Ephesians 6:14-20 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Stand therefore! I’ve counted three times in the portion of scripture from Ephesians 6:10-20 where God instructs His people in battle to STAND! And one other time where He says “withstand”. We are the army of God and as such He intends for us to stand and fight, not turn and run!
Stand – Greek word “histemi” meaning “to cause to stand”; to “stand firm”; to “stand steadfastly”.
We see a perfect example of this type of stance in the Lord Jesus when He was getting ready to go to the cross. Isaiah 50:7 says that He set His face like a flint.
Isaiah 50:7 “For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.”
Later Luke talks about this prophetic picture of Jesus getting ready to go to the cross in Luke 9:51-53:
Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.
Jesus knew the battle that was ahead of Him and He purposed to steadfastly do what God had called Him to do. He set His face like a flint to carry out the will of God that mankind might be saved. It’s the diligence and determination to fight that we see in Jesus that we want to pattern our lives after in spiritual warfare to defeat the enemy in our lives and those of others for which we are praying. We can understand His determination when we look at the description of a flint.
Flint – As a stone, is a sub-species of quartz, of a yellowish or bluish gray, or grayish black color. It is very hard, strikes fire with steel, and is an ingredient in glass. When said to be as flint, it would be very hard, not impressionable. A piece of flint-stone is described as being used in firearms to strike fire. (definition from the 1828 Webster’s dictionary of the English language.)
So when Jesus set His face as flint to go to the cross there was no person or demonic entity that was going to stop Him. He knew what He had to do and He did it! When Ephesians 6:14 says to “stand therefore” we can ascertain that God intends for us to be determined to win and to take our stance against the enemy in such a way as to understand that the only option we have is to WIN!
We see the picture of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane taking His stance for victory on His knees. That is where the battle really takes place. We draw strength for the battle and fight the thoughts that come against us, the actions and fiery darts of the wicked one through prayer. It is a spiritual battle, not a physical one.
Luke 26:36-46 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying. “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. “Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
Have you ever felt like you were going crazy; that you just couldn’t stand to take the pressure of what was coming against you one more day? Jesus was under such pressure when He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane that it is said that His sweat was as great drops of blood.
Luke 22:44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Jesus knew the intensity of the battle going on in His mind. He was pressured to the point of death, even the death of the cross. And yet He won that battle on His knees before He ever walked it out through the crucifixion. He gave us the reason prayer is so important in fighting spiritually in Matthew 26:41:
“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
We, as believers, have every intention of fighting the good fight of faith and winning…..until we are in the midst of the battle. Then we sometimes waver. Our faith weakens as we see the weaknesses of our flesh. Jesus said to “watch and pray”.
Watch – Greek word – gregoreo – Strong’s #1213: to watch; keeping awake; as of “spiritual alertness”.
Jesus described the enemy in John 10 as being like a thief. A thief often works under the cover of darkness. Hence, the need to “stand therefore”, being spiritually alert, watching for his secret attack, with the determination of a bulldog, feet planted, immoveable, ready to fight, determined to win with your face set like a flint, knowing that you’ve got the armor of God and His weapons securely in place and victory is yours through Him!
Watch and pray….not, look for the enemy and when you see him run for your life. Watch; be spiritually alert; pray!
Pray – Greek word “proseuchomai” – this word for prayer is always used of “prayer to God”, and is the most frequent word in this respect.
Jesus is saying when faced with a temptation, a battle between you and the evil one, be spiritually alert, watching for his wiles, his strategy in coming against you, and pray to the Father that you will be spiritually fit and able to defeat him because your flesh will want to cave in, give up, relax, run away; your flesh is weak, but your spirit needs to be strong enough to “stand therefore”!
In the strength of the Lord you will be able to fight the attacks of the enemy and win.
Father, I thank You for giving us the strength to stand. I thank You that I can come to You and draw from Your grace for the ability to fight and win the battle. I pray for my friends, Father, that they, too, will learn how to fight and win through prayer and standing firm against the enemy. Thank You for the victory that we have in Christ Jesus. Help us, Lord, to not give up, cave in or run and hide when the battle ensues. For it’s time for us to stand firm and resist the evil one knowing that You always lead us to triumph in Christ Jesus! Thank You, Father! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.