Sozo Short Bible Studies – Category #5 – Standing & Outreach
This Short Study will look at the concept of “Standing” and help us to examine whether or not we have ourselves, as Christians, done all to “Stand,” for ourselves as well as on behalf of one another. We will also reflect on Paul’s remarks telling us, “stand therefore,” that we might understand and embrace what that means to us today.
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.” – Ephesians 6:14 (KJV)
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” – Ephesians 6:18 (KJV)
STANDING, OR HAVE WE DONE ALL TO STAND?
By Pastor G. E. Newmyer
Some confuse Standing with running, faith with fear, and defeat with victory, all of which happens when we are moved by the event, rather than understanding the purpose of the event. Before we can “Stand” for others, we must ourselves, be able to Stand. Really, it seems easier to stand for others, than for ourselves; but the process demands for us to first stand for ourselves in order to be effective in standing for others (Eph 6:10-14).
Whenever we find a premise in the Bible, we must also find the example before we venture off with a self-imposed concept. We can use a God-centered principle, but in an ungodly manner. Whenever we get an idea regarding Scripture, we need to make sure it’s what the Scripture says. Natural reasoning counterfeits revelation; and a desire to have some knowledge that no one else has, produces rebellion, not revelation.
We must be able to “check and balance” what we think are “Godly premises, principles, and sayings,” especially when we find ourselves stretching a verse to the breaking point to make our theory fit. Simply because we think something works is no guarantee that our method or intent is based in God. Witchcraft works; it’s why witches use it (Acts 16:16). The power of the world works; and we all have used it at one time.
Our choices must line up with our decision or our choice will turn against us. If we made a commitment and decision not to use the power of the world, yet we make a choice to use the power anyway at some point, the same power will turn against us the second we begin to use it.
Someone in the world will use the power of the world and it seems to work for them; but what about us? In so doing, we find Destruction. Why? For those in the world, their decision and choice lined up in their mind, however, “the end thereof,” is death. With us, when we still use the things of the world we find that, all of sudden, it seems to turn on us. This is good news, because the evidence shows that the New Man is doing a house cleaning, bringing us into the methods of Christ.
Standing with God: This does have to do with “Standing” because we can’t stand with God if we use the ways of the world. Paul tells us to put on the whole Armor of God (Eph 6:11 & 6:13); but do we place the act with the premise? Or do we run off barking at the moon? He also tells us, “having done all to Stand, Stand therefore” (Eph 6:14). Have we done all to Stand? At times we want to jump over the first “Stand” then go into battle; but the premise is for us to stand correctly in the Lord. Are we trying to put the Armor of God on “the self” or are we using the Armor of God to defend some self-based concept?
Paul listed four elements pertaining to the “wiles of the devil.” In each case the same letter defines what those elements are (Eph 6:12): “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Principalities: Principalities are “places”; a prince is known by the principality he represents (Eph 6:12). For instance, there is the prince of the power (authority) of the air, the same spirit working in the children of disobedience (Eph 2:2-3). However, Jesus is the Prince of Peace, showing the a principality in the Kingdom is Peace; yet being a principality means it’s part of the Kingdom, not all the Kingdom. If we presume that we war against all principalities, does it mean we war against Peace? No, James tells us the fruit of Righteousness is sown in peace (James 3:18). Have we done all to stand?
The Law of Moses is also a Principality; it’s not the nation, it’s not the city; but it does have authority and power as a place of operation. How then would we war against the Law of Moses? This would be by doing the Law of the Spirit. The Greek word for Principality is “Arche,” which is also translated as “Beginning,” as in the Beginning of the Gospel. Do we war against the Gospel? Have we done all to stand?
Titus is a letter of instruction; and within the letter we find Paul telling Titus to teach us to submit to Principalities (Titus 3:1): “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.”
How do we fight a principality, yet submit? Paul told the Colossians that the Principality of the Law of Moses and the power of the Ten Commandments were nailed to the Cross (Col 2:14-16 & Eph 2:14–15). We had better find out what some of these things pertain to as well as how to Stand. Have we done all to stand?
Minding the Spirit: It’s clear we need to understand the method of standing for and against in the Kingdom, as well as how this differs from the world’s concepts. In the world it’s always the biggest gun that wins the battle against guns, but not so in the Kingdom. In the Kingdom we find that if we mind the Spirit, the battle is over, before it begins. Have we done all to stand?
