On Wednesday, God made it very clear to me that for our (or any) church to be the church that God commissioned it to be, we were going to have to make the choice to stand. Now, I know that this seems like an obvious thing, but unfortunately it is something that is often lacking in churches and among God’s people these days.
In order to stand, we must consider three things:
- Who God really is. In other words, we must have a right vision of God. When Moses gained a right vision of God, he worshiped. When Isaiah gained a right vision of God, he repented. When Peter gained a right vision of God, he wept bitterly. When Paul gained a right vision of God, he said, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” In every case a right vision of God led to a lifetime of faithful service to the God they knew.
- What we stand for. No one can be asked to stand, if they don’t know what it is that they stand for. We need to become students of the word. Not students so that we can be intellectually smart, but students who are also active disciples of the word. Knowing the word of God allows us access to his exceeding great and precious promises that allow us to be partakers of the divine nature. That is what the knowledge of God does for the genuine disciple of Christ.
- How we relate to those without. The word of God tells us clearly that we are to preach the word, stand against the wiles of the Devil, and to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered. While these things are true, the same word tells us to make sure that our “speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt” and that we speak “the truth in love.” How we present the message is critical as to how it is received and with what power the Spirit can drive it home!
As we seek the wisdom, power, and mercy to simply stand, God will bless and empower us to fulfill his will for our lives individually and collectively as the members of His New Testament Church.