In times of uncertainty, it’s easy to lose focus and be swayed by what seems expedient in the moment. We’re stressed — we need to make a decision — we give in to worldly pressure even when we know it’s wrong. That happened to King Saul in the book of 1 Samuel. In chapter 13, Saul and his army are waiting for the priest, Samuel to arrive and offer a sacrifice to the Lord before going into battle. Samuel did not arrive in the time expected; the soldiers were getting restless; the enemies had mustered; Saul, in a panic makes the sacrifice himself. He knew it wasn’t God’s will — but he did it anyway. He didn’t know what might happen next, so he decided to take control of the situation himself. In the end, he is punished by losing his kingship.
We’re all capable of making bad decisions like this. It’s always hard to wait, and waiting when the situation seems volatile is even more difficult. Those are the times when we need to take a breath, and stand firm. Maybe that means waiting for God’s direction; maybe it means doing what seems counterintuitive; maybe it means going against the way of the world. Here’s what Paul says in the book of Ephesians:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make 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 world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:10-12
Satan loves to make us uncertain. He whispered lies in Eve’s ear (“Did God really say, you must not eat of any fruit in the garden?” Genesis 3:1) and he does the same to us. He sows doubt.
“Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness arrayed, and with your feet fitted with the readiness of 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. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:13-17
For more on the armor of God see these posts: