Ephesians 6:10-20, gives a believer the armor that is needed to fight a spiritual battle. But what is present in this scripture is that the one covered in the armor does not attack but simply stands firm. The phrase, “stand firm”, in vs. 11 and 13 “indicates an end to conflict”1.
As believers, we should not be encouraging conflict. I have felt the urge to fight back when Satan and the devils attack and we aren’t called to fight back. They have been defeated already; there is no need to waste our time fighting them. But we must stand firm so that others can come to Christ and we must stand firm so that we do not drift (Hebrew 2:1), rather than us continuing conflict or even starting conflict we should be ending it. His Gospel is what ends the conflict.
Sometimes, that seems unclear. For example, when we have a Jehovah Witness at our door, who states that Christ is not God… we do need to rebuke the false teaching. We should love them and understand that God wants them to be free from the bondage of false teaching. We would proceed to share the gospel in love to free them not to fight with them but to set them free. We put our armor on to stand firm on Him.
Not to defeat the person but to end the false teaching, false beliefs, sin, etc. Our armor isn’t to overcome/defeat but to stand firm and win. We may have to be on the offense but it isn’t to kill, but it is to save.
When we fight so much that we defeat, we do exactly what Satan would want us to do. I have recently been guilty of this. I also notice that it is easier for me to do that when I am attempting to do something that I am not called to do. When we armor ourselves to stand firm with the Gospel, we are supposed to give life. But sometimes we end up crushing people with the gospel because we lose touch of simply just standing firm, and we start fighting.
There are times in the Bible where we see God call us to fight. But there is one passage that stand out to me and that I recently visited.
Read Genesis 32:24-32.
Here we see Jacob wrestle with Christ (the pre-incarnated Christ). Jacob had been so set on fighting for his place. Stealing the birthright, working for Rachel for double years since being fooled by her father, and now He was on the road to meeting Esau for the first time since stealing his birthright. Jacob was so scared of his brother that he tried to send gifts to him to reconcile before meeting him face to face. But here, Jacob’s persistent fighting is used and directed to something greater.
Jacob was wrestling with a man that he understood was different. He was persistent. He knew the man he was wrestling with could bless him. So he did not give up. He even walked away with a limp because he would not stop fighting. For Jacob, living with a physical hurt like a limp was nothing in comparison to not having God’s favor or blessing.
Jacob is later renamed Israel which means, “to struggle with God.” Jacob’s life was filled with struggle, but his desire was ultimately to stay close to God, and there were many times he was fighting for it when he simply needed to stand firm on God’s promise. Because when we stand firm that is when we fight. We are not swayed one way or another. We do not let others be swayed. We Stand Firm on the sound foundation of Jesus Christ.
What are you fighting for that you stopped simply standing for and are killing others with instead of giving the Life Breath of the Gospel? Through this series, we will be looking at the armor that allows us to stand firm.
 Spence-Jones, H.D.M., ed. Ephesians. The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 259. Picture curtesy of Pixabay ]