10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.~Ephesians 6:10-11
How will you stand when things get really tough? Sure, we have all faced difficult things in life, but according to Scripture, things will become unimaginably difficult should Jesus tarry! Are we prepared to face what a sin-sick world throws at us when evil ramps up to levels never before imagined? In Ephesians 6, Paul describes the armor we must don every single day if we are to stand strong in the Lord and the power of His might against the wiles of the devil!
Along those lines, perhaps we can learn some things from the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7. As you read the chapter, you find a group of religious leaders absolutely furious with Stephen! Why? From Abraham to Moses, Stephen lays out Israel’s history, then likens a new Prophet to Moses. (Blasphemous to Jews!)
Then, he pushed a really sensitive button! He referenced the wilderness tabernacle, of which Moses was given specific instructions, and declared that the Most High does not dwell in tabernacles made by hands. He, then, rebuked them for resisting the Holy Spirit. The religious leaders were enraged, chased him out of the city and stoned him to death!
Verses 59-60 say: 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Stephen was armored up and standing strong! Ironically, the man who penned the exhortation in Ephesians 6:10 to stand strong in the Lord, had previously witnessed the stoning of Stephen with delight and satisfaction. I wonder if the apostle Paul (writer of Ephesians) was forever impacted by Stephen’s bold stance.
Do you think Stephen’s strong stand came to Paul’s mind as he described the armor every Christian is to wear? Do you think Stephen’s bold stance for truth might have been confirmation of God’s extraordinary call upon Paul to be a bold and forthright in recording Scripture? I think so!
Learn from Paul and be a Stephen!