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Each Friday morning, I participate in Lectio Divina with a small group of HSP women. Here are some recent reflections that came as we pray-cessed Ephesians 6:10-17 (NIV) together:
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.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
So often, the verbs in a scripture passage tell us what God is doing.
But in this passage, it hits me:
These are imperative verbs. They are giving us directions—telling us what actions to take:
And the one verb from this list that especially stands out to me?
Why does the verb take hit me the wrong way?
It’s because for so many of us, we’re used to giving …
(… and giving … and giving … and giving …)
Even as I highlight take in my Bible, I want to push back from it.
A sense of “I shouldn’t do that. My role is to give, not take!” rises up within me.
Yet, it’s clear, right here in scripture: take
Not in the sense of taking something away from anybody else.
If I take, there won’t be less for others.
Ephesians 6 says “take up the shield of faith” and “take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit”.
These are available to each one of us.
Ephesians 6 also says “take your stand”
I am struck by the boldness of this phrase.
It’s such a contrast to what I recently wrote in my journal:
I am so so so so so so so so so so so so so tired of trying to be resilient.
There’s that verb again!
This is so very personal.
My stand may look different from your stand, and that’s okay.
My stand is a very specific one God is directing me to take.
Your stand is a very specific one God is directing you to take.
This feels firm.
Resilient — but not depleting.
Circling back to the first sentence: “… be strong …”
One goal of this ministry is to help Christian women who are Highly Sensitive Persons learn to be both sensitive and strong.
But our strength never comes from ourselves.
My prayer for you:
As you accept God’s invitation to take your stand, may you “… be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”
How do you respond to God’s invitation to take?