We all have those days when it seems that everything is going wrong, and we seemingly have a target on our backs. When we begin to feel downtrodden, we need to stop and take it to the Lord.
In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul laid the foundation for standing firm against the Enemy. He realized that we must understand our position in Christ before we can walk in the Spirit. We are seated with and in Christ: “For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:6-7 NLT) We are not left to fend for ourselves — we are with Christ, where the enemy is beneath His feet, and ours by extension.
In order to stand firm against the Enemy, we must be walking in the Spirit. Believers have the Spirit of Christ, the hope of glory within them (Colossians 1:27). Those who walk in the Spirit will show forth daily, moment-by-moment holiness, brought about by consciously choosing by faith to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide in thought, word, and deed (Romans 6:11-14). Failure to rely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance will result in a believer not living up to the calling and standing that salvation provides (Ephesians 4:1; Philippians 1:27; 1 John 3:3). We can know that we are walking in the Spirit if our lives are showing forth the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Being filled (walking) with the Spirit is the same as allowing the Word of Christ (the Bible) to richly dwell in us (Colossians 3:16). To “walk in the Spirit” is to follow the Spirit’s leading; which is essentially “walking with the Spirit’, allowing Him to guide our steps and conform our minds.
I began this post saying that when we feel downtrodden, we need to take it to the Lord. Paul tells us: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” (Eph. 6:10) Paul tells us that the unlimited power and strength of Christ are the source of strength for those who belong to Him. As Christians, we are to be strong in the mighty power of God. This means that our strength is not our own; it is not human or fleshly. Our strength is not of the world, but our strength is found in Christ—in our having a vibrant, dynamic relationship with Him. As Paul tells us that we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). When it seems that there’s a target on our backs, you can be certain that there is, so we must go to the Lord, for there is no other source that gives man the strength to overcome the world with its trials, its temptations, and death.
It is through submission to God’s strength that we overcome the power of Satan: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). It is by first aligning ourselves with the strength of God through our total submission to Him that we are able to withstand the wiles of the evil one: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:10-11)