"Put on the full armor of God
so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." (Eph 6:11 NIV)
Did you notice that the first word of advice from the apostle Paul against the attacks from the "devil's schemes" is to "stand"?
According to our tour guide at the Royal Albatross Centre in Dunedin, New Zealand, this is exactly what Dr. L.E. Richdale did in 1938.
Albatross eggs are vulnerable to predators, both of the animal and of the human-kind, and because albatross can only lay one egg per year, a vandalized egg means that the next generation of albatross will be smaller in number than the current one. Dr Richdale was tired of finding albatross eggs damaged by rocks that were thrown by humans, so the next time he found an undamaged albatross egg, he set up camp next to it, watching over it day and night, until the egg hatched. And even after that glorious event, he continued to watch over the albatross hatchling. This eventually led to the protection of all albatross eggs in the albatross colony near Dunedin, and the stand Dr. Richdale took to save the albatross led to survival of the specie in his region.
We, too, fall as easy prey to the evil one, and therefore, we are told to stand. This is actually part of our fight. If there is no standing, there is no victory, and we will find ourselves deflated and discouraged.
But what does it really mean to stand?
The Greek word for "resisting" is "anthistemi" and is derived from the word "stand" "histemi". Therefore, "to stand" means to resist!
Interestingly, this advice is encouraged all over the New Testament: "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7 NIV)
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings." (1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV)
In other words, standing means to refuse to give in.
It's easy to say, but unfortunately it's hardly ever done these days. Is it possible that we have forgotten how much greater Jesus is than the evil one? "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4 NIV) Have we started doubting that He did indeed overcome the "one who is in the world"?
Remember, our only duty is to stand firm! Defeating the devil is Jesus' part!
But what do we do while we stand? We pray: "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." (Eph 6:18 NIV)
Have you noticed that in our spiritual battles, our biggest areas of weakness lie in not standing firm? In not praying? In not relying on God's Spirit and His Word? By neglecting these very things that lead to our victory, we are giving in to the devil's scheme, which is to hinder us from establishing an intimate relationship with our Creator and Saviour!
Oh yes, we live at a time in history where rushing around, huffing and puffing is the norm, where we are so busy that oftentimes we forget we even have a family! But is it possible that this is a distraction to keep us from finding time to be with God, which ultimately will lead to our victorious living?
God cannot defend the defenseless if we don't do our part. Just as a soldier is doomed if he is neither standing firm against the enemy, nor communicating with his headquarters, nor reading the messages sent from there, we are deciding our fate by not relying completely on the One who is "greater than the one who is in the world".
Would you like to stand with me? The enemy is ferocious, you know (See 1 Peter 5:8)!
Would you like some eggs for breakfast? I found some big ones just down the road!
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