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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

When I was a little girl, I remember being at a friend’s house playing on their big tree swing. Her dad would lift us up, up, up in the air, and we would swing so high that I really thought I could touch the clouds. It was exhilarating. I loved every minute of it, and I always felt a little disappointment when my turn was over. On one occasion, as my turn on the swing was coming to an end, and I was preparing to dismount, I lost my balance. As I was jumping off of the swing I ended up slipping and flinging my body into an uncomfortable position. When I landed, the wind was knocked out of me. I had never experienced the wind being knocked out of me before. It was a complete shock to my system, and I struggled to get back up on my feet. Breathing was challenging for those few frightening minutes and standing, difficult. Eventually I was able to calm down, the fear dissipating as I started to get my breathing back under control.

When hard things hit us from out of nowhere, and when we find ourselves straggling along for air, it is nearly impossible to stay on our feet. While we’re flying along on the tree swing of life, our enemy would love nothing more than to knock the wind out of us and watch us crumble to the ground. And he’ll use all kinds of tactics to do just that. Our children, our spouses, power outages, water challenges, no Internet connection (right when you need it the most), circumstances that have our backs against the wall, our core fears – literally anything and everything he can find to turn into a weapon against us.

Most of the time, I am discovering, it’s not the grandiose that the enemy uses to make us lose our footing. Typically, it’s the many little things that start unraveling and fall into pieces that become the catalyst for our demise. He uses the everyday and the ordinary to knock us off balance and take our breadth away.

I think he delights most in taking shots at our core fears: those oftentimes unspoken concerns that we turn into non-negotiables in our lives. At least, I know this is true for me.

As much as I would like to think that I can somehow rationalize what is happening to me, the truth is that the battle I am fighting – and perhaps the battle you are engaged in right now – has absolutely nothing to do with the every day and the ordinary, but it is truly a spiritual battle.

Every hindrance that impedes progress in our attempt to obey God is the enemy working overtime to pull our feet out from underneath us.

Every time those things that are dearest to us are suddenly threatened and attacked as we continue to walk forward is the enemy’s secret weapon to discourage and dismantle our faith.

The enemy wants to knock the wind out of us and watch us fall.

And we must take our stand.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13

This isn’t some spooky, look-for-the-devil-under-every-rock kind of warning that Paul is giving to us. It is a sound mind, eyes alert, be watchful and prepared, someone-sees-you-swinging-and-is-getting-ready-to-knock-you-off-your-feet word of wisdom and exhortation to anyone who professes to be a Christ follower.

Paul instructs us to be strong in the Lord, and in his mighty power. Paul knows that we are unable to handle the hard things that the enemy will use to bring us down. When we are staring at insurmountable obstacles, when that which is most precious to us is threatened, or when our bodies are weary, and we wrestle with the everyday and ordinary challenges before us, we struggle hard to stand firm. And so Paul reminds us, before he challenges us, to find our strength in the Lord.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have fallen over the past several weeks. My heart and my flesh fail time and time again. And yet, God picks me back up, helps me find my footing, and reminds me to lean on him and his strength. My friends, we cannot fight our battles on our own. Our flesh is bound to fail. When we are weary we become a prime target of the enemy. Standing our ground may be as simple as choosing to stay when everything inside of us wants to go running away, choosing to hold on even when our hands are blistered and the rope begins to burn, choosing to lift our eyes to Jesus who is the strength of our hearts.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

We are bound to mess it up, fall down and get the wind knocked out of us. But we don’t have to stay there. Jesus is very near. He has not abandoned us to this battle. He is fighting for us, and is constantly with us. So let us hold fast to his promises and take our place in this battle.

Let us take our stand.

Stand our ground.




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4 Responses to “stand”

  1. Moira price says:

    Mom and I love all the post. Thank you for keeping us updated on your journey,

    We continue to pray for you and the family.
    Queen Mom and Princess Moira.

  2. Tammy Slater says:

    Excellent word for ALL of us, whether we are facing challenges on the mission field, or at home (on our personal mission field) we need to clothe ourselves each day to do battle…..even in the little things!

  3. Jonette says:

    Great illustration! Thank you for sharing. I’m with you.

  4. Mary Denison says:

    thank you for this, so relevant to my journey right now…..John’s eye sight took another hit and so I am back on support duty …..appreciate prayer for his eyes improvement as I keep you in mine. Because of all the postings, I at times feel I am there with you all and I am in the Spirit. Blessings, Amy…..and remember “for such a time as this!”

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