What is your position when confronted with evil?
You realize, don’t you, that evil is all around us and the enemy never takes a day off? Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, Paul said, but “against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). That means we don’t battle against people. If we don’t recognize this fact, we will see people as the enemy and fall prey to hurt, offense, and disunity. Therefore, our battle is against the work of darkness. This battle is not a match for human strength, either, but for God’s power. We are to be “strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Eph. 6:10). By equipping ourselves with the full armor of God, we are able to prevail against satanic assaults and to resist the ploys and tactics of the enemy. If fact, three times Paul told us what our position is to be when confronted with evil: Stand firm he said (Eph. 6:11, 13, 14).
To stand (histemi) means to hold your position; to remain steady or established. In other words, we are not to move from where we are. We have been redeemed and seated in heavenly realms which enable us to walk in victory. So when the assault of evil comes, we are simply to remain steady in Christ. We don’t need to fight for freedom; rather, we fight from a position of freedom. Because of what Christ has already accomplished in our lives our only responsibility is to resist the enemy and stand firm; hold our position.
Watchman Nee wrote, “Christian experience begins with sitting and leads to walking, but it does not end with these. Every Christian must learn also to stand. Each one of us must be prepared for the conflict. We must know how to sit with Christ in heavenly places and we must know how to walk worthy of Him down here, but we must also know how to stand before the foe….no Christian can hope to enter the warfare of the ages without learning first to rest in Christ and in what He has done, and then, through the strength of the Holy Spirit within, to follow Him in a practical, holy life here on earth.” To summarize then, when we learn to sit in intimacy and walk in consistency, we will be able to stand in authority.
We have been equipped with every piece of armor that prepares us to remain steadfast against evil forces. We have a breastplate of righteousness to cover our heart, shoes for standing in peace, a shield of faith against accusations from the enemy, the helmet of salvation to protect our mind, the sword of the Spirit which is the spoken Word of God, and all of these pieces are anchored to the belt of truth that is around our waist. I want to include one more piece of armor that rarely gets discussed, but I believe that it is imperative to our standing with authority. I want to call this final piece of weaponry the “lance of prayer.”
Paul wrote, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18). Pray on all occasions and use every kind of prayer possible as the Spirit directs us. The New Testament identifies at least six types of prayer. First, the prayer of consecration (proseuche) such as Matthew 21:13. This type of prayer is mentioned approximately 127 times and it refers to being stretched out before God. Some scholars identify this type of prayer with worship. We are to be a house of prayer and worship that humbly cries out to God. Second, the prayer of authority (aiteo) such as John 15:7, where Jesus says if we abide in Him, and His words abide in us, then we can ask, declare, or make a decree, and it will be done for us. We find this type of prayer 71 times.
Third, the prayer of thanksgiving (eucharisteo) which is used approximately 39 times. Thanksgiving prayers express our praise and gratitude to God, and we’re actually told that this is the will of God for us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Fourth, the prayer of petition (deisis) such as Acts 1:14. This word, used 19 times, means to cry out on behalf of a great need, and in this passage the early believers cried out for 10 days before being filled with the Holy Spirit. Fifth, the prayer of supplication (enteuxis) such as 1 Timothy 2:1. Used 2 times, this word means to unite together and cry out with a great fervency. We might think of “agreement prayers” with this type of prayer. This much for sure, leaders, political figures, kings, and rulers need our supplications because God wants “all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).
Finally, the prayer of intercession (huperentugchano). This type of prayer is used one time by Paul when he wrote, “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26). Note that phrase: The Spirit helps our weakness. When we feel helpless, frail, and overwhelmed by what might be confronting us, and we have no idea how or what to pray, the Holy Spirit falls into our situation and begins to intercede on our behalf according to God’s will. Be comforted by the fact that the Spirit is actually attracted to our weakness.
Standing with authority against the confrontations of the enemy is made possible among other things by the power of prayer. So, learn to sit in intimacy with Jesus. From that posture, I believe that you’ll be able to walk with consistency. When the day of evil strikes, you can stand with authority girded with the armor of God including praying in a variety of ways. And should you ever feel frail and weak against the enemy, be assured that the Holy Spirit will pray through you.