“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.”
– Ephesians 6:13
Interestingly, when we study military history, one of the most important things we learn is that a great deal of strategy is mental and that not a lot of time is spent in face-to-face combat. This was very much true in the days of ancient warfare, and there was a Greek tactic called the phalanx in which citizen soldiers, known as hoplites, would line up and form a wall of shields and spears. Because the troops stood so closely, they were impenetrable, and when crazy enemy armies attacked, their soldiers would bounce off the wall of men, fall down, and get speared. The Roman legionaries took this a step further and created something called the tortoise, which was a super-long row of troops whose job it was to simply hold the line. I once heard a story about a time when there were 6,000 of these warriors shoulder-to-shoulder in an attempt to stop a barrage of 20,000 German barbarians. Though they were prepared to fight if needed, their primary goal was to stay put. Because they were arm-in-arm with their friends and comrades, their sense of solidarity enabled them to plant their feet and stand firm. Then, when the enemy troops worked to penetrate their wall, the cavalry approached from behind and defeated them; there was no head-on warfare involved.
My friend, as a soldier of Christ, there’s something to be said for simply holding the line. In seasons like the present, when the world seems to be taken hostage to the ongoing ramifications of COVID-19, your most important responsibility is to not give up. Allow yourself grace in this unprecedented period, and know that the changes you are adapting to daily demand energy and resources that might otherwise carry you towards greater achievement. You’re doing your very best, and Jesus is working in and through you, even now, as you stay the course and remain faithful to your routine. More than ever, this is the time to fill your mind and heart with the Word of God, lean on sound teaching, lock arms with your friends and family, plant your feet in truth, and stand firm in the Holy Spirit until the tide turns and a new day finally dawns.
Jesus, help me to “hold the line” in this difficult time, and fill me with your Spirit so I won’t give up.
How are you “holding the line” in your life right now?
If you’re unable to attend your local church or need some additional weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. PT on TBN or watch online at hourofpower.org/episode.