If we are going to ‘stand our ground,’ as Christians, then we need to recognize what it is we are meant to be standing up to: ‘Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes’ (.v11). The Christian life is not a passive life – it involves ‘standing up’ to the devil’s schemes. ‘The devils schemes’ can also be translated to mean ‘craftiness’.
Paul uses this same word, ‘craftiness’, in Ephesians 4:14: ‘Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.’ In this verse Paul stresses the importance of growing up and maturing as a Christian – no longer being shaken every week by every little problem or scheme which comes against you.
Unfortunately, there are people today who listen to television, watch movies, read books and talk with friends, but they cannot discern when something begins to move away from the truth contained within the Bible. However, a mature believer we will not allow themselves to be tricked or led astray by false teaching, by momentary pleasure – or other forms of craftiness.
Here is one of three things which will help us to mature as Christians and stand up to the devil’s schemes:
① wear all of the armor
How can we stand against the devil’s schemes? By putting on the whole armor of God explains Paul (v.13). It is vital that we wear all of the armor God has given us, and not just some of it. If we don’t use all of the equipment God has given to us, then Satan will attack us at some unguarded place. Christians can sometimes become complacent, and they fall into the trap of thinking they don’t need a certain piece of armor – they have that area of their life sorted. But have you ever noticed that when the great men and women in the Bible sinned, they always fell in the areas of their greatest strength?
□ Abraham’s greatest strength was his faith – this is where he failed. He lied about his wife (Genesis 12:10-20).
□ Moses’ was the meekest man on earth. But he lost his temper and hit the rock instead of speaking to it – then he took the credit for producing the water (Numbers 20:7-12).
□ Peter had plenty of courage. Enough to get out of the boat and walk on water towards Jesus. But his greatest failure was when he denied Jesus three times, in order to save himself (Matthew 26:69-75).
□ David was known for his integrity. He was known as a man after God’s own heart. But that was the very place where he failed. He moved into a double life (2 Samuel 11).
When you begin to believe that you have conquered a certain area of your life – you then forget to seek God for protection in that area – and that is the moment that Satan finds an unprotected spot and attacks. He often begins by getting the thin end of the wedge into your thinking – and then, little by little he taps away until those thoughts are big enough to cause you to crumble. Prayer and journaling are not religious traditions – they are part of the armor of God, and they help us to stand strong and stable during the course of our lives.
REMEMBER: You need a firm knowledge of the fact that God has removed all your past failures, if you are going to fight those feelings of guilt that Satan tries to place on your shoulders.
REMEMBER: You need to value and maintain your integrity if you want God to raise you up into positions of leadership and influence.