Having Done All, To Stand
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13
There are few things more difficult to resist than the compelling, passionate word of a trusted source who means well, but is sorely misinformed in their thinking and understanding. I have a friend of many years who is a marginal believer but not one well versed in the Scriptures and claims no personal knowledge of the Holy Spirit. That said, I do trust this person’s academic knowledge and wisdom in many things because he is highly intelligent and is a respected professional in his field. However, when it comes to matters of Biblical understanding and revelation in the knowledge of God he oft times will take a position that is directly opposed to the Word of God. In such times I find myself questioning my belief on those matters and have from time to time wrestled with my own position that it might be wrong.
But, then I hear that “still small voice” inside of me ask the question, “Whose report will you believe?” Though I may believe the Word of God is clear on the subject, there are even some Bible scholars who have opposing views on this thing or that. What is the answer?
This is where having a clear understanding of the truth is so vital. Truth is not changing, relative, or capricious. It is not one thing today and another tomorrow. We’ve all heard the reports over the years that product “X” is healthy for us today and two months later we hear, “Studies have shown that product “X” causes this disease or another in laboratory animals.” Or we hear that some artificially manufactured product is superior to one that has been naturally grown and/or produced and consumed for thousands of years. Then later someone else discovers that was wrong, so then we hear the original product is the best for good health. Water is good; water is bad. Eggs are good; eggs are bad. Butter is good; margarine is better. Oh! Sorry! Margarine is bad; butter is good. The debate goes on…
Nevertheless, the Word of God stands sure. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We can stand firm and sure on His Word and not be swayed by every wind of doctrine.
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive…” Ephesians 4:14
The world will never of its own accord, seek to understand the ways of God, nor will they submit to it, though it is made known to them. This is why the Scriptures tell us not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds that we may prove what is the good, perfect and acceptable will of God.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2
My behavior, the choices I make in life and all my actions are first considered in what I think. What I believe in my heart will drive my words and, therefore my actions for good or for bad. What I hear particularly from someone I respect and trust has the potential to greatly influence what I think, and therefore what I ultimately believe.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
“Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.” Mark 4:24
The lies of the devil are rarely blatant and obvious. They tend to creep in a little at a time, a little compromise here, a little doubt there. A little word spoken in opposition to God’s truth, may, of itself seem harmless, but if not checked immediately it will over time keep growing until in results in doubt and confusion, then ultimately open rebellion against God.
Now the true Word will always set us free from false thinking, false doctrine, false interpretation and deceitful use of the Word of God. The truth is life giving, not life demeaning. The truth is freeing, not enslaving.
When we stand on the Word of God we are standing on the truth and from that position we will never be shaken. If being faithful in little leads to mastery over much, then doubt in a little leads ultimately to enslavement to much. (Luke 16:10-12)
The choice of life in Jesus Christ without compromise, or of death in the world without a Savior is ours to make. Now, having made the choice for life in Jesus Christ we are sustained by the work of the Holy Spirit leading us into all truth. As well meaning and sincere as people may be, that does not mean that their words are greater than the immutable, unchanging Word of God. No man will ever be more loving, more merciful, more gracious, more fair or more just than God. Though, some would present themselves to be so.
The world may call us foolish for serving the Lord, but we can bear their ridicule because we know Whom we have believed and are persuaded that He is able to keep us and those we commit to Him to the end. (1Timothy 1:12)
Therefore, we can say this to the world.
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that wereon the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
None of us are perfect and none are without sin. We who follow Christ are blessed to be in the process of being transformed into His image by the work of the Holy Spirit in us. So, we judge no man, but we stand firm on the truth that has been revealed to us.
Blessed is the man*...
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, But arelike the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” Psalm 1:1-6
*all humankind, male and female