13And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.
13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
In our study of Exodus 14 we have found that, for the children of Israel to fulfill their purpose they had to come to a place of absolute trust in God. This trust had to extend to circumstances where they could not see a way out in the natural. To this end God led them into an impossible situation. They were trapped with the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptian Army behind them. Or were they?
We discover as we read on that it is was not Israel but Pharaoh who was trapped. God spoke to Moses to open the Red Sea. Israel went over on dry ground and the Lord caused the waters to come back over the chariots of Egypt. God was in control all the time.
To have the kind of faith God was trying to build in them, they needed to do some things. First of all they had to get rid of fear. Faith and fear cannot work together. We all have times when fear thoughts come in, but the question is whether we will allow that fear to control us. They had to “live by faith.” That meant they had to be controlled by the reality that God was there and involved in their circumstances. That’s we must to do walk by faith.
The second thing they had to do was learn to “stand still.” What could that possibly mean? It means that they could not run away from what they had to deal with. They were going to have to stay right where they were depending on God to make the difference.
Faith virtually always involves this kind of a stand. We have an enemy, the devil, and he is not just going to let us win without a fight. If we are going to have the victory, we are going to have to stand through some opposition. That’s just the way it is.
Many people think they are standing when they are just waiting and putting up with things until God finally brings some kind of change. That’s not what standing is. Standing is not passive, it is aggressive. The picture Paul uses in Ephesians 6 is that of the Roman soldier.
Rome was the most powerful military force of his day. They had some very specific equipment and some very special tactics. Part of their equipment was a full body shield. These shields had the ability to lock together. When the legion locked those shields together and planted them in the ground they became a wall that could not be penetrated.
Another part of their equipment were their battle sandals. They were heavily soled shoes with cleats that dug into the ground. When the Roman soldiers “dug in” with those shoes they were immovable.
One of the tactics that caused them to be so invincible was their ability to stand. They would set the shield wall, did in their feet with the battle sandals and allow the enemy to come against them. As the enemy charged they would break against the wall. Once that happened the Romans would fight forward a few steps and stand again.
They would continue this process until the enemy finally broke and ran. Then the slaughter would commence in earnest. They would pursue the attackers and annihilate them. The key to victory, however, was their ability to stand.
This is the picture of standing that we need to have. We stand with two elements. First we have been given the shield of faith. Romans 10:17 tells us faith comes from the Word of God. If we want to be able to stand against our enemy we need faith from The Word. Without that there is nothing to stand with. There is nothing to stand on.
The second element is also found in Ephesians 6.
In order to stand we must have peace. That peace is like the sandals with cleats that could dig in to the earth and make them immovable. Our peace comes from the Gospel. What does that mean?
There are many things that could be said, but for today let’s focus on the fact we are in covenant with God through the Gospel. We are saved. We are children of the most high. God is for me. I have a covenant agreement with the almighty which says He will take care of me. When I know that beyond a doubt I can stand.
As we stand, we need to see what the enemy is really coming against. He is not just coming against us, he is coming against our shield of faith in the Word of God. He is not just coming against us, he is coming against the peace of God that salvation brings. He is not just coming against us but he is coming against the most potent set of weapons in the realm of the Spirit. He is coming against the armor of God.
Ephesians tells us that when we have done all we should stand. And we should stand with our armor on and ready. Get that picture of the Roman shield wall in your heart. See the enemy of our souls rushing against that wall. See them being knocked back and then see us going forward in victory.
One more thing. We need to remember that we are an army. If I am alone, my ability to stand is limited. If I am in the battle line I am impregnable. That’s why the enemy will attack unity. He will try to cut us out of the army so he can pick us off one at a time. We need to be sure we don’t let that happen.
When difficult things come we will often feel like we want to be separated from the body. Don’t do it. It is the most dangerous place you can be. On the other hand we also need to look out for one another. If someone is faltering, help them stand. Reach out and shore them up. We are in this together. Together we cannot fail and alone we can only fail.
Let’s get that shield wall up and stable. Having done all let’s take our aggressive battle stance and we will see a great victory in the battle for our destiny.