Therefore, put on the full armor 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.
I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
In Ephesians 6:13, Paul gives us a directive and includes a warning. If we’re not careful, we can miss it. Notice he directs us to do something “Therefore put on the full armor of God…”
Why does he tell us to put on armor; protective gear provided by God Himself.
Paul explains very clearly in the next verse “…so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground…”
Notice he says when the day of evil comes and not if.
Finally, in the last phrase of the verse, we’ve been given a very succinct and not so glamourous secondary reasoning.
“…so that you may be able to stand, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
This part of the verse is telling us that there are going to be times in our lives, amid whatever fire and storm we face, when we will be brought to a point where all we can do is stand.
It is in these moments of human impossibility that God directs us to simply stand on Him. Not surrender, not give up, not lie down, not shrink back and not sit in the corner sucking our thumb…God says after we’ve done everything to stand…continue to stand!
These are the seasons and circumstances that we’ve given everything we have; our energy and emotions completely spent. It is here and now we are commanded to stand. Stand firm in what God has promised. Stand firm on His goodness. Stand firm on His grace. Stand firm on His wisdom and divine purposes.
Stand…after our physical resources have been exhausted and every material asset has been depleted.
Stand…after we’ve done everything else and seemed to have run out of EARTHLY options.
Stand…when there seems to be no way out.
In this earthly life, we will face various forms of challenges and trials that will come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
There are the relatively simple and common problems; a traffic jam, being late for a meeting, misplacing our keys, an annoying co-worker, etc.
But then there are times when we find ourselves walking through a life-altering catastrophe where it feels like our whole world has come crashing down; we may even come up against a series of these trial-by-fire events. A bad health report, a financial calamity, the end of a relationship, a legal battle or even the passing of a loved one.
In Psalm 77:11, David says that he will remember the times when God came through with the answer to the problem. David says that he will SURELY recall the wondrous deeds God did in the past. When David uses the word SURELY it means, without a doubt or question, his default response is to set his mind on mighty deeds God did before.
It is in our moments of standing that we are to maintain our resolve by reflecting on the goodness and breakthroughs we have witnessed God perform in the past.
It is here in the standing that our tactics shift from engaging the trial through physical measures and we enter into praise and thanksgiving. Praising God for all that He is; praising God for all He has done; praising God that He is in control.
Aloud and boldly, we recall intentionally and in detail every time God opened a door and came through for us, despite how impossible the situation seemed.
In my own season of fire and pain, I’ve intentionally reflected and pondered on the amazing breakthroughs that I watched God do in the past. I meditate on those moments when I saw the Almighty God overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, defy physics, counter man’s systems and perform a miracle.
Now here comes a hard truth. While you’re in the standing, the enemy does not want you to win.
No if’s and’s or but’s.
The enemy wants to keep you from realizing the breakthrough and fulfilling the calling and purpose God has for you.
The enemy will scrutinize you.
The enemy will attempt to pick apart everything you do.
The enemy will oppose you, try to trip you up, try to cause you to fail, try to get you to fumble and give up on the vision God has placed in your heart.
When we’re walking through a season of trial or challenge, often it will seem we’re in the fourth-quarter and the adversary has a double-digit lead. It can feel like we’ve struggled the first three quarters of the game to earn and defend the small victories we’ve gained so far.
Our own shortcomings will get thrown in our face by the enemy.
The enemy may tell us that we are not worthy or good enough for a breakthrough, or perhaps God is just too busy to care or listen. The enemy will use every cheap trick to erode our faith and teardown our morale to shrink our confidence in the might and promises of God.
The enemy is constantly looking for reasons to accuse us. These accusations bring a sense of legalism. And legalism leads to guilt and shame which grow and morph into bondage.
This bondage eventually causes us to become constrained and limited. Constrained in our passion and drive; limited in our faith and belief.
Don’t worry about how long the trial seems to last or how much time you think you’ve lost or may have even wasted.
If God needs to take you into overtime for you to see the victory and manifestation of your breakthrough, then that’s what He will do. In fact, it is in the overtime moments that our character is tested, our hearts refined and faith strengthened. In overtime, we’re stretched beyond what we thought we could give.
In overtime, we are forced to surrender every bit, that we have left, to God.
It is here we make our stand.
When the season of trial seems to go into overtime and we’ve used up every resource and asset…stand.
Stand and remember what God has done before, remember how He came through and made a way when there seemed to be no way.
When you’re in overtime…stand.