Standing Firm: Sermon By Deaconess Sarah Mukuhi
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 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.Ephesians 6:10-19 (NIV)
God has been speaking of standing firm in light of ascending the prophetic mountain. We are living in perilous times and the elite are falling by the wayside. As saints, we need to be able to stand our ground through each season of our lives.
Our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood but against rulers and principalities of darkness.
Even though evil abounds in the world around us, His grace abounds even more. Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. We need to count it all joy because God is with us amidst all the challenges. We must hold onto His word with all we’ve got.
The moment when a pregnant woman is about to give birth is one of the hardest during her pregnancy. But she must keep pushing to bring forth new life. We are at the brink of spiritual destiny. We cannot give up now when we’re so close to accessing our spiritual inheritance.
The helmet was what covered the head. You need your mind stayed on Him in the face of the raging battlefield that is in our minds. The enemy will try and make you doubt the word of God. We must constantly remind ourselves of His truth.
We may access our inheritance but we need to have a mind that is able to steward our inheritance. We need to see our inheritance for what it is.
We need to know our mandate and opportunities much as they may be shrouded in work or in a difficult person. We may ask God for patience and in form of a test He will then bring an impatient person for us to learn.
The challenges in our lives are opportunities for us to see God. We must look beyond the difficulty of a moment and see the work God is doing.
The back was not covered by the armour. We need to cover for each other back to back. Unity is key when standing firm. It takes fellowship with brethren to have you covered on all sides.
Humility is the right estimation of yourself. One of the manifestations of pride is lack of accountability. We think we can handle things alone and try to do so to our peril.
But unity requires us to be vulnerable with others and let them carry our burdens for us. In the fire, Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego found their strength in intimacy with God and each other.
Putting on the armour of God is dressing the part for accessing our inheritance in the mountain of God. There may be times we want to be renegade but God desires that we are fully equipped in unity. Being fully equipped in God includes unity with each other.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.Joshua 1:9 (KJV)
Fear is another manifestation of pride. It paves way for disobedience in the lives of saints. We need to take God at his word.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.Hebrews 10:19-23 (NIV)
Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.Hebrews 10: 32-39 (NIV)
We need to remember that He who promised is faithful. Are we holding onto the Word He has spoken over our lives?
Thankfulness and praise will help us stand firm. We shouldn’t allow our circumstances to dictate how we worship God.
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.Phillippians 2:1-3 (KJV)
As a community and the Body of Christ, we should stand firm with those going through tough times. One of the ways we can do this is by checking up on each other regularly. It challenges us to look beyond ourselves and see those around us. There is strength in standing side by side with each other.
Preparing to scale the mountains of life to access our inheritance can be likened to preparing to climb physical mountains.
1) Research is key.
We must learn all we can about the mountains we are to climb. We need an expanded mindset to handle the inheritance God has apportioned to us.
Do your research in the area God has called you to serve. Seeking out wisdom and knowledge will increase your capacity and strengthen you to serve.
2) Assess your mental alertness.
Mountain climbing requires the right frame of mind and physical strength. One’s mind needs to be alert to see the Rock in all situations.
Discernment must be part and parcel of everything we do. We must keep our eyes fixed on the prize not on the storms that come our way.
3) Acquire the gear.
God requires us to arrange our tools as part of our preparation. Being in the right frame of mind and finding the right company makes a difference.
The armour of God is our Christian gear. We do not put the armour to fight. His desire is that we stand and not be shaken or give up. We put on the armour to stand our ground. God has already done the fighting for us.
4) Learn mountaineering ethics.
There is a decorum in ascending God’s mountain and dwelling in His presence. Familiarity breeds contempt. Don’t take for granted the small things that God entrusts you with including His word and His presence.
5) Find the right partner(s).
This person will help you navigate the mountain and together you can get to the summit.
Selfishness is a big hindrance for the selfie generation. We want to have it easy and not go the extra mile for anyone else. If you cannot love God and people, you are likely to miss out on your inheritance.
Value is increased when we are able to serve. God requires us to use the talents and abilities He has given us to build others in the Body of Christ; they are not just for our individual benefit.
6) Find a good guide.
This is a person who knows the way in detail and won’t lead you astray. There are people God has placed in our lives as prophetic accompaniments. Have we discerned this people and given them the rightful place in our lives?
In our daily lives we have the Holy Spirit as our guide. We’ve never been to where God is taking us. But He has. Who better to fully rely on and entrust with our lives? Let us place our dependence on our Father in Heaven in whom we will be able to stand firm as He takes us from glory to glory.
May the peace of God be with you as you start the new week. Be blessed!