Friday, February 15, 2008

standing firm

In the spiritual battle we are in, the stance we are to have in the strength of the Lord and with the armor he provides, is simply to be standing firm.

Standing firm involves a good number of things for us in Jesus. We must start with this passage and see what it means in this battle we are in, and which at times seems particularly precarious and difficult.

I am most likely to fail to stand firm when I know I've either failed or made a mistake. But we notice that when the apostle Paul had the sense that all Christians had abandoned him, he stood firm, with the sense and reality that the Lord stood with him. He continued in the will of God for him. And we must do the same, in Jesus. Yes, it's not that we would compare ourselves to such a great man of the faith. But God's word through Paul calls us repeatedly to imitate him and his life.

Standing firm is a posture of faith. Faith is indispensable for this battle, both to accept this fight and God's provision for it, and to be enabled to fight this good fight well. The Christian life I think we can rightfully say, includes the good fight of the faith. And Paul stated at the end of his life that he had fought the good fight. Yes, Israel was called to stand firm, and see the salvation of God. Though at other times Israel was called to exert effort, even as we see in Ephesians 6. But as we do so we can be as confident as Israel of old at the Red Sea was called to be.

This faith means we resist the devil and all that would stop us or detour us, along the Jesus way. It's ongoing, though thankfully we have our seasons of rest, and in that can be good reflection on life and a new, fresh openness to his voice. But we must beware and be ready, for this battle will hit us in little ways, and big.

I think I heard it once said that the Christian life is like a three legged stool, the kind people used to use to hand milk cows the old fashioned way, I believe. The legs might be in this order: 1) sons and daughters of God 2) servants of God 3) soldiers of the faith- all, of course, in Christ. And if any one of those legs is missing, the stool topples over.

We in Jesus are in a battle. And we might as well get used to that. Otherwise we'll be toast. Though God in his grace is ever present to help us always, through Jesus our Lord. Thank the Lord for that, or I would have been out many times, and long ago. But I'm learning, and overall am doing better.

What thought might you add here, about standing firm in Jesus?

6 comments:

preacherman said...

Ted,
Great post brother.
I am going to strive to stand during times of the storm. As David says, "God is my Rock and my Stronghold." I want God to be that in my life as well, especially during those time of difficulty.

NaNcY said...

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.


1 Chronicles 16:34

Every Square Inch said...

Ted

I think we can often forget that we're in a battle...that this world is hostile to our faith.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Kinney,
Thanks. We all need to stand firm whatever we're facing. To stand in the Lord, in his strength and in all that "armor" he provides for us, as well as the weapon of the rhema (word) of God.

But for me a key is to remember that in all of this we're meant to stand firm. And to do so in something that is not a feel good kind of thing, in and of itself.

Thanks, brother. And great to see from your blog that you're feeling better.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Powerful words for standing firm in the battle! Thanks, sister.

Ted M. Gossard said...

ESI,
Yes. If we're to take up our cross and follow Jesus, this must mean that the heart of the world is the same towards Jesus and the gospel, as it ever was. We must follow in "the Jesus way", and not in the ways of this world.

Thanks.