Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Stand Firm

“Stand firm in the faith.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV

“Put on the full armour 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….” Ephesians 6:13 NIV

Oswald Chambers points out that it is easier to fight than to stand but “our conflict is not so much a fight as a standing on guard.”* It is easy to go on the attack—attacking homosexuals for the lives they lead; attacking the abortion industry; attacking the education and judicial systems for removing prayer and/or symbols of Christianity from their midst—but how do we stand?

How do I stand? What do I do when the “little” things come along to test my faith and my obedience? Do I continue to stand or do I bend because “it’s no big deal” or “no one will ever know”? A well-known American pastor was part of the visible fight against homosexuality but it turned out that in his private life he was doing the very thing he was fighting against. He could fight but he could not stand. I too have done this. I told my husband one day that I didn’t want our homosexual neighbour to come into our home anymore. But what was I doing in the dark recesses of my mind? Fantasising about being with other women.

I want to be someone who can stand as a bulwark against “the day of evil”; to be able to say no to the enticing, the comfortable, the “acceptable” if they are contrary to God’s will. Do I have faith that God’s Spirit is in me, giving me guidance; faith in God’s love for me and faith that he will do what is best for me so that I can go ahead and obey whatever he tells me because of this faith? Can I stand firm and not give in? Can you?

Father, there are many things that keep me from standing firm: desire for my own comfort, preferring what’s easy instead of what’s right and fear—fear of rejection, fear of what others will think, fear of the unknown. Please give me faith to trust your Spirit’s whispers to me, to trust your love for me and to trust you, so that when all is done, I am still standing.

*“Irresistible Discipleship” in “Facing Reality” in The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers page 39.

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