Are we attempting to put the middle partition back up, after Jesus has removed it (Eph 2:14)? “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” Do we keep things in proper Order? Do we allow the world to be the world? Or do we attempt to make the world the kingdom? Do we attempt to pick bits and pieces from the Law of Moses to gain some favor from God? Have we done all to Stand?
Powers: Powers are anything with power; for instance, has anger controlled us? Yes. Has greed? Without question. Emotions out of control will speak for us, cause us to act, guide us, and use us; they are a Power.
The rulers of the darkness of this world are things energized by disobedience ruling the soul of a person. The rulers are defined for us; they include corrupt communication (Eph 4:29), allowing anger to guide and instruct us (Eph 4:26), evil speaking (speaking against the brethren – Eph 4:31), bitterness, wrath, foolish talking and such (Eph 4:31 & 5:4). Are we still using these? Or allowing them to use us? Have we done all to Stand?
Spiritual Wickedness: Spiritual wickedness can only happen in high places, not “the highest” (Eph 6:12 & 3:10). The word Wickedness is the Greek “Poneria” meaning Iniquity; thus spiritual wickedness is not some spiritual being wicked, it’s when we fail to be spiritual (Eph 1:17-23). Have we done all to stand?
Have we taken some attribute of God, and then made an idol out of it? Have we forgotten that all things are under the feet of Jesus (Eph 1:22)? The anointing is required, but have we made a god of it? The glory is within, but have we made an idol of it? Have we elevated someone or something higher than God has? Have we done all to stand?
We can even make the mistake of elevating Adam to some supper god realm. Adam was made to remain in the Garden; but it was Adam’s failure causing him to fall. He was a living soul, not a quickening spirit. Have we done all to Stand?
Decisions regarding Spiritual Warfare: We know the day will come when we will get serious about all this and then we will make the decision to engage in Warfare. However, we have choices to make regarding the decision such as the weapons we will use or where we fight the battle, which are just two.
For instance, some talk about a “holy war”, yet it’s flesh and blood against flesh and blood; to us that premise is sin, not holiness. Our attitude in warfare is, “who the real enemy is.” Paul never said we war against the “devil”; he said we war against the “wiles” (ways) of the devil (Eph 6:11). Jesus destroyed (made ineffective) him who had (past tense) the power of death, who is the devil (Heb 2:14). If the devil is ineffective in the kingdom, then he is ineffective; so it’s the wiles of the devil producing the problem.
We can war against the devil 24 hours a day, yet use the wiles of the devil to do it. However, we also know we can “give place to the devil” (Eph 4:27); we do so by using the wiles of the devil, which in turn grieves the Holy Spirit of Promise we are sealed by (Eph 1:13, 4:30-32). Have we done all to stand?
The biggest battle we will face is perhaps the most important, “be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you” (Eph 4:32). We do it by “understanding the Will of the Lord, be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled (in excess) with the Spirit (Holy Spirit); speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart unto the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 5:17-20). Is this Difficult? At times, some event appears anything but good, yet the will of the Lord is to give Thanks for All Things.
We must also define elements as they are defined in the Scriptures; what is the purpose of standing? So we can run off feeling superior? No, when we have done all to stand, we stand therefore, for the rest of the Body. Since Paul wrote this, what was his prayer request? “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel” (Eph 6:19). Where else do we see this type of warfare? Peter and John were going to Temple when they came across a man by the gate beautiful (Acts 3:1-3). We know the story; the man was healed and then he ran through the temple, causing the religious leaders to have a fit. Instead of one Jesus, now they had a house full, all doing the same things Jesus did.
Peter and John returned to the group after they did all to stand, the group prayed, “Lord Behold their threatenings…” (Acts 4:29). Some of us finish the prayer with, “make them humble Lord, make them pay.” Not these people, they continued with, “and grant unto Your servants with all boldness they may speak Your word” (Acts 4:29), the same thing Paul requested. So is speaking all they wanted? No, “by stretching forth Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done by the Name of Your holy child Jesus.”
It would seem strange to pray to Jesus, and then use the third person calling Him a “child,” especially when they used the Greek “Pais.” This means a servant, usually one who is servant to a king, rather than the King, unless they were talking about themselves, since the context is the “Name” which is their Authority. Their prayer was in line with Paul’s concept of warfare which was to use the things of God by the Spirit and not the wiles of the enemy.
