by Pastor Dana A. Holmes
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
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:
18 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 [Emphasis mine]
Christians need to realize that everything we face in life is going to demand a response. How we respond is very important. Every one of us will experience some type of crisis; and if we are not careful, it will shake our very foundation and cause us to go under. Take a skyscraper, destroy the foundation, and see what will happen to it. It will not stand. You can’t destroy the foundation of something and expect it to remain standing.
You may have a vision or a dream for your personal ministry, your business, or your life. You envision something the way you believe God would have it, but then you come under attack. It seems as if all of your dreams and plans are threatened. It looks like it isn’t going to work, and that demands a response. Whether you know it or not, how you respond when a crisis comes will determine how well you will be able to STAND. You may be thinking, “Oh, I’ve done everything I can to stand.” No, you haven’t! If you had, then you would still be standing. You can’t tell me you’ve done all you can to stand while you’re on your way to the ground. Mark 11:22 shows you what to do when a crisis comes.
Mark 11:22 says,
And Jesus answering saith unto them, HAVE FAITH IN GOD. [Emphasis mine]
Through this scripture, we are admonished to have faith in God. That is, to operate in the God-kind of faith.
Mark 11:23 says,
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
In spite of how impossible the situation may seem to be, DON’T DOUBT IN YOUR HEART. It did not say, “and shall not have a doubt thought come to his mind.” Just because a doubt thought comes to your mind, it doesn’t mean you’re in doubt. You see, the devil will bring a doubt thought to your mind, and you will think it because he brought it. However, it is up to you to decide whether or not you will meditate on that thought or cast it down. (See 2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
You see, the devil will try to deceive you by trying to convince you that you’ve doubted. He’ll even tell you, “See. You’ve doubted, you great man (or woman) of faith. Here you are doubting the Word of God.” Satan will try to make you feel guilty for doubting when he’s the rascal that brought the doubt thought to your mind in the first place. The devil will work on your ignorance and make you think you have to start all over again just because one little doubt thought came to your mind. But this is not true because Mark 11:23 says, …and shall not DOUBT IN HIS HEART.... [Emphasis mine]
Have you ever experienced a crisis situation and during the time of the crisis, way down on the inside, you had a peace that you couldn’t quite understand? You may have thought, “Why am I so calm? Normally, I would be pulling my hair out, screaming, and lying on the floor and kicking.” But instead, you felt so calm you surprised yourself. That’s your spirit (your heart) not agreeing with your body and your circumstances. Your heart is at peace. It’s in faith. Your spirit man, filled with the faith of God, will keep you calm when your mind says you should be upset.
One thing you have to do in order to stand is BELIEVE. Mark 11:24 says, Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, BELIEVE that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. [Emphasis mine] You can’t stand without believing. You may ask, “What am I to believe?” You are to believe that those things which you say shall come to pass. You must BELIEVE you RECEIVE without having any physical evidence that the thing even exists.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN. [Emphasis mine]
For example, if I brought a brand new house, you would know it’s mine if I showed you the title deed. The deed is proof that the house exists, whether you ever see it or not. Likewise, faith is the title deed to whatever you’re hoping for. The word hope means, “to expect.” It is the evidence of things that have not yet come into contact with your physical senses.
Another thing you must do in order to stand is to have your mouth and your heart in line with the Word of God. Let me interject something here. Not everything you say is necessarily coming from your heart. A person can say something in a moment of anger, but that doesn’t mean it was in their heart. The person may say, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that.” But people usually respond by saying, “Oh, yes, you did. Because if it wasn’t in your heart, you wouldn’t have said it. The Bible says, ‘Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.’” This is how we misquote scriptures. We take them out of context and make them say something they’re not really saying. Now, if you keep something in your mind long enough, it will get down into your heart; and, eventually, you will speak it. Some people are under the impression that everything you say comes out of the heart, but that’s not always true.
Matthew 15:8 says,
This people draweth nigh unto me with their MOUTH, and honoureth me with their LIPS; but their HEART is far from me. [Emphasis mine]
We see here that what the people were saying out of their mouths was not the same thing that was in their hearts.
John 12:42 says,
Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many BELIEVED ON HIM; but because of the Pharisees they DID NOT CONFESS HIM, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. [Emphasis mine]
In this particular scripture, they believed one thing in their hearts, but wouldn’t speak it out of their mouths because of fear. So, you see, it is possible to believe something and not say it. It is also possible to say something and not believe it. You may even choose to speak according to what somebody else believes. However, you are not going to be able to stand in tough times trying to operate by what someone else believes. You’ve got to believe it yourself, regardless of who said it.
In order to stand, you must also be a DOER of the Word of God.
Ezekiel 33:31 says,
And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they HEAR THY WORDS, but they WILL NOT DO THEM: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after covetousness. [Emphasis mine]
Being a doer of the Word is just as simple as causing your mouth to become agreeable with your heart.
James 1:22 says,
But be ye DOERS OF THE WORD, and NOT HEARERS ONLY, deceiving your own selves. [Emphasis mine]
It didn’t say just be TALKERS about the Word, but DOERS of the Word. The way some Christians talk, you would think they were spiritual giants—if you go by their speech, that is. Now, on the other hand, when they encounter a crisis, their speech changes. But STANDING means NOT CHANGING. Standing means remaining the same, no matter what happens around you. Now, if you pray about a certain thing and then begin to worry about it, you’re NOT STANDING—you’re BOWING to the circumstances. In some cases, when you pray, the situation seems to get worse, but instead of standing on what the Word of God says, you start speaking out of your mouth how bad the situation is getting. As a result of this, things get even worse. Why? Because you prayed one thing, but you are saying something different. Let me reiterate that we are to be doers of the Word and not hearers and talkers only. We are to practice the Word by simply doing what it says.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
Most people get dressed in front of a mirror, and yet they will check themselves several times before leaving the house. Why? Because they forget exactly what they look like, so they go back to check themselves again. The Lord compares that to a person who hears the Word and does not obey it. He’s like someone looking in the mirror, then walking away and forgetting what he looks like. In other words, he looked into the mirror of God’s Word and saw what it said, but walked away from it by not doing what it said.
James 1:25 says,
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and CONTINUETH THEREIN, he being not a FORGETFUL HEARER, but a DOER OF THE WORK, this man shall be blessed in his deed. [Emphasis mine]
In spite of the negative circumstances you face in life, if you continue to look into the perfect law of liberty, which is the Word of God, you will have the ability to respond to every circumstance and situation with faith in God—armed with everything you need to STAND!
Note: For more in-depth teaching on this subject, I recommend the following audio series: How To Stand Against The Devil and/or Standing In Faith Against All Odds. Visit our bookstore.