Ephesians 6: 10-20 “Be strong in the Lord, (who?) And in the power of His might. (whose might??) Put on the whole armor of God, that you might be able to stand (do what?!?) against the wiles of the devil…put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand (to what?!) in the evil day, and having done all, (done how much?) To stand (to what?)…stand therefore …(why?) That I may speak boldly (speak how?)…” (*please note! The questions are mine!)
Listen to the song “Stand In The Rain” by Superchick…it inspired this message!
Sometimes it’s difficult to stand, because life pushes us down!! Because sometimes…it rains. Can’t we all name those situations in our own lives over the years when it rained in our life? We can all click them off pretty quickly…the situations that make it seem impossible to stand.
I hesitate to mention life’s issues, because I don’t want to make light of any one of the situations that can crush us.
But, it’s time to lift our heads up!!
If we close our eyes and try picturing Jesus in front of us. Barging through our obstacles, stepping into our situations, changing the atmosphere around us, and changing hearts…and then think, “Wow, all I have to do is stand! Yes, the enemy wants to crush me, but I just need to stand!!” With Jesus we can stand! Amen!
We can’t sit. Lie down. Or relax. We have to get up. Have a backbone. Be confident. Stop carrying a burden meant for the Lord. We need to just go on standing! “Plod on,” as one of my pastors always said. Keep on keeping on!
Notice the scripture in Ephesians doesn’t say “attack!” The scripture doesn’t indicate that we hit people over the head with our “sword.” We put on our armor to be strong in the Lord. And simply, stand!
Isn’t that interesting?!? What are we standing for? When will we move?
We’re waiting for instructions from the general. Why? So that we can speak boldly!! He’ll tell you when to move! He’ll tell you what to say! Right now, just stand!!
So simple! Stand!
Don’t flail around trying to get your enemy’s attention, ranting and raving to everyone. Remember the scripture about Mary, in Luke 2:19, “… when all they that heard it wondered…Mary kept all these, and pondered them in her heart.” No ranting and raving, just standing! Waiting for further instructions!!
What gets God’s attention?
Standing!!!!! It always gets God’s attention, especially if you continue to stand, even in the rain…even in the trials…even in the tribulations… even in life’s storms.
Yes, stand in the rain!! Especially, in the rain.
It’s easy to stand on the sunny days. In sunny Florida, we don’t expect rain…some people pray for it, when our grass is dry & fires are raging, but generally, we Floridians love the sun to shine. Rain means we have to stand with an umbrella, be prepared not to get wet. We have to think ahead a little, get our gear on…forget about wearing open-toed shoes, ‘cause we might get stuck in a puddle. Sometimes it’s a lot of hassle to anticipate rain or stormy weather…and let’s not even talk about hurricanes, tornadoes, & storm shutters!! Around here, we just think of that as a plan of the enemy!! And we don’t like to be deterred by the enemy, or get soaked by his lies. “Don’t let it rain on my parade!” we say.
Often, in Florida, a cloudy, rainy, cooler day is a relief. A time to recharge. We don’t let it deter us…we keep going about our business.
Spiritual rain is good;, too…if we get drenched by God’s Holy Spirit, we’re refreshed and ready to fight again. We can stand our ground, even if it’s muddy!! Even in the rain we can shine!! If we get wet, we can wipe ourselves off, and continue to stand.
Don’t collapse in the rain!! Stand! To stand means to have both feet planted firmly on the ground…on a strong foundation…dug-in-deep like a palm tree that can withstand storms and high winds. To stand means if we’re at the water’s edge, and a wave threatens to knock us over, we don’t move, we dig our feet in deep, and stand strong. And, if the enemy threatens to knock us over, we don’t move either…we dig our feet in deep, and stand strong!
To be able to stand…don’t rest from praying. Don’t whine. Don’t complain. Don’t dwell on the negative. Surround yourself with God’s people who will lift you up in prayer.
Faith means to stand. We’re standing on the truth that God is in control. Don’t bend, don’t waver! Instead ask:, “What does God say about this situation?”
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I have toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil to give you an expected end.”
Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
Here’s a quote by Tommy Tenney in his book, Experiencing God’s Presence. “Uncertain & unable to move one step more, you are caught in the middle of what is & what can be. At the end of yourself with nothing but the promise of faith & hope in your heart, you are in a good place. You may not know whether to laugh or cry, but it doesn’t matter because it is in His hands now.”
We can find God’s will by praying, &andstanding! Then…keep praying. And…keep standing.
We pray at the foot of the cross, leave our heavy burdens there, and get in position to stand behind Jesus!
Well, when do we move?
Only when we hear his voice. Don’t go if He doesn’t say go. Stand directly behind Jesus, & only go forward at His command.
Why? Because, people should only see Jesus when we’re moving!!!!
It’s useless to have all our armor on, and then just sit down, fall down, stop, or get pushed down. Be strong! Stand…be on guard. We need to slow down from our busyness, and stand!! Stop running to & fro to others for advice. We need to be steadfast, steady, sure, & sure-footed. Let the Bible be the light to our next step, especially in the rain…where there’s less visibility!
Especially in the rain!
What keeps us standing, when others fall?
To stand, to withstand, or to take a stand, means we’re reliable. God can trust us to stand!
Stand eye-ball to eye-ball with God. Then, at the foot of the cross, stand, and see Jesus. That’s why we can stand, because from this position, we can imitate who we see. Jesus!
If left alone, we’ll fall. With Him, we stand. With others who also stand, we’re encouraged to stand and keep standing! Amen!
Let’s stand…and then break out into a song, if we wish, because we didn’t think we could stand, but we did! We rely on each other to stand, especially when it’s raining buckets on us!
Name names! Who comes to your mind when you think of someone who stands, and encourages you to stand, too? Fill in the blanks.
_______ I depend on you to stand in the rain!!
_______I depend on you to stand in the rain, too!
Tell everyone that comes to your mind, “Thank you, I know it isn’t always easy to stand in the rain. But, I appreciate you…I need you to stand, and I need you to continue encouraging me to stand,also!”
How many times over the years have we gotten bossed around by the enemy? And how many times have we had to take a stand against the wiles of the enemy! Amen!
Take a stand and say to the enemy, “No, you won’t take my health!” “No, you won’t control my finances!” “No, you can’t have my children!” “No, you won’t destroy my family!” “No, you can’t steal my life!”
We all need everyone to stand. We respect those who stand…we’re inspired by others who stand. We love those who stand! We need to stand, even in the rain, so we can teach our children & grandchildren, friends & family, to stand, also.
Where are we standing? We’re standing united behind Jesus!! Then, we can position ourselves to go with him to reach others.
God showed me the whole picture: First, look to God! Second, repent & leave all burdens at the foot of the cross! Third,receive forgiveness! Fourth, imitate the one you see-Jesus! Fifth, put on your armour! Sixth, stand behind Jesus! Then, Jesus will fight your battles with the enemy! Stay behind your commander-Jesus, to reach others! Then, teach them to stand! Encourage them to keep standing with you! That’s how you make disciples! Amen!
Standing is the right position to be in!!! There’s no running or denying Christ!! We’re standing…because we’re done wrestling with God!!!!!! Nothing’s about us, it’s all about Jesus. We can come out of the “gloomy-day” shadows. We can let Jesus into all our life’s situations, to shed His light on our issues. To brace us up, help us stand, and keep us standing! Like a palm tree is braced in readiness for a storm!! “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree!!” Amen!
Only God dares to stand on the edge of the canyon of our lives, so we can stand without fear!
Is it hard to see through the pouring rain?
Yes, it causes discouragement, weariness… it clouds issues. We need some sunshine. We need God’s “Son” to shine! To stand in the light of Christ who saved us. We were going under, we couldn’t stand any longer, but God’s arms reached us just in the nick of time!!
It’s important to know…God does the doing, we do the standing, but not on a pedestal, we’ll fall for sure, but on the solid ground of the Word of God, and His promises.
“But,” we may say, “Many of my prayers our serious prayers.”