Armor of God: What about the Armor? “Oh yeah, get the sword and hack them up.” No, not at all, we begin with Truth and preach the Truth in love; yet there are those who lie in wait to deceive (Eph 4:14). We do not war “as them”; rather we speak words of Grace to the hearer. The wording “lie in wait” is the same Greek word translated as Wiles; it’s the Greek “Methodeia,” which is only used twice and both times in Ephesians. To “lie in wait” is to make plans before hand in order to trap someone by the use of deceit, usually involving slander or using a question to lead someone into a place where the hidden trap waits, much like the religious rulers did to Jesus. Thus Jesus correctly said that they would do the lusts of their father the devil. We’ve all had someone ask a question wherein we found they could care less about the answer; their question was a means to lead us into a place where they could trap us.
Are we blown about by every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14)? The winds of doctrine pertain to the outward edges of the doctrine or twisting the doctrine to mean something which it does not. An example would be First Timothy 5:22, where the young pastor was told “not to lay hands suddenly no man.” The warning was to be careful who we ordain to Help or Elders; it had nothing to do with people laying hands on us. A “wind of doctrine” would be using the “lay hands” aspect, but twisting the concept to “watch who lay hands on you.” Have we done all to stand?
Which Righteousness?: There are questions the good soldier must ask themselves, such as, which Righteousness do we stand with? Righteousness is the ability to stand before the Lord, “for through Him (Jesus) we both have access by One Spirit unto the Father” (Eph 2:18).
“In whom (Jesus) we have boldness and access with confidence by the Faith of Him” (Eph 3:12). Are we attempting to use self-righteousness as our scepter? Have we done all to stand?
Our feet are shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace; the word “Preparation” is the Greek “Hetoimasia” meaning readiness, “in whom you trusted, after you heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation: in whom also after you Believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph 1:13); with, “And you put on the New Man (Spirit of promise) which after God is created in Righteousness and True Holiness” (Eph 4:24). Have we done all to stand?
The shield of faith, which is always able to quench (take the fire out) the fiery darts of “the Wicked” (Eph 6:16); with, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, or carried about by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph 4:14). Paul continues with, “Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ” (Eph 4:19-20). Have we done all to stand?
The Helmet of Salvation, “you heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation” (Eph 1:13); with, “In whom we have redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His Grace” (Eph 1:7); “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the Gift of the Grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His Power” (Eph 3:7); “And what is the exceeding greatness of His Power to us-ward who believe according to the working of His Mighty Power” (Eph 1:19). Have we done all to stand?
The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word (Rhema) of God (Eph 6:17); “let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, so it may minister Grace to the hearers” (Eph 4:29); “grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph 4:30); “but speaking the truth in love“ (Eph 4:15). Have we done all to stand? If so, then we can stand for others.
All these examples show us the mystery; the Holy Spirit refers to the New Man, thus we find the title “Holy Spirit” used seven times in the entire Bible showing us that the New Man in us takes us on the path to completeness. The use of the title in the Old Testament pointed to the New, thus Peter and Paul make reference showing the prophets of Old spoke “of” the Spirit of Christ which we are privy to (II Pet 1:20-21, Eph 4:30 & Isa 6310-11).
Three areas of Warfare: There are three areas of warfare relating to fighting the good fight of faith: we war to become spiritual, we war to maintain in the spiritual, and last, there are those who war against the spiritual. This last area of warfare is conducted by the Wicked, but it still involves us, especially when we’re the targets of their warfare.
When someone prays “against people” or makes people the enemy, they are engaging in spiritual wickedness. If they project their will into the lives of others, they are engaged in witchcraft. “Wow, do you mean we can’t pray for people?” It’s not what is being said here; rather, if we pray “against others” or attempt to make them do as we desire, to please our emotions, then this would be a far cry from “praying for someone.”
It’s the Lord’s desire for all be saved, thus a prayer in line with the will of the Lord is not witchcraft; however, when we twist the concept, attempting to get the Lord to make someone do something we want them to, it becomes witchcraft on our part. “Well I did, and it worked, so the Lord must have answered my prayer.” No, it worked because witchcraft works on the natural minded which is why witches use it.
