Just keep standing!

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In the cafe we have a phrase “just keep smiling”, there’s a bit of a story about where the phrase comes from which shall remain in the vault, but we usually say it in a silly voice and have a good laugh!

I thought I would title this blog “just keep standing”. If I say it in a silly voice then I might make myself laugh and a bit of a laugh is good for us all right?! Saying it with “gritted teeth” and clenched fists might describe more of my current state, however, whichever way you want to say it, the message is the same, keep on standing…!

After a disappointing day and what feels like the “icing on the cake” (but gross icing on a yucky cake!) a faithful and wonderful friend sent me a message with the reminder in Ephesians 6:13, “and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Sometimes it feels like we have done absolutely everything we can possibly think of, imagine, manage and yet still the breakthrough isn’t there, the healing hasn’t come, the finances look exactly the same, we are still lonely, discouraged, desperate etc… I loved it when I received this verse from my friend, because the truth is I do feel like I am doing everything I can and yet this verse encourages me TO STAND.

Part of the everything that this verse is talking about is founded around the verses preceding it:

v10-13 “Finally, be strong in The Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

OK, so when your world is falling around you or you are facing some battles, because I’ve been reminded again that we ALL face battles, they look different to each of us, but we all face them and they are all relative! In those times:

1. Be strong in The Lord and in His mighty power!! I mean, that’s cool right from the start! We don’t have to muster up our own strength or fake it till we make it, we can totally rely on HIS strength! When we are weak, He is strong, His grace is sufficient, His power is made perfect in our weakness! Are you feeling weak? Insufficient? Over it? It’s OK because as long as you actually don’t give up, He has more than enough strength to cover us all!

2. Put on the FULL armour of God so that you can stand against the devil’s schemes. What are those schemes? Discouragement, worry, anxiety, fear, depression, loneliness, losing trust, disillusionment… the list goes on with a thousand ways he tries to attack us! Matthew Henry in his commentary on Ephesians 6 describes the full armour of God like this… (read it slowly and take it in, it’s good!)

“The different parts of the armour of heavy-armed soldiers, who had to sustain the fiercest assaults of the enemy, are here described. There is none for the back; nothing to defend those who turn back in the Christian warfare. Truth, or sincerity, is the girdle. This girds on all the other pieces of our armour, and is first mentioned. There can be no religion without sincerity. The righteousness of Christ, imputed to us, is a breastplate against the arrows of Divine wrath. The righteousness of Christ implanted in us, fortifies the heart against the attacks of Satan. Resolution must be as greaves, or armour to our legs; and to stand their ground or to march forward in rugged paths, the feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Motives to obedience, amidst trials, must be drawn from a clear knowledge of the gospel. Faith is all in all in an hour of temptation. Faith, as relying on unseen objects, receiving Christ and the benefits of redemption, and so deriving grace from him, is like a shield, a defence every way. The devil is the wicked one. Violent temptations, by which the soul is set on fire of hell, are darts Satan shoots at us. Also, hard thoughts of God, and as to ourselves. Faith applying the word of God and the grace of Christ, quenches the darts of temptation. Salvation must be our helmet. A good hope of salvation, a Scriptural expectation of victory, will purify the soul, and keep it from being defiled by Satan. To the Christian armed for defense in battle, the apostle recommends only one weapon of attack; but it is enough, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. It subdues and mortifies evil desires and blasphemous thoughts as they rise within; and answers unbelief and error as they assault from without. A single text, well understood, and rightly applied, at once destroys a temptation or an objection, and subdues the most formidable adversary. Prayer must fasten all the other parts of our Christian armour.”

3. Our fight is not against flesh and blood. Note to self, apologise to Tim for taking out frustrations on him far too many times!! Lol. Seriously though, how many times do we look for someone to blame or someone to get mad at? It’s time to start getting mad at our true enemy and coming against him with the Word of God, praying prayers of faith and boldness and believing against all odds and despite all circumstances that we are more than conquerors!!

4. We are reminded AGAIN, to put on the full armour of God, and then to stand our ground! And then when we’ve done everything, to keep on standing!!

The fact is that none of this makes it any easier, and that often we know it deep inside but the circumstance is still raging on the outside, we usually don’t want to hear encouraging verses or well-wishers, often it’s easier to allow the disillusionment to wash us over… I don’t know what is facing you today, or what will face you tomorrow, like I said, we all face battles and we will all need a miracle at one time or another, but can I be one of those annoying people and encourage you today, to STAND. Stand your ground, the enemy IS defeated, the victory IS yours and the battle IS the Lord’s! So give it to Him day in and day out, keep bringing it to Him in prayer, find those Scriptures that you can memorise and shout out loud, and when you’ve done everything you can, just keep on standing!

….now to go and follow my own advice!

Love and believe in you…the breakthrough is coming! xx