Standing Firm & Speaking Up

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.  Ephesians 6:19-20

Brandi kicked off our theme at Sacred Story this fall, Standing Firm in Your Story, in September. I pray over these weeks your eyes opened to the amazing gift God gives us in the spiritual armor through the truths in Ephesians 6:10-20. When we exercise faith activated by prayer the armor enables us to fight the good fight as we battle living in a world of sin, brokenness, and evil.

To summarize verses 10 -18 I came up with this handy acrostic below for ARMOR.

Admit the Lord’s strength is all you need

Recognize there’s an unseen evil realm bent on leading you astray

Make a point to know and put on the specific pieces of armor

Own the armor through faith as you take a proactive stance

Resolve to pray in the Spirit for yourself and the saints

Paul continues his train of thought by asking the Ephesians to pray specific requests on his behalf in verses 19-20. If I were in the apostle Paul’s shoes, the top of my list might be prayer for protection from people trying to harm or kill me. After all, he’s been stoned, beaten, put in prison, and wrongly accused multiple times.

What does Paul ask prayer for? To speak. To use his voice. And for what purpose? To declare the Gospel without fear of what might happen to him or how others will respond. WOW. Paul is saying that the armor along with the prayers of the saints empower him to be effective in what he says about the Lord’s message of love and forgiveness through the cross.

I believe speaking about the truth of the Gospel message included the opportunities where Paul tells his story of coming to faith in the living Savior. Beyond coming to faith, we also learn in the book of Acts “chapters” of the apostle Paul’s story where he experiences the reality of Jesus’ power which validates the Gospel. No doubt God used these chapters of Paul’s life to reveal Himself.

Standing firm in our stories means remaining dependent on the Holy Spirit’s control and guidance in our lives, resisting the evil ones attempts to distract, disrupt, and derail us. It also means standing firm as we speak up about the way of salvation in the Gospel; and share Who gets the credit for the hope and peace we experience in the chapters of our stories. We stand firm by sharing and not allowing the fear of what others will think or what the outcome will be to silence us or keep us from moving toward others in love.

What does it look like to stand firm in your story right now?

How does taking up the armor give you confidence?

How can you use your voice to overcome the evil one’s attempts to muffle the truth of the Gospel and the ways Jesus’ presence and Word make a difference in your story?

Who can you share your hope in Christ with over the holidays?

Standing firm results in being an ambassador who rightly represents the King who commissions believers to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:18). Sisters, may we get dressed up in our armor and use our voices to bring truth and light so the darkness in this world is diminished.

During this time of thanksgiving, I am especially grateful for your courage to share how the Greatest Story Ever Told makes a difference in your life. I give thanks with you to the Author who gives us peace and purpose.

~Laura

 

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