Today my reading in the Word was Ephesians chapter 6. But for I started reading that chapter I was lead there by my musing about one of my favorite drawings by my son, Christopher, who creates art under the name “muse”. The drawing is entitled, Still Stand’n. The title reminded me of some bible verses that happen to be in the same chapter I was due to read today.
Ephesian 6:10-20 tells us to put on the full armor of God in order to Stand and the little robot in the drawing, with his native spear in hand and the fresh signs of battle all over him, is declaring, “I am – Still Stand’n.”
In this busy, driven, and sometimes combative culture we live in do you sometimes feel like your in a battle? In the middle of Ephesians 6 the apostle Paul gives us these words of encouragement:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 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. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (Eph 6:10-20 ESV)
And Paul was certainly not unfamiliar with challenges and pressure:
24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. (2Co 11:24-30 ESV)
And Paul also assures us that even when we seek and even pray for the struggles to be removed, that if they are not, because of Christ we can Stand:
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2Co 12:9-10 ESV)
So may we all be reminded today, by this little robot friend, and the apostle Paul that we can Stand!