We can be sure of one thing this day will require of each of us—we must make a stand.
In an age of flexibility where almost anything goes, we will have to draw some lines in places that really matter, lines that we will not cross. We will have to determine the essentials of each task, and on a larger scale, of life itself, and hold to them.
The essentials of life are not negotiable. They are fixed in our hearts and they guide our thoughts.
The non-essentials are our flex points; we can
- learn from others,
- even compromise for the good of the whole.
Not so with the essentials.
These are the points of unity with our fellows, our shared beliefs that bring us together and help us move forward together. Essential things mark the boundaries of the path we walk for within them we clearly see the footprints of Jesus.
Like a pilgrim on a long journey of faith, another morning on the trail demands another stand. Our destination does not draw near to us if we oversleep. We must stand to continue the journey,
- check the map,
- get our bearings,
- sense the day’s conditions and
- take the first step of a new day.
We do not stand alone, today. As the sun makes his pilgrimage across the sky, casting warmth and light upon the path before them, millions of fellow travelers take their stand as well. They draw their lines and check their maps. They stretch muscles stiff from sleep but strong and rested, ready for the trek.
Jesus, too, stands with us. He has our back. His Word is our guide, His blood our victory. He is our companion in the way.
The world doesn’t want us to make a stand. It wants to bend us this way and that, to distract us and break our concentration so, if we move at all, we will head the wrong way, a way so convoluted and confusing that we must sit down to catch our breath, another day wasted.
But the Spirit calls to us, “Arise! Take your stand! Your rest is complete. Take the first step of a new journey.”
In morning prayer, we renew the essentials as we rehearse the revelation of who God is and what He wants us to do. When the benediction sounds and the amen is spoken, we make our stand.
We stride into the day, confident of our Companion, with a lamp for our feet and a light for the path and victory ahead in the cause of Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-15
He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14; 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love
In Your strength I make my stand today. In Your wisdom, my mind is poised, ready and equipped to answer, to discover, to reason, and to refrain from evil as I embrace the good. In your love I will touch those who cross my path. Through Your overcoming grace, I will be a force for good in this World. If I should fail in this stand, Your Spirit will inform me and I will renew my stand. Nothing matters as much as this, that I should stand for You today. Amen.
Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus
Words: George Duffield Jr.; Music: Adam Geibel
1. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Ye soldiers of the cross;
Lift high His royal banner, It must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory His army shall He lead,
Till every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed.
2. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, The trumpet call obey.
Forth to the mighty conflict In this His glorious day;
Ye that are true, now serve Him Against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger, And strength to strength oppose.
3. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Stand in His strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you, Ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armor; Each piece put on with prayer;
Where duty calls or danger, Be never wanting there.
4. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, The strife will not be long.
This day the noise of battle; The next the victor’s song.
To him that overcometh, A crown of life shall be;
He with the King of Glory Shall reign eternally
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved