Rebecca Livermore from San Angelo, Texas, relates a humorous story about her preacher, who obviously looked for interesting ways to both gain attention and make a point.
One morning during the adult Bible class, the preacher picked up the lectern and walked back and forth with it. Back and forth. Back and forth. Without saying a word he continued to walk back and forth, as the class sat silently staring at him.
Finally someone asked, “What are you doing?”
The preacher replied, “Well, sometimes you just need to take a stand.”
Rebecca said, “It was a great beginning for a lesson on the importance of strong convictions.”
Our word of the week “stand” is used in various ways in the English language. Incredibly Dictionary.com lists 50 different usages. It can mean everything from being in an upright position, to adopting a policy or even tolerating and enduring something or someone.
The New Testament uses the word “stand” to speak of our conviction, courage, and commitment to Christ. Dr. Thayer says it is used metaphorically and means to be ready, to be prepared, to continue, safe, sound and unharmed. It has to do with being steadfast. To be firm.
When it comes to our faith and our loyalty to the Lord and His Word, we are commanded to “take a stand” for what is right. Where we stand religiously should be based on gospel. Paul reminded the Corinthians of this fact when he wrote, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand” (1Cor. 15:1).
“Taking a stand” requires watchfulness, strength and courage. The Bible urges us to “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong” (1 Cor 16:1) Our personal faith is founded in “the faith once delivered to all the saints” (Jude 3). It goes far beyond personal opinion, individual preference or doctrinal dogmas. It is given by divine revelation.
Too often we may find ourselves fiercely “taking a stand” regarding church tradition, partisan politics, or cultural customs. These ought not to divide us. “Take a stand” for what really matters. God’s Truth.
We must stand strong in our spiritual warfare against Satan. Paul exhorts “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Eph 6:11-13)
Three times the apostle uses the word “stand” to encourage Christians to be strong, brave and courageous. In a world that believes your faith is a private matter and you should keep your convictions to yourself, we must stand up against evil, ungodliness and the assaults of Satan. Don’t be afraid to “take a stand.”
“Taking a stand” is all about the Lord. It’s not about us. Or our pride. Our feelings. Our turf. Or even “our church.” “Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved” (Phil 4:1). “Take a stand” for Jesus.
Be steadfast. Unfaltering. Unshakable. Unwavering.
“Take a stand.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman