Stand Firm, Pt. 1

Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”
God has called us to be strong, not weak, and the only way we can operate in strength is by putting on the whole armor of God. If one piece is missing, you lack the complete efficiency to be successful on the battle field. Take a boxer for example. If one thing is off concerning his equipment or even his movements, it can lead him to defeat. Even when having everything together, there still may come a moment where you will fall down, but the shame is not falling down; it is staying there. Proverbs 24:16 says, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” A boxer can never fight from the ground. He must be face to face with his opponent, as we should. We cannot be afraid or intimidated because your enemy will always recognize fear, but you must stand, not in yourself, but in the strength of the LORD.
The only way to stand against the wiles, or tricks, of the devil is with God’s armor. The devil will set up snares and traps for you, but the armor of God will give you a greater level of discernment to recognize when the devil is setting something up. The devil is a sly one, sneaky, and only seeks to deceive. He is filled with tricks, but if we are equipped with God’s armor, we will not be hypnotized or become a puppet of the devil. We will not be rocked to sleep in the arms of Delilah, but we will fight the good fight of faith! Standing in faith, which is vision, allows you to see what is out ahead. How the devil deceives people with his tricks and temptations is by blinding people with the now moment. He wants to show them the sex, pornography, parties, dancing at the club, dealing with drugs and gangs, all of those things that seem fun and pleasurable, but he does not want to show the end effect of where those sins and addictions can lead. He blinds you to the end result. We are tempted and blinded when we are drawn away by our own lusts and enticed (James 1:14). Once we do that, we yield to it and fall into the trap of the enemy. That lust, if not changed or taken care of, will lead to sin, and when that sin is finished, it brings death and destruction to your future, reputation, integrity, etc. You are only tempted when your flesh attempts to draw you away from God.
God is faithful that He will never allow you to be tempted above what you are capable of facing. You will have all the necessary answers and tools need to find the solution because the teacher will never give you a question on your test that is not covered in the class or in the text, which is our Bible. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 says, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Isn’t it good to know that God will not allow you to be tempted above what you are capable of overcoming? In other words, the temptation will never be stronger than you! That is some powerful truth. When you are tempted, keep that in mind. Not only will God allow a temptation to be stronger than you, but He will always make a way of escape, that you may endure the temptation and receive the crown of life. God will always make a way out of no way when it comes to being tempted, but you have to be on the look out for that detour route.
No matter how strong of a Christian you are, you will be tempted, and the reason simply is because you are human in the flesh. It is not a sin to be tempted, but the choice that you make in the moment of temptation, whether to yield to the lusts of the flesh or the desires of your spirit, is the difference between sin and righteousness. Jesus Christ was tempted many times by the devil, probably more than we could ever know, but He did not sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. (1 Peter 2:22) You can be tempted and still live a sinless life, but it is all about the choices you make when you are tempted. When Jesus was tempted, He did not give it any time for his mind or flesh take control of the decision. In fact, when the devil tempted Him with the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life, Jesus did not give any time for the devil to work, but He spoke the Word of God in authority. He quoted Scripture because God’s Word is a two edged sword, meaning that when we speak what God speaks it is a powerful weapon that breaks through the attack of the enemy. Christ left us the example, that if we would quit allowing our minds to dwell on the temptation and simply speak the Word of God in authority and meditate on His Word, we would overcome temptation and travel that detour route to escape sin.