Praying out of order: There are two problems arising when we pray “out of order”; first we bring about the wrong type of warfare (James 4:1-4). Second we give the devil place (Eph 4:27,) not only in the lives of others, but in ours. Perhaps this is why some have to “Bind” everything in sight every day; but in the process, they keep “loosing darkness” every day.
The Guidance of the Holy Spirit: The first two areas, of becoming spiritual or remaining spiritual, bring us into the decision process, establishing us in the position. We put on the New Man, yet we put on the Armor of God; thus they are one in the same, since the attributes of one are the same as the other. We made a decision to enter this, but we must know when to speak and when not to. There are times when need to simply submit or allow things to run their course. There are times to speak; thus the Holy Spirit is fully able to guide us. We must become aware of the “elements” we use; thus, not only do we desire to have the Holy Spirit of Promise in fullness, but we desire not to “grieve the Holy Spirit.”
The Corinthians had the Spirit, but failed to be spiritual (I Cor 3:1-3 & 3:16). Church history shows that they never did accept the teachings of Paul or those of the disciples of Paul. After a few years, they were no more, not Raptured; but they became so ineffective that they disappeared in the waves of the “Sea.”
God is not going to give us the Spirit so we can remain carnal; the Spirit won’t leave us, but if we remain carnal, we place a barrier or partition between us and the Spirit, thereby grieving the Holy Spirit and causing Him to turn to be our enemy. Jesus said it was possible to choke the Word out of us, which means to push it aside. However, as long as we are reaching for the spiritual things of God, the spiritual things of God will find us.
Since we are priests, we find that this area of “Standing” is one of our priestly duties as we minister in prayer for the brethren. Our prayers are a type of sacrifice; we as priests offer up gifts, sacrifices, and offerings. As strange as it seems, this Warfare is within the Body and there are those who lie in wait to deceive, those who bring the winds of doctrine. Have you ever been belittled by someone in church? Have you ever had someone vent their anger or manipulation on you? What weapon should we use? “Ah…Ya.. Hit them with a big log.” Well, No; because that would be the same method they used. “OK, should we write some real nasty books about them?” No; that would also be the same method they used. “How about make tapes and mock them.” No, again that sort of thing would be the same method they used. “Should we hold John 7 meetings to get even?” No… it’s the same method they used.
Speaking the Truth in Love: We are to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). Yes, the Sword of the Spirit, the Rhema words of Grace coming from us for edifying, rather than using the corrupt communication which they used (Eph 4:30-32).
What does “To Stand” really mean?: With this we must know what the word “Stand” means, what we Stand against as well as how we Stand (against elements). We must do so by using the Premise and Examples given in the Bible, rather than use presumption. The power of the dragon works, but it doesn’t mean we should use it. Witchcraft works, but it doesn’t mean we should use it. Many things work and they are supposed to. Even the Law of Moses works, but are we supposed to use it?
Some love to show the devil they have Power; but in the process they are turning stones into bread, casting themselves down to prove that the angels will hold them up. Using wicked means to arrive at what they think is a Godly result, is out of order. Eve had “knowledge” after she took of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; so did it work? There was a result, but it doesn’t mean it was Godly.
The hardest thing to keep in mind in all this, is knowing that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood (Eph 6:12). The moment we assume some person is our enemy, we are in war against flesh and blood; causing us to use carnal weapons, thereby giving place to the devil. The battlefield for those in darkness is flesh and blood; it’s not our battlefield. If we are praying from a position of war against flesh and blood, we will cause a war; James says we have entered the place of adultery since we are praying from a lust (James 4:1-4).
The Tares: The word Wrestle means Hand to Hand combat; yet if we are in hand to hand combat with the devil we are standing far too close to him. If Paul’s context is a hand to hand combat, yet we are separated from the devil, he must be pointing to something connected, yet separated from the devil. This combat is something so close we can touch it, something within our grasp. Since his context is within the Body, we find there those who use the wiles of the enemy, are the tares in our field of Wheat.
