Stand Your Ground!

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”                                                                                        – Ephesians 6:10-18

Most of us are familiar with the phrase “Stand your Ground” as it relates in the natural. We grew up with our parents telling us that if someone hits you, then you hit them back. If someone pushes you, then you push them back.  If someone violates your personal space, then you defend yourself at all cost.  There has even been laws enacted on our behalf that enable us to protect ourselves and our property in the event that we feel that our well-being is affected by threats or something that can be perceived as a threat.  This law basically says that in such event you do not have to retreat or run away, but you can stand and fight or defend what’s yours.  It even allows you to use deadly force as a part of your defense.  The thing that many people fail to realize is that in the spiritual you will encounter similar events that will threaten your well-being and even stuff that is attached or assigned to you.  However, most of the time when we encounter such events in the spiritual we tend to give the first thought to retreating rather than fighting.  In the natural it’s just the opposite.  If someone is seemingly threatening or attempting to threaten our well-being, we are quick to jump into self-defense in order to protect and defend what’s ours.  In other words, we are quick to fight in the natural but slow to fight in the spiritual.  Question: Why is this the mindset that we have adapted in our spiritual walk?

In the Old Testament of the Bible, there are many stories where the Lord used people to fight his battles in the natural.  Let’s be clear about this.  He didn’t necessarily have to use them, rather He chose to use them.  Nonetheless, in either event they came out with the victory when they did things according to the way that He had given them.  There are many examples of this being done.  For instance, there is Moses who went up against Pharaoh and his army.  There is Joshua who went up against the Canaanites.  There is also Elijah who went up against the prophets of Baal, and yes Elisha against that of the Syrian army.  There are many, many more of these great examples detailed in the Bible, and they all have one thing in common.  Whomever or whatever enemy they came up against, God gave them the victory over them.  I know that some of us are still struggling to grasp the entire concept of standing your ground in the spiritual, thus I came prepared to toil for a moment.  Guess what?  I saved the most popular bible story for last. Why?  This is where we are going to build this entire article from in order to equip ourselves for the warfare that we will face from the enemy.  Y’all ready?  Me too.  Come here little boy David!

You know the story, but in case you don’t here’s a brief refresher of exactly who I’m referring to.  David was the youngest son (number 8 to be exact) of Jesse.  God had grown frustrated with Saul and his disobedience and desire to please the people, so He sent Samuel to the House of Jesse for He had a boy that would become the next King over Israel.  When Samuel arrived at the place, Jesse brought all of his sons out to be anointed, but the anointing oil would not flow.  Why?  Jesse brought all the ones that the people would admire (or that he could see being kingly), but God said there’s another.  There’s one who’s after my heart and that’s the one that shall be anointed.  Jesse and his first seven sons looked down on little boy David, because they saw him as nothing but a shepherd for sheep.  Nevertheless, Samuel sent for the boy and the anointing oil flowed, but David (while still being anointed) returned to his sheep.  Fast forward a little bit, Saul still had the title of King of Israel; however, the spirit of God had departed from him and demons tormented him.  As a result, Saul sought out someone who could play the harp well.  David’s Name was brought up, and Saul sent for him.  David eventually became an armourbearer to Saul.  Every time the evil spirit came to torment Saul, David would play the harp and the evil spirit would leave.

Where are you going with this doc?  Tarry with me a moment more, and I promise that this thing is going to bless you.  Fast forward one more time, and we come to the focal point, the Philistines came up against the children of Israel, and Saul took his army out to fight them.  Little did they know the Philistines had a great warrior by the name of Goliath, standing at least 6 and a half feet tall and ripped with all kinds of muscles.  No one from Saul’s army was brave enough to go down and fight this giant.  Saul had even sweetened the deal by adding a bonus to be given to whomever was to go down, fight, and defeat this giant.  In comes David, who was simply in a mission to deliver lunch to his brothers. While he was there, he heard the giant taunting them.  David asked a question that nobody expected him to;  who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the army of the living God?  David said I’ll go and fight him.  Saul disproved at first but after hearing David’s record of what he had gone up against and got the victory over in the past, Saul eventually gave in and had David suited for the task.  Watch this.  David said to Saul, “…I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them (1 Samuel 17:39).”  In other words, what you offered me to fight with looks good and all, but I don’t know it to work or be effective for the task that’s ahead of me.  Therefore, I’m gone use what I know to be effective and stand my ground with those weapons.  You know what happened.  David went down, took one shot, and got the victory.

