When most of us think of a soldier, we often think of someone who is very physically fit and active. On TV and the big screen, a typical war movie that portrays soldiers engaged in battle, usually shows them running, shooting or yelling - doing something!
So, when we think of the believer as a soldier in the army of the Lord, we might envision the same thing - the idea of a lot of activity. But this actually isn’t the picture that Paul portrays in the book of Ephesians. In fact, before going through all the items of armour that the Christian should “put on” - the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the belt of truth etc., Paul says something most of us miss. He simply says that you put on these instruments or attire of spiritual warfare so that when the day of evil comes you may “stand your ground.” He repeats that after you do all this putting on of gear, you simply stand!
When you think about it, even the most aggressive piece of the Christian’s armour is the “sword of the Spirit” which, Paul explains, is the Word of God. It’s surprising to consider that even this “activity” involves simply speaking out God’s Word - not doing much of anything in the physical.
So often we humans want to DO something. “Don’t just stand there, DO something!” is our typical human response when trouble comes. But in some sense, the Lord is telling us through the writings of Paul the very opposite. He’s saying, “Don’t just DO something, STAND there.”
For me, one of the hardest things to do when under attack by words or actions of another is to just stand completely still and trust in God. But this is exactly what God says in the description of the “Christian soldier” in Ephesians. This flies in the face of one oft’ sung old hymn: “Onward Christian solders, marching as to war … - no standing around waiting on God in that song!
But do you recall the words of Psalm 46 where the psalmist is describing various cataclysmic natural disasters, and says that the “heathen are raging” and wars are arising? In the middle of this chaos, God says “Be still and know that I am God.”
On the one hand, it’s comforting for us to know that “God’s got it!” But the reality for most of us is that it is a hard-learned behavior for us to “Be Still” and let God handle it. Can we learn to “JUST stand there” even when we could “do something”?
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