“Stand firm against him and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.”
Whenever I’m going through a tough season in my life, I always remember my mother’s words. She’d tell us, “Life will beat you down if you let it.” It must have been over twenty-five years ago that she first said this, but she spoke it with such conviction that I have never forgotten it. Hitting it home even more is the reality that over the years I’ve come to know a little bit about life’s challenges; I’ve had more than a few myself. Admittedly, my mother had been through a lot, including domestic violence. She’s survived things that most couldn’t imagine pulling through, but her faith remained strong in the Lord. This has been such a profound example for me, because through my own struggles, more than any other thing, faith in the goodness of God has pulled me through as well.
1Peter 5:9 makes it clear that we have a spiritual adversary, the devil, but rest assured, God has not left us defenseless. Our Heavenly Father tells us in Ephesians 6:11(NLT) to put on all of His armor “so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” He goes on to tell us that we are not fighting against a flesh and blood enemy. This is the mistake in our thinking that many of us make. People can be mean, vindictive, manipulative, and very unkind. Many of us encounter folks like this every day. When they behave badly towards us, our first inclination is to want to give them exactly what they have given us, but this isn’t the right strategy.
God makes it 100% crystal clear that our issue isn’t with the individual, but the demonic influence that works through them. These individuals haven’t understood the truth about Jesus Christ, and because of this, they can be used by the devil to come against us. If we neglect the truth of what God is telling us in Ephesians 6:11, we will continue to be blinded and attacked by satan and his demonic cohorts. We must open our eyes and become aware of our real enemy, because it isn’t a person, it’s the devil.
In Ephesians 6:13, Heavenly Father instructs us that every piece of His armor is necessary to resist the enemy. First, God tells us to put on the body armor of His righteousness. You and I don’t have any righteousness to call our own. We receive God’s righteousness when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, and we are to wear it like a second skin. We must also hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil, and we must put on the shoes of God’s peace. We’re to wear the salvation that Jesus Christ offers us as a helmet, because following the example of Christ protects our minds, hearts, and souls. When we think, speak, and act like Christ, we leave no room for the enemy to steal the authority that Christ has given us. Living through the example of Jesus Christ means that we can stand firm with soundness of mind and in the strength of God’s love and power.
Lastly, we’re to take the Holy Spirit’s sword, which is the truth of God’s Word. A sword is a mighty weapon. Many of us have been outsmarted by the devil because we haven’t adequately protected our minds and hearts with God’s Word. At times we made the mistake of behaving as though our enemies were flesh and blood. We tried using physical or human-made weapons on a spiritual enemy, and this will always be futile. 2Corinthians 10:4(NLT) declares, “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” In other words, we must recognize that God has equipped us with every spiritual weapon we need to stand strong. When we put on the mighty weapons that God has given us, we will not be tricked by wrong teachings, false arguments, philosophies or any other plot of the devil. Instead, our faith will remain strong in the Lord as we dedicate ourselves to living for Him.
There’s no question that life is challenging. We might get knocked down, but God wants us to know that we don’t have to stay down. That’s not His Will. He wants us to be strong, and to stand tall, because Psalm 3:3 declares that He is the Lifter of our heads. He loves us and only wants what is best for our lives. Romans 3:23-24 says that we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard. We are going to make mistakes, and some will cause us great pain, but God is always with us and will never leave or forsake us. He has proven through Christ that His grace, mercy, and love have no limit, and we can be assured that He will always come to our aid.■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“You are Not Alone”, written by Kyada for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2022. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!