What does all this have to do with Stand Your Ground Kean?  Alright now, let’s go to work.  Often times when we read this story, we all focus on the amount of courage David possessed when he decided to fight with the giant by the name of Goliath.  However, there is little emphasis given in regards to how David prepared himself to go up against the giant.  Say this out loud:  Courage without Preparation leads to Annihilation.  Watch this.  Many of us think that David’s preparation was when he put on or decided to use weapons that he was familiar with.  No ma’am and no sir!  David’s preparation was when he was a shepherd looking after his sheep and just out there praising and worshiping the Lord in the field.  Nobody out there but him and God.  Can I give you the first shout cue?  Preparation is always done in seclusion.  You missed it!  Whenever God puts you in a place of loneliness or calls you into a place where it seems that no one is with you, no one understands you, and/or no one can bare to be around you it’s not Him trying to punish you, rather it’s Him preparing you so that He can position you.   Don’t believe me.  Look at David’s record that he read to Saul; defeating the lion and the bear who attempted to come and take from his flock.  Who was around to validate his alleged victories?  No one.  However, now that God was ready to position him, what was done previously in private or without a crowd is now about to go on display and be validated or justified before a crowd.  In other words, positioning only comes after demonstrating in private what you believe God has called you to do in public.  That hurt somebody’s feelings so I better move on.

Little boy David teaches us three important principles that must be in the armory of each individual who proclaims to be a solider in the army of the Lord; Affirmation, Determination, and Altercation.  Each of these is a form of what it means to stand your ground, and each of them (believe it or not) works hand and hand with one another.  For the sake of time I’m just going to briefly describe each, then I’m going to show you how they work.

Affirmation is to state as a fact; assert strongly and publicly.  Basically, when you provide affirmation of something you are declaring, proclaiming, and (watch this) guaranteeing that it is true, real, tried and tested.  Determination is having a firm resolve to continue to try and achieve at something that is difficult.  In other words, it’s the resolve to keep pressing or pushing in spite of.  Altercation is a noisy, heated, and angry dispute.  We all know what this word means, simply fight.  So, how does this tie into our topic and young boy David Kean?

1.  David told the King what he had done in private in previous fights and how God had delivered him from the law of the lion and bear.  Then, he went on and exercises his faith in God but saying “…He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine” (1 Sam. 17:37).  This was David’s affirmation.

2. When David decided not to use all the fancy weapons of Saul and instead chose to use this he were familiar with (staff, rocks, sling) that was his determination.  How?  The person David was going against first and foremost was a giant.  If that’s not enough, the giant was also suited and booted.  Can I make a suggestion?  I believe David said within himself, I know this is a difficult task, but I also know that God will give me the victory. So, I’m going to use what God gave me in all the other fights I had and allow him to touch it to make it powerful enough to get the job done.   He was determined to see the salvation of the Lord.

3.  Finally, David’s statement in 1 Samuel 17:45-47 demonstrates our final point: “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel…This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee…that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.  And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord‘s, and he will give you into our hands.”  This is altercation at its finest.

Can I close this thing out now?  When you are in pursuit of the promises of God for your life, it will require you to enter into battle.  However, the battle that you face is not in the natural but in the spiritual. The text says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities.  In other words, the enemy that you face is not one in which you can always physically see him, but it’s okay because you have one on your side who can see him and his darts that he has thrown your way to attempt to hit you, stop you, and/or knock you down for the count.  Can I give y’all the last shout cue?  “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).”  You missed it again!  Shout out Affirmation!  Affirmation simply means if he did it before I know that he is more than able to do it again.  Not only is He more than able, but get bold with it and shout out He WILL Do It Again!  Will He deliver you from the hand of you enemy?  Yes He Will!  Will He free you from your sinful ways?  Yes He Will!  Will He save, deliver, and set free your child, spouse, relative, friend, etc?  Yes He Will!  Will He give you the victory time and time again? Yes He Will! Somebody say you don’t understand I lost or had to give up my house.  Guess what?  Me Too!  But, will He give us another one that’s bigger and better than the last?  Yes He Will!  Will He restore any and all of your lost possessions?  Yes He Will!  Will He give you another job, a better job, a higher salary, or even a promotion? Yes He Will!  Yes He Will! Yes He Will! Yes He Will! Yes He Will! Yes He Will!  Yes He Will!

How do I know that He will?  I have seen Him provide for me numerous times before.  I have seen Him do it for me on many occasions before this one.  I have seen Him deliver me before.  Since He did it before, then I Know HE Will Do It Again! I got on my armor, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, and helmet of salvation already.  Then, He told me to take up the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.  Now I have my Determination set.  Finally, I enter into Altercation, not by my might or in my name, but it’s in the Mighty Name of Jesus!  Why?  At that name every knee must bow, and every tongue must confess him as Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).  That’s why I’m able to declare that victory shall be mine, yours, and ours.  It’s not by our strength, rather it’s in our ability to stand.  From this day forward decide within yourself that you are no longer going to try and stand toe to toe with the enemy and fight him in the natural.  Decide to rather go at it in a spiritual manner, and allow your Affirmation, Determination, and Altercation to fight you while you just Stand Your Ground!  Be blessed and stay encouraged! 

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