It is one thing to slip into the mud when you find yourself in a storm where the wind is howling and the dirt is being whipped up around you and the rain is pouring down. Life gets dirty sometimes and anywhere you step you’ll find yourself in the middle of a mud hole. Maybe that’s why God’s Word tells us in ***Ephesians 6:13 to equip ourselves and then when we have done all we can, to stand. Having done all we can, stand in faith. Sometimes standing is hard. You want to fight because even though it hurts, you’re still doing SOMETHING. But standing on faith is something bigger. Way bigger. And more helpful. It just happens to be harder.
It is another thing entirely however to find a weak spot and begin digging in the dirt until you have a hole, then grabbing a hose and filling that hole with water , or bitterness , or resentment, or hate until you have made a right fine mess of a mud hole and then jumping head first into it. Then, you ought to know full well you’re going to get dirty, muddy, and covered in it, all of it; the hate and bitterness and the rest. Sure, eventually that mud and hate can be washed off but don’t be surprised at the effort of it. And don’t be surprised when you find it under your fingernails and in your ears and other hidden spots that aren’t easy to reach. That stuff goes everywhere and lingers till you purposefully seek it out and wash it good with some strong cleanser like God’s Word and forgiveness.
***Ephesians 6:10-18The Message (MSG)
A Fight to the Finish
10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson