Watching a child develop and grow is an amazing process. Infants learn to exercise and control their limbs. They learn to reach and grab a toy, eye glasses or a handful of hair. Their muscles strengthen, and they learn to shift their weight, which becomes a game of throwing themselves backwards in mom and dad’s arms. Eventually they learn to roll over by controlling their center of gravity and as parents and grandparents we cheer them on. Eventually they learn to get on their knees. Then comes crawling. Children learn to pull up and then they learn to let go and take their first step. There is a lot involved for a child to learn to stand. Children learn by trying and falling. Sometimes they fall and try again immediately, but sometimes they try, fall and get hurt. The learning process is slowed. These are not failures, they are part of the process of learning. The thought of, 'I did it this way last time, let me try it a different way this time’, seem to go through their little minds. Paul in Ephesians 6:11 commands us to "stand against the wiles of the devil.” The word for wiles is also translated schemes. The root of the word speaks of methods. Satan has methods to entrap us or harm us. In Genesis 3:1 the serpent is described as cunning or crafty. Jesus told us that Satan’s desire was to "steal, to kill and to destroy.” He has schemes or plans that are crafty to ensnare us and to harm us.
So how do we stand? How do we stand against Satan’s schemes? Paul’s admonition is to put on the whole Armor of God. If you wear a watch every day and then get busy one morning and forget to put it on, the rest of the day your wrist feels weird. If you carry your cellphone everywhere and one day you leave it at home, then the rest of the day you are thinking I need to check my phone but wait I don’t have it. I wonder how many of us in our lives run into our days without putting on the whole armor of God. How many of us try to fight against Satan’s schemes with earthly tools of knowledge and will power rather than the spiritual tools that we have in Jesus. Take time to read through Ephesians 6:10-20. Note all of the tools that God has given us through our relationship with Jesus. I want to highlight just one. Paul point us to pray. I understand how busy life can be. I understand how hectic mornings can be, but I want to implore you to spend time with God before you leave the house. Start your day with him. Before you put the car in drive talk with him. Place your day, your life, your to-dos before him. If we don’t then we are running into life half prepared. We don’t have what we need to face the spiritual attacks of Satan. Guard your heart, protect your mind, keep your eyes focused on Jesus and check yourself against the truth of God’s word. There will be setbacks but know that God’s mercy is new every morning. Let’s learn to stand.