Sunday, September 9, 2018

Becoming a Christian Soldier - 4 Ways To STAND

 photo SundaySoldier4Stand_zpsbipyinn6.jpg "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."  Ephesians 6:10-13

 Today we continue learning about "Becoming A Christian Soldier." - Now, I have to be very clear - I am NOT talking about becoming a physical soldier and I am NOT saying that you should go out and physically fight (although I appreciate and respect anybody who has served or is serving in our army, navy or air force) - what I'm talking about in this series is on a spiritual level.  If you look above in verse 12: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood..." that is the exact point - we are not talking about a physical fight and we are not talking about physical training.  Becoming a Christian soldier is all about our relationship with God;  about our spiritual training and about our spiritual self.

A few weeks ago we learned about who our enemy is and then most recently we learned step#1 in Becoming a Christian Soldier:  Drawing from God's Strength.
Click HERE to read INTRODUCTION to this series.
Click HERE to read "STRENGTH FROM GOD"

Today we are going to learn about step#2 - STAND.
Let's look at the verses above:  we need to put on the full armor so that "you may be able to stand your ground".  Notice that we are required to "STAND" - not to run away and not to go forward on the attack - we need to stand our ground.
Let's begin by defining the word:
Stand - to rise to an upright position on the feet,
          - to remain stable, upright and intact
          - to remain valid, effective or unaltered
          - to take up or maintain a specific position, attitude or course


There are 4 ways to stand:

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for https://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundayStand1_zpsttqbpgr1.jpg

There will be times in your Christian walk when you will need to stand up or speak up against injustice, immorality, corruption, falsehood, blasphemy or anything sinful.  You might be feeling alone and might be the only righteous voice but remember that you are NEVER alone!  God is always with you.  Pray about your situation and God will give you the courage and the words, timing and tone to STAND UP / SPEAK UP.  
Remembering always to do everything in love.  There is no chaos or violence in the act of STANDING UP.

"Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them."  Ephesians 5:11

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for https://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundayStand2_zpsm37yd4qx.jpg

Then there will be times when you will need to stand in front and lead.  Leadership requires strength from God (step#1 in becoming a Christian Soldier).

There is another version of "standing in front" - you might have to "stand in front of" someone to protect them.  I can think of many examples of this type of situation - maybe it's a parent "standing in front" to protect a child from impending danger, or maybe a peer "standing in front" to protect a friend from a schoolyard bully.

"....but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity"  1 Timothy 4:12

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for https://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundayStand3_zpscehiuhpr.jpg

The opposite of leading is supporting from behind.  As an example, this concept is of course part of war and conflicts by fortifying a platoon from behind.  Or when you think about team sports, pick any team sport and you will be able to show how "standing behind" helps support the team and improves the entire team.

"Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."  Galatians 6:2

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for https://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/ photo SundayStand4_zpshq4acpw1.jpg

This is probably the most important type of "standing" - STAND FIRM.  In other words it's about endurance.  If you stand up or speak up and then after some coaxing suddenly sit down or change your mind, then you will come across as weak, hypocritical and fake.  You must stand your ground for as long as it takes.  You might be the only Christian "standing" for many days, weeks or even years.  God will provide you with strength to persevere and continue standing. 

"Be on your guard;  stand firm in the faith;  be courageous;  be strong."  
1 Corinthians 16:13

  
Stand up, stand in front, stand behind and stand firm!  STANDING is never violent or chaotic.

In the weeks to come we will learn how to "put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."  Next time we will be studying about "The Belt of Truth". 

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