The better point: Why would we put on The Armor to begin with? Would this be so we can strut down the street or so we can boast in ourselves? Some of this becomes clearer when we keep it in context; for example, the natural weapon for those who lie in wait, is the “wile of corrupt communication,” the same temptation which promotes tares in others (Eph 4:17-18, 4:23, 4:25 & 4:29). So which weapons should we use? “Speak the Truth in Love” and let your words be Grace unto the hearer, put off the old “conversation” by making the choice to put on the New, use the Sword of the Spirit which is the Rhema of God. Instead of walking in the “vanity of” the mind, we are to walk “in love” (Eph 4:17 & 5:2). The world counters the lie by saying it’s a lie; we counter the lie by bringing the Truth. The world accuses others to make a point; but, we forgive to make a better one.
One thing standing out in the three attacks of the devil against Jesus is the question, “If you are…” The old man will question our position, challenge it or ignore it. Those who listen to darkness, seek fault; but they always seem to begin their questions with “If.” If you believe, then do this or that. Did Jesus ignore the devil? No. Did Jesus react? No, He responded. Jesus is always our example; we can either follow Him, or presume He should follow us.
Those who have yet to overcome the old man will speak from the position of the old man, showing that the old man is the “wile carrier” for the enemy. Their intent is still envy-based; thus they send darts at us.
However, we will find them coming against the devil; but they also use pride, ego, and arrogance. Yet we find that they don’t come against the wiles of the enemy, they use them.
One can say all sorts of things about the devil while using the devils wiles to do it. They come up with all sorts of “If’s”; “If it’s so, what about”, or “If Jesus said it, what about”; these are not in the area of Wondering. They are debating issues, but they are also speaking of things they know nothing of.
Some ask to know, others ask to bring us into the area where they want to control the debate. Cultists use a form of questioning to narrow the field down to their topic of conversation. Some seek information, some could care less what the Truth is, and they want to bring the conversation into one area of debate. The method defines the source because when anyone uses questions to trap, they are of the wrong spirit.
So, are those people our enemies? No; it’s the methods they use and we combat the method to save the person. Some of us think that cult members are the enemy and so off we go in battle to “tell them a thing or two.” The result? They get bigger, because of the use of carnal weapons, which in turn empowers them. Everything produces after its own kind and carnal produces carnal.
Upon what we “Stand”: If we are going to Stand, we must determine upon what we stand. One can have right standing in a court of law, but it doesn’t give them a better place in line at the restaurant. We must look at our foundation; our feet can be shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace or are they covered with fear, or hate? If our feet are shod with the preparation for the Gospel of Peace, where are we standing? Could we be on someone’s head, on the Sand, on fear, or on some “destroying mountain”?
Building on The Rock: We have the right shoes; but what are we standing on? We can build on the Sand or the Rock. If we build on traditions, we won’t be able to stand in the time of adversity. If we build on “self-based works,” we are won’t be able to stand. If we build on the “old nature” we won’t be able to stand. If we build on imaginations or high things, we will refuse to stand. But if we build on the Rock, we will stand in the face of adversity.
Strongholds: Paul listed three other areas of warfare in other letters and “strongholds” is an area not listed in Ephesians, but nonetheless, a place of warfare. Strongholds are mental in nature and usually fable based. They could fit into the category of Traditions, or heresy, or winds of doctrine. A wind of doctrine promotes excitement for the moment, but no meat and usually the excitement is short lived at best. It causes the person to run from meeting to meeting in order to get the feeling, “God was there!” Great! But is He in you?
Strongholds come against the knowledge of God; they are self-based, seeking a way to avoid the call or seeking to control the call. We battle these by casting down imaginations, which would equate to putting off the old man and his ways. We must bring them into captivity (bind, keep from expanding) to the Obedience of Christ, which would be putting on the New Man. Then we have in readiness to revenge all disobedience, when our obedience is fulfilled (II Cor 10:5-6). How do we revenge the disobedience? It would be by our obedience being fulfilled.
We find that the Bible defines itself, but without interpreting itself. Paul used a Parenthetical Phrase in II Corinthians 10:4 regarding strongholds, but defined them in II Corinthians 10:5 showing that a Stronghold is mental in nature. If it’s the case, then the wiles of the devil are also mental in nature.
Strongholds are formed by Imaginations, High Things (proud) coming against the knowledge of God or wild thoughts, not based in obedience. A stronghold can be something like assuming that having a dress code is holiness, or having a revelation which they think that the Body isn’t ready for, or having some element making the person believe that they are better than the entire Body of Christ.
