Can you “Withstand”?

I love the study of words. I love to dig into the meaning and then check the Thesaurus for different ways to express it. I was reading in Ephesians, chapter 6 verse 13 “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.”  Not a word we use everyday, withstand, it caught my attention. In the verse we know it means that we will have to take up a “battle post” to come against evil, but in looking up the meaning I got a little surprise. I take allergy medicine when I need it as I do have sneezing attacks over dust or cats and, budding things in the Spring and ragweed in the Fall! What is an allergy medicine called, anyone? OK, you call it an antihistamine. The Greek word for “withstand” is antihistemi. Compare “antihistamine.” From anti, “against,” and histemi, “to cause to stand.” The verb suggests vigorously opposing, bravely resisting, standing face-to-face, or toe-to-toe against an adversary, standing your ground. Just as an antihistamine puts a block on histamine, anthistemi tells us that with the authority and spiritual weapons granted to us we can withstand evil forces. I can be sneezing so hard that it hurts and take one little tiny white antihistamine and in a few moments my sneezing has stopped! We have to withstand anything that comes against us so that it doesn’t just quiet down, but STOPS completely! The Message translation says, Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. The neat thing about putting on God’s armor (truth, peace, faith and salvation) is that one size actually fits ALL! Not like David when he was still a shepherd going out to face Goliath. Saul tried to give him his own armor and it was sizes too big! He couldn’t see out from under the helmet and the shield was so heavy he could hardly pick it up! NO, this armor fits us and protects us, like running to the basement when the Doppler sees a tornado we run to God and use His Words as our protection. We wear the armor to maintain our “battle-stance” and it isn’t just passive protection it is to be used offensively against Satan and his forces! The Apostle’s final directive was “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” Prayer helps us in this battle of life and with God’s Word is our chief weapon used against Satan during our struggle! We all face struggles every single day. Whatever your particular battle is, just stand, be strong, and Withstand!


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