Stand Your Ground

“You cannot pass,” he said. The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell. “I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring


Last summer I was walking out to my car at lunch when I suddenly found my face within inches of the gravel parking lot. I couldn’t figure out why I was walking one minute and sprawled on the ground the next. Luckily, my large purse caught the worst of it, but one knee and shin took a beating. Afterwards I realized the culprit was a pair of sandals, overstretched and in need of replacing. They had rolled out from under my feet, tripping me and sending me to the ground.

The moral of the story is I should have thrown out the shoes at the end of the last summer. I knew they sometimes would wobble beneath my feet, but they were comfortable and I hate shoe shopping. The truth was they were not solid; they were not trustworthy. As humans, we tend to put our trust in things that are not always worthy of such trust, but there is one thing we can depend upon: The Word of the Lord.

And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

Isaiah 58:11

The Word of God is a spring of living water. Several years ago, I came across a commentary on a scripture talking about how the people had chosen a broken cistern over a spring of water. A cistern is man-made and can only hold rain water, and broken cistern would leak, so it wasn’t very reliable. A spring, on the other hand, is constantly bubbling up water. When we tap into God’s living springs, we will never be thirsty again unless we forget to take a drink. It is always available to us.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58

We can stand steadfast and unmovable when we are standing on the Word of God. It is a sure foundation.  When we make decisions based on God’s Truth, we can stand with confidence. God calls each of us to different assignments, and we have to act on our individual calling. When we do that, the labor will not be in vain. However, our good deeds and intentions are wrong if they are out of God’s will for us, so keep in the lane God assigned you to and He will use it.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

We can trust God, but trust means letting go. It’s not easy, but He will not force us. He will pursue us, though. There is a lot of peace found in letting go and letting God take the helm. He knows the way and He knows what’s coming.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:5

When we are unsure of the next step, we can always get wisdom from the source. God’s Word is full of wisdom, and He will give it to us if we just ask.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Isaiah 40:8

Best of all, His Word is eternal. Everything else in this world is subject to change, but His Word stands forever. So, we know that we can stand our ground as long as we are standing on His Word.

So, throw away those shoes and anything else that is not trustworthy. Then, when you’ve done all else, just stand (Ephesians 6:13).

Suit Up

I know several motorcycle people, and all of them are into wearing protective clothing when riding. I usually see them putting on jackets and gloves as well as goggles and helmets. They are always wearing the proper clothing and shoes for riding. I found the following acronym on a biker lingo blog:

ATGATT = All The Gear, All The Time (helmet, gloves, vest, trousers and boots).

Some even talk about armor, or specially reinforced gear. I thought it was a great reminder that has spiritual implications:

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 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. 13 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. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesian 6: 11-17

The reason we put on the armor of God is the same reason bikers put on their gear: protection. When I took martial arts, I wore gear when I was sparring to reduce the chance of injury. Bikers and martial artists suit up as protection  just in case there is an incident. Even more so, we should wear our spiritual armor because we are going into battle every day. It isn’t a chance of battle; it is a foregone conclusion.

Not only should we wear it every day, but we should also wear every piece of armor. Each piece protects a different part of our being. Whatever we leave undefended, the enemy will target. For example, if I want to retrieve something from my car but I don’t want to take the trouble of finding my shoes. I tiptoe out over the hot concrete, and while I am digging around in my car, a fire ant bites my foot. It’s the same in our spiritual lives. Every piece has a purpose.

We wear a helmet to protect our mind, we wear the breastplate to protect our heart, the belt of truth keeps us grounded, the shield of faith protects us from the enemies weapons, and our feet are prepared to step out to do God’s Will. Our only weapon is the Sword of the Spirit, which is God’s Word. People often say talk is cheap, but not this talk. God’s Word is powerful, more powerful than a two-edged sword because it can cut to the heart of the matter. Not only that, God’s Word also brought the world into being. What He says happens. When we wield His Word wisely, no foe can stand against us.

So, before you leave the house, or maybe even the bed, suit up. You never know what the day will bring.