A stronghold is deceptive, it can hold the premise wherein we think it is belief, when in truth, it is unbelief or doubt. We can form an imagination or accept a doctrinal premise without examination. Then in holding on to the stronghold, anything in reference to the fable must match it or we cast it off.
We can be on solid ground regarding a principle, yet hold a stronghold regarding another. Strongholds are two way filters; they will filter everything coming at us and everything coming from us. If the teaching doesn’t match the stronghold, we will reject it without considering whether or not it is Truth. How many times have we heard, “the gift of salvation”? or “the whore of Babylon”; yet we know those are fables. (There is nothing in Scripture which states that the free gift is salvation; but we do see much regarding Grace being The Free Gift and that is given unto salvation.)
Once a stronghold is in place, it’s enforced by the strongman; and rather than put him off, he is granted a position. Strongholds are faulty in nature; they may have some factual information, but they lack truth. Exposed strongholds use the rulers of darkness to defend themselves. Anger, deception, or using verses out of context, or even manipulation raises up to defend the stronghold,; but Truth defends itself.
Does Paul give us a powerful weapon which works each and every time? Yes; and it’s one we tend to forget at times. “Wherefore be not unwise, but understanding what the Will of the Lord is” (Eph 5:17). The word “Unwise” is the Greek “Aphron” meaning mindless or of the wrong mind. The word Understanding is the Greek “Suniemi “meaning “To put together.” Both of these words make sense when we read what this Weapon is.
Paul continued with the Will of the Lord, “be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 5:18-20). Paul never said, “Giving thanks for those things pleasing you” or “giving thanks when the thought impresses others”; no, it was for All Things.
We can add First Corinthians 15:57, supporting this issue and showing that our Victory comes when we give Thanks to the Lord for All things. Is it a battle? When someone is yelling at you, it most certainly is. When you know someone is playing a mind game, it most certainly is. When you have clarity, yet you are faced with someone who presumes that their little games are going undetected, it most certainly is. Paul didn’t say, “Speak into their face with songs”; rather, this is in the heart or better, “by the heart into the soul.” The concept is, to be in the Spirit, allowing the Spirit to master the soul, rather than allowing the soul to beat someone half to death with opinions.
Mercy: Those who “mind the flesh,” war against flesh and blood; thus if they don’t like us, they will war against us, they will slander, make up things. That is tough, but nonetheless, we are not to war against them in the same manner. Spitting gas on a fire is not wise; using Water (Mercy) is.
If we war against darkness, it stands that we want to be Enlightened; but it does little good to fight darkness with darkness. Paul also prayed “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the Knowledge of Him” (Eph 1:17). Again, this is not manipulation, since Paul said “may “rather than “shall.” This shows us that words mean a great deal; we can pray with a demanding attitude or with one of a servant.
Praying directly to God: Paul said we are against things; so do we come against them in a carnal fashion, as world does, or in a spiritual manner? It better be spiritual or we will end warring against the Light, rather than with it. In the entire letter of Ephesians, we never find Paul addressing the devil; he speaks of darkness, but he doesn’t address it. His prayers are to God because the devil has no place in the conversation. Speaking of the darkness and inviting it home for dinner are two different things.
Regardless of the event, we can be assured that God has provided a means where we can apply Great Mercy to obtain a Greater Mercy from Him. There is no temptation come on us which is not uncommon to man; but God has always provided a way for us to escape and the escape is by the Spirit of Christ in us (I Cor 10:13).
Righteousness of Jesus: With this we can look at the word “Stand” in context with the Righteousness of Jesus. There are many words where we find the word Stand: there is Stand By, Stand Down, Standoff, Stand Over, Standout, and others. We want to Stand, so we can Stand for ourselves by the Spirit, enabling us to Stand for others and do so righteously.
The first element is to Stand in One Place Upright, which is called a Standard. The word “Standard” in the Hebrew is “Nace”; it was used in reference to Moses holding up the brass serpent. Jesus used the event to explain the purpose of the Cross; but it doesn’t mean that Jesus is a serpent. Rather it means that Jesus made the serpents ineffective, just as the brass serpent made the serpents in the camp ineffective.
