By E.L. Bevir
Ephesians 6: 13
The great question here is to be found standing (holding the ground) at the end of the battle, when the enemy shall have exhausted all his attacking force and ingenuity.
There can be no truce, the position occupied is too important and conspicuous for the enemy to allow any repose; and though he may, every now and then, draw back in order to spring forward again with more vigour than ever, these short respites are but sufficient to allow us to draw our breath, and then we must be ready for an attack more fierce and more cleverly planned than the last.
I know of no better illustration than an obvious one to many a mind; a weakened force, formed into squares and occupying a ground that the opposing general wishes to have at all costs. His astonishment at seeing the position still held, after the failure of each attack, can only equal his rage. The enemy is laying out his last artifices, and I believe that every awakened saint (awakened to the gravity of the contest) is praying to be kept among the number of those whom the head of the opposition shall not be able to drive off the heights where he is standing through grace.
Much has been said of the whole armour of God, of prayer, and perseverance; and we need to be reminded of these things more than ever. It is no small thing to be called to hold such a post against the universal lords of darkness. Yet surely we are called to this, and whatever be the force the enemy may have actually in the field, the might of the strength of the Lord is for us and He will sustain us to the very end.
The expression, "having accomplished all things", is worthy of our notice, for it implies perhaps more than we think. See the note in the New [Darby] Translation: "put in execution all purposed and called for, in spite of opposition". I suppose a long battle, during which the resisting force (following my first illustration) is called upon, every now and then, to withstand some new shock of the attacking columns; I suppose the vicissitudes of such a struggle, and that those who remain in the position at the end, have answered to their Lord's mind at each new call to stand and resist the impact of the foe. But it is not a physical impact. There can be no doubt that all the attacks here are made by artful and specious combinations; and if I may be allowed such an expression, the enemy often assumes the appearance of rigid orthodoxy to confound, if possible, those who are standing for the truth.
It is not that the form of sound words is to be neglected; we cannot be too careful in the present moment, to keep to the written word of God: but the enemy succeeds in terrifying souls and raising alarms with plausibility and success, where no cause for alarm exists. It is no doubt a day in which the very last efforts of the foe are being directed against the church of God upon earth; and we must not suppose that we are to be left in peace. If we enter into the meaning of the sentence, "having accomplished all things", we shall be all the more cast on the Lord, as the weary struggle draws to a close; only to find that His might and force are the same as at the beginning, and to be able to praise Him as the true Leader.
If our state correspond to the rest of this passage, we need not be afraid of the expression "having done all things" for He who has called us to the war will supply power and endurance to the end. The shoes shall be strong, for a sure footing, and as the days, so shall the strength be.
- E. L. B.