13 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 firm.
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, - Ephesians 6:13-14
Note that this verse doesn’t tell us to engage in the battle - just to stand firm. Stand firm is a defensive move, not an offensive one. That’s a great lesson for me. Far too often, I want to engage in the battle, especially when I see someone struggling with a sin they don’t see or someone being wronged. I often want to step in and say something when I should only be standing firm. And then when they don’t respond as I would like them to, I can push my agenda further than I should.
That’s not to say we should always be passive in our faith - God does call us to action, but there are times when we should only be standing firm and we are wise to discern the difference. We don’t always need to be in offensive mode. We are often called to simply stand out ground. This is a reminder that God will win the victory in many spiritual battles, we don’t need to engage. We are not called to charge against the enemy in our spiritual attacks, but simply to endure his attacks until Christ ultimately wins.
Those words are much easier to type than they are to carry out. When I am accused of a wrong, or people believe my motives are different that they are, my tendency is to rise up in defense of myself. There is currently someone in my life whom I love dearly, that believes something false about my motives. My desire is to try to make it right and clarify my position, but each time I reach out, I encounter a harsh response and it seems I’m only make the matter worse. I’m being misunderstood, and my attempts to clarify have simply created a deeper wedge between us. I have to step back and hand the battle over to God, trusting in His ultimate victory. He knows my heart and my desire in that relationship, and I know He will work all things out for good.
My job is not to take ground from the enemy, but to just stand firm in this. Trying to take ground would only cause me to get wrapped up in the battle in a deeper way, opening the door to the temptation of saying or doing something hurtful. But refraining from engaging in the battle is hard, and it takes faith in the fact that He can heal the relationship without any action on my part. I trust in Him, so I will simply stand firm.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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