Choose Where You Will Stand
APRIL 15, 2010
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)
Several years ago, I began playing tennis and became a member of a competitive team. Each week the team attends a practice clinic with our tennis professional to learn new techniques and strategies. He is always full of great tips and advice to help us improve our game, but one particular week he said something that really stuck in my mind.
He discussed the importance of court position; where we stand on the court could determine whether or not we keep the ball in play and if we win the point. Then he said that although we could not control what was going on in the court, we could always control where we stand.
I thought about how that statement is applicable not only to tennis, but to life. You see, even though we can’t control what happens in the world, we can always control where we stand on issues of righteousness and integrity. Where we choose to stand will be evidence of the role that we are allowing God to play in our lives.
For example, we have no power over the sex, drugs, language and violence on TV, but we can choose whether we watch it or not. We have no power over the content of the movies coming out in the theatres, or how lenient the ratings are, but we can choose what we allow ourselves or our children to see. We can stand for purity.
We have no power to control the beliefs and actions of other people. We cannot control the downfall of morals in our society. We cannot control the decisions that Congress makes, which new laws are put into place, escalating gas prices, politics in the workplace, questionable practices in corporations, liberal tolerance, foreign affairs, war, or the state of the economy.
In fact, sometimes it may seem that we have no control over certain situations in our own lives, much less the things happening in the world. But there is good news – we always have the choice to choose where we will stand in the game of life.
Proverbs 20:5 says, “Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart; a wise person draws from the well within” (The Message). That is really where court position begins – in the heart. If our faith is strong and grounded, then we will be able to pull from that wisdom when faced with opportunities to choose where to stand, knowing that the power of God within us will empower us to make good decisions.
Our only hope in fighting this battle of good versus evil, in our hearts and in this broken world, is to be prepared to stand tall and firm for Christ, despite what the opposition may bring.
You know, life is a lot like a tennis court. We each have our side. We try to stay on the right side, but sometimes the balls that get thrown at us pull us in the wrong direction. Other times they are difficult to defend, cause us to stumble, or throw us off track. But if we choose the right court position to begin with, that is, to stay on God’s side and choose Him as our partner, we are much more likely to exercise the power we have within us. Drawing deep from the well of God’s wisdom in our hearts, we can do the right thing.
There are times when standing up for our faith may cause us to lose the popularity contest, but it will allow others to see God in us. And, there may even be times when our court position speaks louder than words ever could.
Where will you stand today?
Dear Lord, help me have the strength and faith to stand up for what is right when I am faced with opposition, and not be swayed by the pressures in a fallen world. Help me live a life that glorifies You, instead of just taking the easy road and going along with the crowd. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
An official of a mission board, who knew it takes more than just desire to make a missionary, was appointed to examine a candidate for the mission field. He told the young man to be at his house at six o’clock in the morning. The young man complied and arrived a six o’clock sharp. The examiner kept him sitting alone in the room until ten. Then he finally came in and said abruptly, ” Young man, can you write your name? A little taken aback by the simplicity of his question, the man paused. Before he could get a word out, the examiner blurted, “What, you don’t know what it is?” The mission board official put him through a series of questions of that nature and then went to report to the mission board.
“Okay,” he said, “he will do.” I tried his patience for hours and hours and he did not break down; Then I insulted him and he did not lose his temper. This candidate answered with patience, fortitude, and gentleness. His faith was vindicated by the very quality of his character. He will make a good missionary.”
Whether we realize it or not — we all are in the mission field. Our patience is bound to be tested in ways we’ve never imagined and we’ll most likely find it unfair and unkind at times. But standing strong in the Lord in the face of offensive treatment and enduring seasons of long-suffering is a testimony in and of itself — and that will win souls!
Are you weary from the walk? Get your second wind! Count it all joy! You have endured much and you will see victory! Not only here on earth but when we meet the Lord!
Stand and Fight!
We, as Christians, are in a continual battle against our adversary, the devil, a spirit being whose sole intent is to cause havoc for each of us. His goal is to get us off track of God’s plan for our lives. He waits until we’re at a vulnerable place before bringing forth his attack. This is why we have to be on our guard every single day.
1 Peter 5:8-9 commands us,
“Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack. But you must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith.” (CEV)
There are times when we may feel like our backs are against the wall with no way out. The thought of having to fight the giants of life in order to move forward can be intimidating. This is when the enemy comes alongside us to speak words of fear and doubt.
Satan is always trying to discourage us from believing we will ever walk in triumph. He is a liar and the king of all lies. We can either stand and fight or run and hide, the choice is ours to make. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances look like and what the devil says. The most important thing is what God’s Word says about our particular situation.
“So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgment of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word” (Hebrews 10:23 AMP).
In her book, The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word, Joyce Meyer says,
“2 Corinthians 10:4-5 teaches us that our weapons are not carnal, but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds in our mind. Casting down imaginations, thoughts, reasonings, and theories that don’t agree with God’s Word requires us to use our offensive weapon-the Word of God coming out of our mouth. When we speak, it becomes a two-edged sword that defeats the enemy with one edge and opens the blessings of heaven with the other. There are many other weapons that are defensive, but the Word is offensive-it chases the enemy, driving him back.”
We should never be the ones who back down from Satan in defeat. No! We must be bold in our faith and continue to push back the powers of darkness by using God’s Word as our weapon. Satan fears those who truly grasp hold of God’s Word and begin using it to their advantage. He knows the power the Word carries, and that he is no match against it.
“Jesus said to him, Away from me, Satan! For it is written…” (Matthew 4:10 NIV).
God sent forth His Son, Jesus, to die for us so we could have victory over the evil one. Our victory was bought with the price of Jesus’ blood. We, therefore, are protected by the blood of Christ and because of this protection, Satan cannot have dominion over us.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor 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, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:10-17 NIV).