“. . . having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)
The term ‘having done all, to stand,’ is daunting. It indicates that after we have given our all, when everything seems dark, disappointment is running wild, our emotions are frayed, we stand and keep standing.
In Acts 6 and 7, we read the story of Stephen. Being falsely accused by the religious leaders, Stephen, ignored the accusations and instead exposed the leaders’ hearts. Enraged, the leaders determined to stone him. In this hostile atmosphere, the heavens opened and Stephen saw Christ STANDING at the right hand of God. Could it be that Jesus stood as a banner, a reminder to Stephen of his purpose. Love emanating from Jesus’ fiery eyes fueled steadfastness in Stephen. He stood, having done all, he stood. Stephen stood and in response Jesus stood. Wow!
Stephen proved victorious even in death. The enemy trembles when he encounters believers that will not cower, that keep getting up, that keep standing.
In Hebrews 10:37-38 God says, “I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back (cowards).” Cowardice denotes fear, and self serving. God being good while commanding us to stand, actually makes a way for us to stand by resting in Him. Romans 14:4 reads, “And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” Standing requires that we sit; sitting in the grace of Christ afforded us. He makes us brave. We actually sit and stand at the same time – a mystery.
There is a growing opposition to the Gospel, as is expected in scripture. But as darkness tries to cover the earth, the Light of Christ in us shines brighter, drawing men unto Christ. In Ukraine, during wartime, 80 people from 5 cities attended the first PI school session last month. A former 200 member church has exploded in numbers to override pursuing God openly during wartime. Another friend in a high persecution nation is literally involved in multiplying schools across this nation. There is a cry for Jesus rising in the United States especially in the younger generations.
We are a people that lean into our God, bringing along our children and others. God makes us brave. God causes us to stand. We are NOT those that shrink back. The love of God compels us . . . No longer living for ourselves but for Him who died for us and was raised again. (1 Corinthians 5:14)