The word, STAND (in bold and all caps), has been emblazoned on my mind for many months. It seems that everywhere I look, everything I read and everything I hear is encouraging me to take a firm spiritual stand and to not move from it.
So many scriptures have been flooding over my soul regarding standing firm on the Holy Word of God and unwavering in the faith. I know it is the Holy Spirit speaking to me and encouraging me. I have no doubt of my faith, however when faced with spiritual battles, I often want to take the coward’s way out. It would be so easy to lock myself in my office and bury myself in the Bible study that I so dearly love. Walking away from spiritual warfare would be so easy, but what profit or benefit would I be to the kingdom of God if I were to hide away or seek anonymity in another environment?
Our pastor’s message this morning was about spiritual warfare and the breaking down of strongholds. When I saw that a friend posted a reference to Ephesians 6 and 2 Chronicles 20:17 on Facebook. I felt as though I had been smacked with the blinding flash of the obvious – God has a message for His people.
“Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, STAND ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.”
Jeremiah 6:16 is a scripture I seem to refer to when I am at a crossroads. It always gives me encouragement to remain in God’s righteous pathway when the road forks and an easier route is an option. “Thus saith the Lord, STAND ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” I don’t know about you, but a restful soul is something I strongly desire.
When Moses had led the Hebrews out of Egypt, they stood at the banks of the Red Sea with Pharaoh and his mighty army bearing down on them. As the people were crying out in fear and panic, Moses stood tall, confident and strong before them, lifted his rod out over the sea and called to the Hebrews, “Fear ye not, STAND still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever.” Exodus 14:13
As Paul addressed the Christians in the idolatrous city of Corinth who were continually confronted with the wicked and had such turmoil within their own church as they tried to adjust to their newly found faith, he told them, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, STAND firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV). And Paul tells them again in 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on your guard, STAND firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong.” (NIV). Take note that Paul, who is often accused of misogyny nowadays, addressed both brothers AND sisters in his encouragement to stand.
My friends, we have bold instruction to prepare ourselves for the spiritual warfare that will most surely confront us. We should not be surprised when Satan attacks and tries to silence our spiritual gifts or when he drops a heavy, dark blanket of discouragement over our souls.
- 10. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
- 11. Put on the whole armor of God, that Ye may be able to STAND against the wiles of the devil.
- 12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
- 13. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withSTAND in the evil day, and having done all to STAND.
- 14. STAND therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.
- 15. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
- 16. Above all, taking the shield of Faith, where with ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked;
- 17. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God;
- 18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints
There are so many more scriptures given to us in the Bible encouraging us to stand. God tells us over and over and over again to stand firm and upon His Holy Word in His Name. He requires us to stand our ground for Him. I love the little story in the 23rd chapter of 2 Samuel of Shammah, who stood alone in the bean field and defeated the Philistines by the might and power of God’s anointing. (v. 11-12)
Probably the best advice I ever received in my life came from the greatest man of faith that I ever knew, my dad, when he told a skinny, gangly teenaged me, “Girl, you stand for the right, even if you stand all alone.”
I’m standing, Daddy. Often alone, but I am standing.
What about you, my friend? Are you in a spiritual battle? When trying to live for the Lord, it seems that so many obstructions are tossed into our paths often from our Christian brothers and sisters from whom we would expect the greatest support. Remember that those people who come against you have allowed themselves to become the tools of the deceiver, Satan. Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but “against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
I pray that your eyes, like the eyes of Elisha’s servant are opened to see that even when you think you stand alone, you know you are not alone. “And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” 2 Kings 2:17
Alone, yet not alone.
May God bless and keep you. If I don’t meet you again here, I hope to meet you over there!