Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, and be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV
On the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, George Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American young man under the State of Florida “Stand your ground” law. While Zimmerman was tried in court for the fatal shooting, he was found not guilty despite the national outrage it triggered.
“Stand your ground laws” exist in at least 25 states in addition to Florida and North Carolina. These laws, sometimes called “Make My Day” laws or “Shoot First, Ask Questions Later” laws cover the extent to which a person can legally go to defend themselves or others with deadly force in their homes, vehicles, and workplace without the “duty to retreat” and the exceptions that apply. Under the North Carolina “Stand Your Ground Laws” (NCGS § 14-51.2 and § 14-51.3), a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat in any place he or she has the lawful right to be if either of the following applies:
You reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another; or
You are in your home, vehicle, or workplace, and that the person against whom the defensive force was used was an unlawful intruder or was attempting to enter forcibly and unlawfully one of the above.
“Stand Your Ground Law” is also applicable in our spiritual warfare against demonic forces that are trying to wreak havoc in our lives and hurt the people we love. The Lord has given us His holy word as a mighty weapon to wage spiritual warfare against the devil and his demons. Believers have the right to defend themselves and their loved ones with their God-given power and authority in their homes, businesses, marriages, jobs, churches, health, finances, etc., without the “duty to retreat.”
Paul reminds believers to always put on the full armor of God so that they can stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11). By standing firm in our faith in Christ Jesus, we are standing our ground against the forces of darkness. Believers do not have to wait for the devil to attack them physically and spiritually before using the spiritual weapons given to us by Jesus Christ. Believers should strike at their spiritual enemy preemptively to prevent demons from invading their homes, attacking their physical health, threatening their finances, endangering their loved ones, and attacking their ministries.
The best way to strike preemptively against demonic spirits is through prayer. Believers should pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. We should pray for those in our sphere of influence whether they are doing well or not. Fervent prayer is a key component of the spiritual “stand your ground law.” The more we pray, the closer we get to God and the stronger we become. Prayer keeps us in a state of spiritual readiness so we can strike at the forces of darkness before they can attack us. One of the reasons I enjoy praying very early in the morning is because I want to stand my ground by praying for myself and my family before I start the day and before the enemy starts his attacks.
Moreover, we should also stand our ground with the word of God. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints, and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). We should hide the word in our hearts and be ever so ready to use it before we get anxious or perplexed. For example, believers should quote scripture before their physical check-up. The word of God should be on our lips before a meaningful conversation with a friend or spouse that may become contentious. We should memorize as many verses as possible and use them often to rebuke demons in the name of Jesus.
No disciple of Jesus Christ should allow fear to overwhelm their faith. God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind. So, the next time you feel like you are under spiritual attack, stand your ground and use prayer and the word of God to live in victory.
Questions for Personal Reflection
How are you standing your ground against the devil and his demons?
Why are prayer and scripture so important in our spiritual warfare against the forces of darkness?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I thank you for the power you have given me in your word to wage warfare against the devil with spiritual weapons that can pull down strongholds in the name of Jesus. Please help me to demonstrate faith and confidence when the enemy tries to attack me and my family. Remind me to use prayer and scripture to keep the enemy at bay and strike preemptively against his demonic attacks.