. every. single. day. Open those dusty Bibles. We need to know the Word of God because that is our sword, our only method of offense, and it needs to be sharp. Scripture is coming to life all around around us and we need to know what it says. Get plugged in with other solid Christians who believe in the blood of Jesus Christ.
Then. THEN “you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything… STAND.”
This is our wake up call. Right here. Right now. The alarm is sounding. Don’t touch that snooze another time.