3. Remember our strategy is not from flesh and blood.
Ephesians 6:13-20 reads, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Emphasis mine)
On the word translated “withstand,” Dr. D. Stuart Briscoe explains, “When Paul was concerned about Peter’s ambivalence in the matter of Gentile converts adhering to Jewish practices, Paul ‘withstood him to [his] face’ (Gal. 2:11). This, of course, shows that there is a place for the believer to adopt an aggressive stance and take the fight to the strongholds of Satan as Paul did to Peter. This we expect missionaries to do in far-off lands, but the strongholds are waiting to be stormed in every land and this is part of the engagement.”
Dr. George Duffield Jr., exhorts, “Stand up, stand up for Jesus. . . Put on the Gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer; Where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there.”
Our strategy is not from flesh and blood, it is from God. Here are two passages that use the phrase “flesh and blood” in this way. Matthew 16:13-17 reads, “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.’” Rev. John G. Butler explains, “Christ spoke two important truths about this confession by Peter, which Christ said was a result of Divine revelation. First, the favor in the revelation. . . . Second, the Father in the revelation.”
Galatians 1:11-17 reads, “But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.” (Emphasis mine) Dr. Stephen F. Olford (1918-2004) explains, “When God revealed Christ in him and his eyes were opened, he did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, but went exactly where God led him. Surely, here lay the great power of the apostle. He was not dependent on the support of others, but was entirely dependent on God from the very beginning of his ministry. He was not one to pander to the flesh or popularity of others. He took all his orders from God.”
A spiritual war requires spiritual weapons. 2 Corinthians 10:1-6 reads, “Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” (Emphasis mine)
Dr. Lehman Strauss explains, “Last, but not least, the child of God must have recourse to prayer: ‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints’ (6:18). Some teachers do not regard prayer as a part of the equipment but, rather, that exercise of soul that takes us into the realm of the believer’s resource where the whole armor is rendered effective. Such an interpretation may be right. However, the important truth for us to learn is the absolute necessity of earnest, constant prayer if we are to live triumphantly as Christians. It is not the possession of the armor and the weapons that makes a great warrior. No resource of strength or strategy lies within ourselves. Rather do we need to look to the One who is superior to the enemy’s greatest strength and who can outwit his every maneuver. It is by prayer that we come boldly to God’s throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Every conquering Christian in every generation has been a prayer warrior. The one necessity of every good soldier of Jesus Christ is to keep in constant touch with his great Captain and Commander.”
Stand up, stand up for Jesus.
1 Corinthians 10:12 reads, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” James 4:6 reads, “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Jude 1:24-25 reads, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.”
While God’s truth is certainly humbling,
trusting in Jesus will keep you from stumbling!
Dr. George Duffield, Jr., exhorts in the last stanza of his great hymn: “Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross; Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory His army shall He lead, Till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.”
Stand up, stand up for Jesus.
D. Stuart Briscoe, Let’s Get Moving: A Bible Commentary for Laymen (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1978), 157.
John G. Butler, Analytical Bible Expositor – Matthew, (Clinton, IA: LBC Publications, 2008), 280. Database © 2013 WORDsearch Corp.
Stephen F. Olford, According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament, (Nashville, TN: B&H, 2008), 157. Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp.
Lehman Strauss, Devotional Studies on Paul’s Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1957), 238-239. Database © 2008 WORDsearch Corp.
Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527
Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and
Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on Amazon.com in hardcover, paperback and eBook]
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