“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
In verse 13 the apostle says that we need the whole armor of God so that we are able to stand firm and resist the enemy “on the evil day.” This is a reference to times when the enemy uses situations—or seasons—in an attempt to discourage, tempt, deceive, or accuse you.
These are the “evil days,” and if we are not equipped with the full armor of God and operating in his strength, then we will be defeated.
This defeat isn’t permanent, but it is painful. Very painful. And it is painful not just for you, but also for the people around you. Your defeat does not affect just you. That is why Paul says “having done everything, to stand firm.”
In order to stand firm against the enemy, especially in those situations when we are being targeted, we must be strong in the Lord. That means be humble, mentally tough, alert, trained, and equipped with God’s armor. This is the pathway to victory.
Here is what does not work. Being self-centered, mentally weak, distracted and not paying attention, untrained/unprepared, and lacking in key pieces of God’s armor. This is the pathway to painful defeat. As followers of Christ, we are in the arena every day. We are in the battle. Let us trust in our God, stand firm, and hold our point.
The prophet Jeremiah was a faithful and strong man of God. He was constantly engaged with the evil forces (and people) of his time. Though he didn’t do it often, Jeremiah sometimes got a little whiny. Out of frustration, he wanted to know why the Lord allowed evil to prosper. Given the wickedness he was surrounded with, this is certainly understandable.
However, take note of the Lord’s response. “If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses?” (Jeremiah 12.5)
In essence, God says to Jeremiah: What are you going to do when it gets worse? If these kinds of things disrupt you, if your faith is challenged and you are upset and you cry out to me and ask these questions, what are you going to do when it gets worse? What are you going to stand on then? If you have been running with the men on foot and have gotten tired, then what are you going to do when you have to run against horses?
If we can’t cope with the current challenges and wickedness that surround us, we will have a very difficult time responding to the even more difficult obstacles coming in the future.
In what area of your life do you need to be stronger? Where in your life do you need to hold your ground and stand against the enemy? In what part of your spiritual life do you need greater strength and endurance?
Are you prepared to compete with the horses?