This is an excerpt from my book, Victorious Mindsets. I have modified it slightly to speak more directly to today’s current events.
“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” (Ephesians 6:13).
The evil day represents those times when we face a seeming onslaught of uncertainty and testing. This “evil day” can happen to us personally, as a family, a church, or even as a nation. Many are currently experiencing an evil day because of what is happening in the world. God is giving us grace to stand in this hour, and the foundation of this grace is to learn to stand in the normal challenges of life.
Every person has unresolved issues. Whether it is a lingering problem with another person, a circumstance that hasn’t changed for years, an emotional struggle or habit which keeps reappearing, or a new tough situation that has just emerged—we all have challenges before us. It’s in these situations that we learn “to stand.”
When faced with unsettled matters, scripture teaches us to:
1) Do all we know to do: Seek God for wisdom. Take the steps He leads you to take in action, prayer, and faith
2) STAND: Standing is holding steadfast to the belief that God is working in the situation in a mighty way. Standing is resting, trusting, thanking, and obeying the last thing God said about the circumstance
We will be tempted to fret over what is actually out of our control. Yes, if there is more to do we should, by all means, do it. But if we don’t have a clear word on further steps to take, we are to stand in peace in the midst of uncertainty and unresolved issues. This strong mindset is vital for our development as Christians, for our leadership, and for overcoming in the evil days we will face.
The Apostle Paul tells us to “take up” the full armor of God. We put on these powerful protective and enemy-defeating armor pieces by believing God’s promises, embracing our biblical identity, and resting in Christ’s finished work. It is important every day, but especially in the evil day. After we have done what we know to do, then we STAND in the midst of the uncertainty, knowing that God is powerfully working in the unseen realm on our behalf. Praise the Lord!
LIES TO OVERCOME CONCERNING THIS TOPIC
God has not equipped us to be victorious in difficult times
The challenges I have experienced in life will not be turned to good for me
I am a weak person
God is only working when I see Him working
“Evil days” will stay permanently in my life and nation
DECLARATIONS TO STRENGTHEN THIS STANDING MINDSET
I am filled with hope that joyfully expects good things to happen
The joy of the Lord is my strength and with Him I will never burn out
I love God and He is working all things together for my good
I am more than a conqueror through Jesus
My heart and mind are guarded by the peace of God that transcends all understanding
PRACTICAL WISDOM CONCERNING STANDING IN THE EVIL DAY
Face the worst thing that could happen – I call this bottom lining. One of my declarations is this: “Even if the worst happens, I will be okay.” This helps take the fear out of the current difficulty. In almost every situation, the worst will not happen. A University of Cincinnati study said that 85% of what we worry about never happens, and most people find a successful way to navigate the 15% that does.
Increase your thanksgiving – Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to exchange worry for peace by prayer that is mixed with thanksgiving. The result of this is that the “peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Know your assignment – A main part of standing in the evil day is to keep moving forward and attaching faith to your callings and assignments. Nehemiah refused to go down to the valley of Ono when tempted by the enemy to do so. He said, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3). Those who believe they are doing a great work do not have time to go down into the valleys of anxiety, victimhood, pessimism, or offense.
For much more on this topic, including my teaching on 2 Chronicles 20 that victoriously addresses standing in an evil day, listen to my podcast at the link below.
For more on topics like this, listen to my podcast by clicking the link below.
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.