Ready “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.” - Ephesians 6:13 (NIV)
Set Recently, I was reminded of a football game my younger brother played years ago. It was a classic Friday-night match-up between the top two teams in the conference. Both teams were highly rated for both their dominant defense and offensive efficiency. Each entered the battlefield with spotless conference records and brought bus-loads of fans to the game. The atmosphere was thick with pressure. As in any such classic battle, the game was well-played on both sides, and it all came down to the last stand. My brother’s team was down by four. They had the ball on the one-yard line and four full downs to get into the end zone. “Defense!” was the cry from across the field. “Stand firm!” Three plays later, the ball had moved only a foot. They had just one final play—one chance to get into the end-zone. Our team tried an off-tackle run with seconds left and met a wall of defenders. The defense held and preserved to a hard-fought victory. The match was, of course, the topic of discussion at every local restaurant the next morning. “Stand firm…” Those of us who have stood firm or stuck to a game-plan, digging deep for that final, monumental, defensive effort can understand these words found in Scripture. We are involved in a spiritual war in which we are the participants, and we daily face challenges and tests designed to increase our faith. But there is also an enemy lurking behind the scenes. His intent is not to win a “game.” His intent is to take our soul. Sometimes we may feel ill-equipped for the battle, but God has given us all that we need in order to stand firm against the enemy. In Scripture, God tells us to play strong defense by putting on our armor—living a lifestyle of truth, obeying His commands, being confident in the gospel, keeping a deep-seated faith, being equipped with His Word, and committing to prayer. It is a perfect game plan, designed by God Himself. He has already achieved the victory, but each of us must take a stand in the battle for our lives. Today, check your armor and examine your defense. Then, in the power of the Holy Spirit, stand firm!
Go 1. Do you recall a game (as a participant or observer) that came down to a final defensive stand? 2. Have you ever faced a battle in life in which you had to take a firm stand? How did it feel? 3. How did your faith help you to stand firm? 4. What can you do to better prepare for the next spiritual battle you’ll face?
Workout Exodus 14:12-14 Matthew 10:21-23 1 Corinthians 15:58 Ephesians 6:10-18