“Yes,” God says, “Stand!!!”
My prayers are serious prayers, and maybe yours are, too! But I’m standing! And while I’m standing…I’m praying, loving, caring, and encouraging those I’m praying for. I’m asking others to intercede with me, lifting their names constantly before the lord, and still standing, not cracking under the weight of their issues.
Remember…our issue is to stand!! God’s issue is to take care of their issues. We can be like Mary, Mother of Jesus…and hide these things in our hearts!
Many times in our lives, when we’ve chosen to stand…we can’t even begin to explain how we did it!!! By all rights, we should have gone under. But somehow, some way, we stood!! We felt like dead-weight, buckling under. It was a miracle, as we felt God pick us up, breathe life back into us, and put us into a standing position again!!
When we stand, we’re already in our armor. Put on the armor, and then don’t sit down…just stand!! Be on guard, suited up, and ready for instructions. Don’t run from the enemy…fight him with the strength of God.
Look around you, and tell me…out of all the blessed people you meet, if you knew their entire life history, that you would say they had it easy!! It’s not easy for any of us, but God’s supporting us…every time we think we’ll fall with the next hurricane-sized attack from the enemy, God picks us up again, and we find ourselves standing, in the rain, and in the storm!!
And singing in the rain, too!! It’s amazing!!
What about those without the armor?
That’s where we can really stand, and stand out. To reach out. That’s who we need to be focused on. Stand, because they’re watching us…wondering how it is that we can stand in the “rainy-stormy” situations that would destroy them. Teach them the song we sing in the rain! The new song that Jesus taught us…teach them how to “stand in the rain.”
How can the enemy defeat a united front of standing, spirit-filled believers with Christ in the lead??? Stand together. Be that united front. We’ve got our battle clothes on. We’re in our battle stance. Firm and unmoving ‘til our Lord gives the battle cry! Stand, because victory is imminent! Don’t break formation! Not even to bend down to tie your shoelace!!
Don’t bend or sway at all…just stand! We’ll see, when we’re in the correct position that Jesus will be in His divine position, leading us. He’s right there in front of us!! Where He’s so easy to see clearly, even if it’s raining!!
We should teach others to stand, but not to lean on us…this is very important!! Here’s their position. Standing & relying on God, not on us. Let’s create a mighty force. We will stand!! By the grace of God!
Here’s a recent example in my life: When my cousin was diagnosed with stage 1 uterine cancer, God said, “I am not afraid.” That means: Battle clothes on, feed on His Word, and stand with Jesus, ready for Him to fight the battle. Amen!! His will, will be accomplished!
So what did my cousin do? She stood! And is cancer free today!
We can’t accept defeat. We’re told to stand!! Another powerful lesson for me, when a close friend was so sick, I physically felt her pain, and that had never happened to me before. I just could not accept that a mother with two young children would be left helpless & hopeless, because the enemy decided her family was doing too much for the Lord! I just couldn’t stand for that!! That’s when we pray & stand the tallest, when we just can’t accept the attack of the devil, lying down!! We get up, we get in his face, and we stand!! For Jesus, and with Jesus!
We can’t fall for satan’s lies, & his tricks. So, we must stand!!
We need to surround ourselves with others that know how to stand. Not with those sleeping on their watch or collapsing with fatigue. That’s why we worship and fellowship with believers. It lifts us up. Straightens us out. Encourages us to get in an upright position in Jesus.
Learn to show someone else how to stand. Be determined. Don’t be like a stubborn child who refuses to stand when their parents tell them to…we all know what a temper tantrum looks like!
Don’t crumble, you’ll bring everyone else down.
Even when it gets breezy at times…when strong winds pick up in your life. Stand firm. Don’t get blown over. Don’t lean to one side. Stare straight ahead…that’s where Jesus is. The people next to us, and around us are counting on us to stand. It’s important!! We’re an army, God’s army!! We’re after complete victory!! Amen!
Sometimes we ask, “Lord, what am I doing? I’m not getting anywhere!!” “But,” He says, “Look, it’s raining, and you’re still standing!” Amen!!