From the Archives: Stand & Resist

I was going through some old papers today and found a printed copy of this post I made a few years ago. I thought I’d repost it here, with a few minor editing tweaks.

At a recent church bridal shower, a lovely older lady gave a devotional that stuck with me. She read Ephesians 6:10-18.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 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. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV)

She pointed out how often Paul says “stand” in this section. So often we, especially wives and mothers, are called not so often to go on the offensive, finding and fighting dragons. Instead, we are called simply to stand our ground, in the place we have been given, resisting the temptations that come at us. Those temptations might come from our own sinful nature, supposed friends, or from the devil, but the source doesn’t matter so much as that we answer them. We are to resist them with words of Scripture as Jesus resisted the devil during his temptation and as Eve should have resisted the serpent.

She gave examples of thoughts that sometimes might come to our minds, in this place God has put us:

Do you really have to submit to your husband in this matter? After all, you know he’s wrong.

or

Do you really have to speak kindly to your children? After all, they are being so annoying.

or

Do you really have to ensure the children obey you? Maybe it’s not that big of a deal this time. Besides, it would take too much time.

The response to such thoughts should be simply to give them no quarter, but to recall what God has revealed to be true and stand on that. The sword, she noted, is the only offensive weapon in this passage. It is the Word of God. It is what we need to stand where God has placed us.

So, resistance to the temptation of sloth, of unkindness, of selfishness, or of pride is recognizing it when it appears, answering it with a reliance on God’s Word & Spirit. That is how to stand where God has placed me, doing what He has given me to do and not seeking some other vain glory. Here, in my own heart and home, there be dragons enough without looking elsewhere for a fight.

And I have been given all I need to stand and resist, even over and over again, every day.