Are you battle-weary? Does it seem like the storms keep raging one after another? Or, are you in a time of peace but have friends with battles raging?
As disciples of Jesus, it matters how we handle the battles that arise in our lives and in each other’s lives. Ephesians 6:10-20 implies that every follower of Jesus is a soldier, and we have to outfit ourselves with the armor he has provided in order to “be strong in the Lord” and to “stand our ground”.
Why fight? What is our ground?
In the Old Testament the ground was the Promised Land. Israel was promised Canaan, but they had to fight to obtain it. As you know, for forty years they wandered in a wilderness due to lack of faith. After the forty years, they learned Who God was, and that obedience to His word would enable them to do His will. So with Joshua leading them “carefully doing everything the Lord commanded”, they were given their first victory at Jericho. They fought for their ground that they had already been given. Once obtained, they had to keep it by “standing their ground.” After taking the Promised Land, they had times of peace and times of fighting in order to take more or keep what they already had conquered.
Similarly, we have been given ground. Jesus obtained it when He conquered our enemies, Satan, sin and death at the cross. Our ground is the spiritual inheritance we have in Christ. That inheritance is our own salvation and those whose eternal destiny we influence through our ministry to and through Jesus. We, like the Israelites, have to fight to take the ground that the Lord has given us. We advance against the enemy in establishing the Kingdom of God. The works that God has planned for us here, if done faithfully and in obedience to Him, will be rewarded in Heaven. Sometimes we work peaceably, and other times we will have to fight.
The wonderful news for us is that we always fight from a place of VICTORY. That is what it means to STAND OUR GROUND. It’s wearing the armor provided for our protection, and advancing against the enemy or standing in what we have already conquered.
As with any army, communication with the commanding officer is essential to victory: And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for the saints. Ephesians 6:18
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23, 24