Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Art of the Firm Stand

There are any number of concepts in the scriptures that could, and often do remain vague were we not to ferret out their meaning and applications.

In fact, I often hear people say this or that, but when asked to explain further they sometimes respond with little more than a quizzical gaze (and I'm often one of them!) or, worse, a rote reply.

A question I ask myself (often silently) when I encounter such a thing - be it in the scriptural text or on the lips of others/self - is: So, what would that look like?

As I read through Paul's letter to the Philippians, I ran across this collection (again), and it began the process of fleshing out what it might look like to
stand firm".
"Therefore ... that is how you should
stand firm in the Lord." (vs 4:1)
What "that" is he referring to?

He actually tells us if we back up a bit ...

1. Put no confidence in the flesh (vs 3:3)
2. Press on (vs 3:12)
3. Live up to/according to what you've already learned; already know (vs 3:16)
4. Assemble with other believers (vs 3:17)
5. Recognize our true citizenship (the heavenly one) (vs 3:20)
6. Eagerly (as opposed to fearfully or fanatically) await the return of Jesus (vs 3:20)
7. Trust the Lord (not self, not pastor, not mystical enterprises) to transform us

Ohhhhh, that's what standing firm looks like!

There's a myriad other texts that put meat on the standing bones:

So, if you think you are standing firm
be careful that you don't fall. (1 Cor 10:12)
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith;
be men of courage; be strong.
Do everything in love. 1 Cor 16:13-14
And may we never forget Who it is that fits us for the Art of the Firm Stand ...

Now it is God who makes
both us and you
stand firm in Christ. (2 Cor 1:21)


Karen Lange said...

Good post. I like to ponder and meditate in this way sometimes. It really does help shed light and expand my knowledge and faith. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.
Karen :)

Rebecca said...

Yet another verse I learned while a Bible Quizzer in my youth... "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

You've demonstrated a great Bible study technique here! I love this kind of study AND the challenge, instruction and encouragement that comes as a result!

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

Amen LORD! I pray that You're my structure of support so that I stand firm in YOU. AMEN!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

oh, wow - this was good! yes, Lord thank for helping us to flesh out the word and really be able to apply it to our lives!

Nel said...

Thanks for sharing what is on your heart. You have given me some ideas on study that I will put to use! And it is always good to be reminded To Stand Strong.

until next time... nel

Shirley said...

Another great one!

Heart2Heart said...


I too am often times one of those with that look of confusion. Thanks for digging deeper to uncover the meaning behind what we think it means to reveal what God intended it to mean.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Saleslady371 said...

A good word about standing firm. It came at a good time for me!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Thanks...Stand Firm and see the salvation of the Lord. II Chron. 20:17
Good word!!!

Just a little something from Judy said...

Never before, in my lifetime has this "standing firm" been more crucial. It seems to me that the foundation on which so many are choosing to take their stand is more like sand than like The Rock.

Beth E. said...

Love this, Kathleen. 1 Cor 16:13-14 really spoke to me. I've been pondering the faithfulness of God today...check out my post.

Help me, Lord, to stand firm in the faith.


Sonja said...

I love the list and the scriptures... it doesn't leave a lot of 'wiggle room' in standing firm, does it?

His Word has such a way of nailing both what WE think and the way He says IT IS!!


skoots1mom said...

Standing on the Promises of Christ our King; through eternal ages let His praises ring; Glory, Hallelujah, I will SHOUT and SING...Standing on the Promises of God.
Standing, Standing on the promises of Christ our Savior
Standing, Standing....
I'm standing on the promises of God!

Loren said...

Amen .....

Recognize our true citizenship....the Heavenly One!!
We are just aliens here and must stand firm til we reach our journey..... HOME!!!

Love you! So thankful for your gift of teaching!!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

When the scripture gives lists, I'll usually do what you did in this post. My journal has many similar entries.

I also like to read the same scripture passage in multiple versions. I have a Young's Literal version, which is awesome.

Susan :)

Gwendolyn said...

Wonderful Truths! Thank you for the great study and so glad you are enjoying your time in WA state!