Stand up and be courageous

Ephesians 6:13 exhorts, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” 2 Corinthians 10:4 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” Many are writing with one question on their mind: “You say ‘Enough is Enough’, and that we need to take action, but what specifically can we do?” Many feel helpless to stand in the breech against the forces of evil that label you from the contents of their dark hearts. You need to first have a relationship with God through Christ. That is the start. It is more than just believing. It is knowing, personal, understanding. It’s deep.

We are all works in progress. No matter how close we think we are with the Lord, we can get closer. We need to be able to listen and learn from the Lord, in order to be guided by the Holy Spirit to do his will. Standing during this time may well be different for me than it is for you. The Lord has gifted me with the ability to write and communicate. He may have given you the gift of hospitality or effective prayer. Now this is not saying that we all only have one gift. We may have many. I love to write, and I also love to help my wife with her loving gift of hospitality. She can write too, but she can really care for people. This is just an example. When we have folks to our home, we often talk about the condition of the world—from a Christ-centered viewpoint. In other words, we don’t have to just exercise one gift, but as many as the Lord gives us.

Part of standing up is having your house in order. Do you have a relationship with the Lord? Are you taking time to be with the Lord in your daily walk? Do you study his Word? Is your house in order? Is there peace or chaos? Are you able to keep the peace? Being able to withstand the evil of the day requires spiritual, physical and mental strength and conditioning. Like an athlete preparing for competition, the mind, body, spirit and soul must be aligned to excel—this is even before taking the field of competition. In other words, how are you to influence others effectively if you are not adequately prepared? Yes, the athlete must work with his teammates in order to win victory, but that work is not effective unless the athlete is ready to go.

Understanding the heart of the Lord is important. He didn’t jam his deity down people’s throats. He didn’t force people. He spoke truth in love. You can speak truth without escalating a bad situation. But you need to know the Lord’s way. Knowing when a kind word will turn away wrath, and when to hit the mark with a swift arrow of truth. This doesn’t mean picking verses out of the Bible and making them fit your argument, or calling others sinners. It means creating relationships based on the principles of Christ. Our country didn’t arrive in this sour state overnight, and we are not going to be able to change it overnight, if at all. We are, however, asked to overcome evil with good. The Holy Spirit will direct your standing if you are willing to hear and obey. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Put on your armor of light. Stand up! Be courageous!

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Bill Wilson

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