The Cross established the Body as the Doorway of entry. We “Discern the Body,” we don’t misuse it or abuse it. We Discern our position and condition in the Body; we don’t force ourselves to be the marrow if we are called to be the joint. We don’t fall into self-pity saying, “well I’m not the eye, I’m just an old foot”; nor do we fall into envy and say, “will you look at the hand, I can’t believe it.” What God does with a hand or foot is no business of the eye; and what God does with the eye is His business, not the business of the hand or foot. Before we can Stand for others, we must Stand by discerning our position and condition; and we must stop saying, “It was the church you gave me.”
Applying the Wisdom of God: The word Stand includes a Position; andour Position is based in Grace, as a secure heavenly place. We are the only people who can Stand, Walk by Faith, and Kneel all at the same time. Our Warfare is to Hold our Position by keeping our Condition and Attitude spiritual in nature, as we apply the Wisdom of God.
The real key to Standing is knowing “In Whom” we are; Jesus is above all things and all things are under His feet. Those things do not dictate what Jesus must do, should do, or has to do; they do not rule over Him, they do not cause Him to change course. The same is true with us; we don’t allow the wiles of the Wicked to deter us, to make us walk on the water to brag in our position. We don’t follow winds of doctrine or allow them to pull us from our course. We don’t abuse the Body, we don’t use the Body, we don’t misuse the Body. We Stand as Jesus stands, in Peace, Love, Grace, Mercy, and Fellowship with the Father.
Letting Love Stand: When we have to pick up the pieces of Babes who have been trodden under foot by some Wicked person, it’s hard not to form anger; but we can “be angry and sin not,” which means, we will not allow our anger to speak for us, nor will anger be our motivation or driving force. We will stand in Love; in order to let Love Stand and in order to Stand we must Stand with the Spirit. We can’t stand with the flesh expecting to win the battle. We must submit to the battle plan God has; we can’t form our own. How can we be One with Jesus, if we go about enforcing our self-nature? In order to Stand, one must be guided by what they are Standing for. Before one can Stand with Jesus, they must make the Decision to Stand as Jesus would.
There are those whose understanding is Darkened through ignorance, but we have not so learned Christ (Eph 4:17-20). We Submit to one another; the word Submit doesn’t mean slavery, it means to cease from debate, arguing, and self-serving manipulation to get our own way. If we can’t submit to those we can see, how can we submit to Him we can’t see?
In order to Stand we must Stand For Something or Someone; yet we must Stand on something. Do we stand for our own self-interests or do we Stand for God with His interests? Are we attempting to avoid the event or discern it? Are we standing to please ourselves or please God? The word Stand also means “Unmovable, while being Movable.” To Stand means to “Occupy a Certain Position, to be Fixed, to Continue, to Remain Without Injury, to Hold The Course, to Endure, to Stop one action, while doing another.”
Marriage of the Lamb: We tend to look at the Book of Ephesians as a book on marriage; and in one sense it is. But in Truth, it’s a Book on Standing to enter the Marriage of the Lamb. Paul tells us that the marriage is really a mystery regarding Christ and the Church; thus he uses the marriage as an allegory (Eph 5:32). His placement of the marriage responsibilities would seem completely out of place, if we didn’t know he was speaking of warfare. This is not to say that a marriage is warfare, although some seem to be; rather it shows that the manner of victory is based in love and submission working to become one.
Paul begins the letter by telling the Ephesians how he prayed for them; then he ends by asking for prayer (Eph 1:16-20 & 6:19). Each element of the Armor is found in his prayer life and each element is explained in his letter to them. Not only does Stand mean to maintain an Upright Position, but it means to “Assume a Standing Position,”; we can be upright, yet not standing. We Remain Stable, Valid, Intact, Unchanged, Unmovable (committed to the position), Remaining without flowing from side to side, Maintaining an Attitude of Mercy, not vengeance.
New Nature, New Character in Christ: God will not believe for us, or make our choices, but He will give us a New character and incentive to make sound choices enhancing our position. God always gives us a valid reason to believe; but the choice “to believe” is still in our hands. We make the choice to use the armor of the self or the Armor of God; and we can ask for the Wisdom of God or remain manipulative, hard, bitter, and soulish. A firm decision to stand for God in the manner in which God desires, is not easy…. but it is worth it. Selah.
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King James Version – KJV: For greater understanding of these commentaries, please use the Authorized Version of the King James Bible for confirming the Scripture passages mentioned. Please see the article, “Why KJV” by Ann M. Wolf for information regarding why we use KJV. Thank you for visiting our Sozo Short Bible Studies area.