Grace Guarded, Week 4 ~ When We Decide to Take a Stand

So, recently a friend of mine was at home with her children playing in the front yard, when an unexpected visitor arrived.

A salesman pulled into the driveway wanting to sell her family some meat.  He began talking with her kids, and then approached her front door, where she immediately greeted him with a “No, thank you” to what he was offering.  He was unfazed by her words, not taking no for an answer.  He just continued to talk over her, unconcerned with what she was saying.  Her tone became focused and forceful as he kept standing there, letting him know in no uncertain terms that she was NOT going to buy what he was selling.  When he finally realized he wasn’t making any progress, his attitude turned, he became upset and headed back to his truck.  But instead of driving away, he sat in his truck and continued talking with her children.  The kids immediately left the lawn and poured into the house, realizing something was completely off, this whole scene wasn’t right and they needed to get to where their mama was.

Here’s what I see about this.  One, my friend was immediately present and speaking with intentionality on behalf of herself and her children.  Two, this guy didn’t care.  And three, because of that she stood up with authority and intentionality, ready to defend all she had, all that was precious to her.  

Because when you realize that what you have is precious, you’ll do whatever it takes to protect it.

Ladies, in these past three weeks, I’ve become so aware of the precious gift of His grace, haven’t you?   

His grace is so amazing and grand and poured out.  It has caused me to live more alive and in the moment, realizing He is always present with me.  That His grace is always available.  That I am free to receive it, to fall into it, and take in His forgiveness and sufficiency. 

As I’ve realized my own desperate need for His grace, it has softened the way I see those around me, opening me up to extend more grace to them.  This grace is changing me from the inside out as I begin to live and breathe and move in ways I never have before.  

It’s incredible, isn’t it?

And so as we open ourselves up for this last week of study, I am compelled by this one thought: 

A gift this generous requires that I guard it with all that I am.

As Paul begins to pen the last half of Ephesians 6, he got this.  Paul has just spent the last five and a half chapters laying it out there, writing and explaining all that is good, and right, and generous about our God.  Paul, as he’s imprisoned, took great pains in describing the depth of His love and all that’s ours for the taking.  

So as he enters into verse 10, Paul’s basically saying this:

“You have been given everything…God’s grace has been completely poured out to you.  Understand this!  GUARD IT!  Protect it!  Stand your ground against anyone and everything that comes against it, because it will.  And don’t just stand because you’re obligated, but because you understand that the stakes of this life are eternal and they demand you to be fully engaged, committed, and ready to go.” 

My friend got this in spades in that one moment.  When that unwelcomed guest arrived on her front porch, no one had to prompt her to take a stand.  She wasn’t sitting on the couch waiting for the next commercial before getting up to see what was happening.  Nobody was coaching her to be protective of her kids.  

No, the mama bear instinctively raged.  The boundaries of her property and her children had been jacked with and she stood up and stood strong.

Ephesians 6 is exactly that: standing up and guarding all that has been so graciously and sacrificially poured out to you, and doing so with every fiber of your being.  Not because you have to, but because you recognize that what you’ve been given is costly and precious and great, and His grace is no longer a trite word or song, but it is everything deep and wide, and has actually saved your very soul.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Girls, we have got to stand.

If this doesn’t matter, nothing else does.  We have got to guard this gift of salvation, this gift of grace with all that we are because it is everything.

This Week {Week 4} ~ Grace Guarded

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This week we have to answer one question:  Do I really believe that this whole message of grace matters to my every day life?  And if it does, then it’s time to draw a line in the sand and stand up.  We’ve got to shore up the areas of our life that are filled with lies, recognize where we need His strengthening and begin to say YES to the Truth of God’s Word.

1.  Read.  Read Ephesians 6:10-24, looking specifically at vs.10-20.  It’s a blueprint of standing strong against our very real enemy who is looking to steal, kill and destroy everything.  This is not a game to him, it is very real and he is looking for any avenue possible to work his way into your life to take you out of the game.

2.  Identify areas that may be exposed.  Take an honest look at your life right now and ask what are the areas where the enemy has an “in”?  Consider these areas:

    • Your thought life
    • Areas that crowd out God’s voice or authority
    • Situations that bring on worry or anxiety
    • The words you use, towards yourself
    • The words spoken to others
    • What you look at online
    • Your finances

The enemy is looking for a way in, guaranteed.  Walk in wisdom, sweet friend.  Identify that open door, then close it and stand in the power and strength of your God.

3.  Recommit yourself to being in God’s Word.  Notice in verse 17, the one offensive (as opposed to defensive) piece of armor in this whole list is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  Girls, we live in a world that is fill with blogs, tweets, posts, pins, headlines and feeds.  We take in so much information every moment of our day.  But we have got to guard against developing a theology based on the voices of social media rather than our own personal study of God’s word.  God’s Word alone is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).  Let the rhythm of your life be kept by God alone, not anyone else.

Oh ladies, in this last week of our study, let this settle into you.  

Decide.

Decide to receive this grace for yourself.

Open your life and allow God to do a work in you, transforming you from the inside out. Decide this week to stop putting bandaids on everything and instead open yourself with outstretched arms and say Yes to whatever it is that He might be speaking to your heart.  

Take a stand.  Because the enemy is not going to care if you just keep mulling and considering the idea of taking a stand.  He’ll just keep talking over you to work his way in.  Decide.  Decide in no uncertain terms that you are no longer buying what he’s selling.

Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power, and stand firm against all the lies, all the patterns, and all the ways you’ve tried to make it all just work out.

Believe that this grace is worth fighting for. 

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See you back here Friday, as we take a “Weekend Walk”, an intentional exercise to enter His presence and experience His grace.

For additional encouragement and community throughout the week, find us on Facebook at facebook.com/womenwhobelieve.

Invite your friends to join us, from across the street or across the world.  Let’s live and breathe His grace together!

Tell us how God is stirring in your heart…there is something powerful that happens when we hear the testimony of others.  Tell us how you are waking up to God’s grace in your life!

 

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