Philippians on Fridays: Stand your Ground!

Thanks for joining me for our Philippians on Fridays devotion. Today we’re continuing with chapter one and verse 27:

…that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Paul encouraged the Philippians to “stand fast” for the faith of the Gospel. To stand Philippiansfast means to stand firm or to stand one’s ground. It means we don’t waver in our faith, but hold firmly to the truth.

This was not the only time Paul urged the Philippians to stand fast. Later in his letter, he repeated the admonition:

…stand fast in the Lord.. (Philippians 4:1)

In fact, “stand fast” seems to be a frequent command in many of Paul’s letters:

“…stand fast in the faith…” (1 Cor. 16:13)

 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free…” (Gal. 5:1)

Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught…” (2 Thes. 2:15)

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering…” (Heb 10:23)

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine…” (Eph 4:14)

PhilippiansFrom the frequency of Paul’s encouragement to stand fast, we must conclude that the believer’s faith in Christ and the Word are under attack. And this would be an accurate conclusion! From Genesis, where satan challenged Eve concerning God’s Word, to Revelation 20, where believers were persecuted for “the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God…,” the faith of God’s people has always been a target of the enemy.

There is a relentless pressure to compromise our faith in God, His Word, and His Kingdom. The devil and the spirit of this world are working in tandem to try to water down our faith. Those who believe in the infallibility of the Bible, the creation story of Genesis, the flood, the virgin birth, the resurrection of Christ, and the miraculous aspects of Christianity are frequently the objects of scorn by skeptics and scoffers.

If Paul thought it necessary to encourage the Philippians to stand fast in their faith in the first century, how much more is that encouragement needed in these last days?

Don’t let this world or the enemy water down your faith in God or your resolve to stand for truth.

Stand fast!

Stand your ground!

Don’t be wishy-washy!

Stand for truth. Stand for the Word of God. Stand for Biblical values. Stand for what is right. Stand for what you have been taught. Stand for righteousness and holiness.

A true child of God is not a jerk, self-righteous, or judgmental, but does, however, stand unwavering upon the truth of God’s Word.

Some people change depending on the most recent polls, the latest trends and fashions, what’s currently deemed politically correct, or what group of people they happen to be with at the moment.  The child of God, by contrast, is resolute in their deeply held beliefs.

There’s a fascinating story in 2 Samuel 23, about a man named Shammah – a man who stood his ground!

2 Samuel 23:11–12 – 11 And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines. 12 But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the Lord wrought a great victory.

He owned a hill of ground that produced an annual crop of lentils. The enemy tried to take it, but Shammah stood his ground and defended it. What may have only been a hill of beans to the enemy was precious and valuable to Shammah.

Your enemy may think your faith isn’t worth of hill of beans, but I want to encourage you to stand your ground. Your Christian faith is worth fighting for. The truth is worth fighting for. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s fitting:

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything!”

A true child of God is not a jerk, self-righteous, or judgmental, but does, however, stand unwavering upon the truth of God’s Word.   Steadfastness in our walk, consistency in our talk, and graciousness in our actions towards others is a far greater testimony than being a person who doesn’t stand for anything!

~Matthew Ball

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