Ephesians 6:13 says this in the NLT version:
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
Let’s just get something clear that this verse in fact makes crystal clear: you’re going to have to go through.
There. I said it. No matter what you’ve been told, the reality is that we’re all going to go through.
We’re going to have storms, tests, trials, disappointments. We’re going to have seasons of waiting and of hurt, of healing and of preparation.
We’re gonna have a little hell to go through from time-to-time.
And the sad part isn’t that we somehow think otherwise. No, the real travesty is that we come through looking like we’ve been through hell.
We’re whipped. Tired. Beat down. Tore down. Broken. A mess of a person. We look like we just got in the ring with Tyson and are happy just to have our lives.
That’s a grave misunderstanding of whose we are and who we are called to be.
We were created to be victorious and for our very lives of victory to give glory to the King.
So much so that not only should we NOT be surprised to make it through, but we should expect it and walk out looking like victors.
…instead of the sad sacks that crawl out of the least little storm looking like they’ve been to hell and back.
That scripture, Ephesians 6:13, tells us that all we need to do is prepare and stand. Period.
Nowhere in that scripture does it say we have to fight or attack or strategize.
It says do all you can and then stand.
You see, the reason we come out look like death warmed over is because we’re trying to fight spiritual battles – the Lord’s battles – in our own strength, our own time and our own way.
Instead of preparing – by hiding the Word in our hearts and heads – and then standing still and letting God secure the victory He’s already promised to us with the blood of Jesus (whew!), we try to figure out how to make it work; how to get out of our uncomfortable situation; how to get through this test unchanged, unfazed, and unscathed.
We have to do this. We must prepare and stand. So God can fight and be glorified and so we can win.
It’s just like Donald Lawrence’s new song, The Gift, says, “You don’t look like what you’ve been through.”
Why let the enemy think He’s won any ground by allowing him to affect your countenance, your disposition, your joy, when you already know – AND HE KNOWS – that he’s defeated at every turn?
Aside from robbing God of the fullness of his praise and glory, there is another risk to trying to fight your own battles: you end up tired.
Sarah Young says it like this in her devotional, “Jesus Today”:
So what’s it gonna be? Are you going to keep trying in vain to fight battles you were never meant to fight for a victory you already had? Or are you going to prepare, stand, and let God secure the victory and get his glory?
You can keep scheming, trying to find ways to get through or get over or get past, but know this: there is no shortcut to who God’s created you to be. Without every lesson, every test and trial, you cannot become who He needs you to be.
So, stop trying. Start trusting. Prepare and stand.
This battle is not yours. It’s the Lord’s…and all you can do is win.