Steady under Fire
However bright each day may seem, the day of evil will come to the Christian. It is an inevitable consequence of our close family relationship with God. His great enemy, the devil, will try to get at Him by disturbing His children or deflecting them from His service. By seducing us away from the Lord's love or paralysing us to prevent fruitful ministry, Satan contests God's authority and makes a grab at glory for himself. Evil may come in many forms: verbal hostility, physical violence, temptation, lies and death-threats; and in the internal reaction of fear, accompanied by the impulse of fight or flight.
Most people like to solve problems, to fix what needs mending. Christians are also prone to all kinds of activism, as though 'doing something' is good (even if it is misconceived or misplaced). We forget that spiritual warfare is not fought with brains or human power. However, often, Satan's taunts or temptations goad us into doing something, to protect ourselves or 'the Lord's reputation' but which we later regret when it fails. Most of our defeats are like judo falls where the devil uses our own energy against ourselves. So the wise Christian will stop when evil comes. We are commanded not to fight but to stand still inside God's armour (1 Peter 5:9).
We must do two things only: put on all of the spiritual armour God provides, and stand still as He deals with His enemy. The full armour is described in Ephesians 6:14-18. You will note that there is no backplate to protect us: we must face the attacks confident that our armour and the Lord's power will keep us safe. The only offensive weapon is the Word of God - which Jesus also used to unmask the lies of the Enemy (Matthew 4:1-11). As we submit ourselves to God’s protection, we resist the devil and he will, after a while, go away (James 4:7).
Old Testament Israel had to learn that only the Lord could defeat the enemy. Exodus 14:14 says, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." The people had to stand still in obedience and faith. Paul says the same thing here. We can never defeat the forces against us, but we must withstand them by refusing to move. It is unbelief that precipitates moving; either back in fright, or forward in desperation. But here we are commanded to stand still and firm on the ground of God's Word, trusting that His protection is enough. That is real faith: refusing to budge even though all hell screams against us, because we know that we are safe in Jesus.
© Dr Paul Adams