Monday, September 27, 2010

Stand Your Ground and Take Your Stand

Since the last time I posted here a lot of things have changed. We moved into a small duplex, my husband and I are both working on our doctoral degrees, we have another truck, and my hubby got a job. The house will be gone by December of this year, and through all the heart ache and changes, one thing we have had to do is stand.

What does this mean, to "take your stand"?

Taking it from a dictionary the word "stand" means the following:

a : to support oneself on the feet in an erect position

b: to take up or maintain a specified position or posture

c : to occupy a place or location

d : to gather slowly and remain

e : to remain valid or efficacious the order given last week still stands

f : to endure or undergo successfully

The phrase "Stand Your Ground" is a battle metaphor. To stand and fight to defend the ground on which you stood rather than to run and give up ground to the enemy as he approached was to do the brave or honorable thing, and sometimes it was the difference between a military defeat and a military victory.

There are many opportunities in life every day that we can either choose to run away from responsibility or embrace it. Both of those decisions have consequences that will continue to reproduce themselves in the future. An example of this can be the opportunity to brush your teeth everyday, twice a day. Doing so will give you long-lasting healthy, white teeth. Failure to brush your teeth will cause infection, discoloration, and loss of teeth at an early age. Running away from responsibility brings about hardship for future generations as well. Your children will feel the consequences of your choice to ignore responsibility, either by emotional pain, or following in the same decision patterns.

Standing your ground means that you do not even have the choice to give up, back down, or run away, those things do not exist to you. What does exist is your faithfulness to stay in your position, place, and property until the next thing happens. Standing and staying responsible for the daily things in life entitle God to give us more to be responsible for. Our willingness to be mature and choose resilience over running opens the door for further advancement and responsibility in the kingdom.

Through out my work in counseling clients I hear more often than not, "But it would just be easier to give up and stay the way I am than to change." Although this may be true, it leads to a path of destruction, laziness and abuse of boundaries. I always respond with, "Then you don't need to be here with me because you are wasting my time and your money. Your proof is in your pursuit, if you really want to change you will put something into it." This usually works and change happens as the client invests and takes a stand against their past patterns of________(you fill in the blank).

Below are a list of scriptures that have been my encouragement the past few months and what God has shown me.

Exodus 33:21Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock.

When there were times I wanted to give up and not do anything because the path I was walking led to heartache and anger, God shared with me that I can choose to stand on Christ, of whom is my rock, my firm foundation. I turned my feelings over the Him and felt the load leave.

Deuteronomy 11:25No man will be able to stand against you. The LORD your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.

As calls poured in for people wanting money I didn't have, God showed up that He is for me, and NOONE is against me. He has turned my mourning into dancing.

Joshua 7:10The LORD said to Joshua, "Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?

How easy is it to sit down for a moment only to realize that it turned into a pity party? I found myself saying," No one understands what I am going through, I am all alone in this, What good is it going to do just to get up and pray again?" It is in these moments when the enemy wants to make the situation all about you and make you forget about what God has done, is doing, and is going to do to help you along the way. In this aspect God was telling Joshua, Get off your butt, stop being distracted and see, hear and know what I have for you!

2 Samuel 22:34He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.

There will be times when the only way to go is up, and it is in those times we see Who it is that is holding us up away from the turmoil of life.

Samuel 23:12 But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory.

This is a great example of standing ground and keeping the enemy off your land! He is under your foot, and he is just a mouse with a microphone wanting to tell you to run away, yet we have already won so keep standing and staying in the position of victory!

Psalm 20:8They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

This reminds me of a teeter-totter in that when God defeats the enemy He raises us up and we stand firm in our victory.

Psalm 26:12My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the LORD.

It seems that standing may be a boring thing to do, yet in reality there more action to it than you think!! Standing your ground also involves a lot of moving around, being aware of your surroundings, listening for a call of battle or change, and even more so praising the Lord for the battle has already been won. If you stay distracted while standing you will miss your call of change. Remain focused, alert and in position for whatever may come next!

Psalm 33:11But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Oh how sweet this is, that even when my plans and choices have failed, His steadfast plans for my life stand firm and true.

1 Corinthians 15:58Therefore, 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.

As stewards of God's Kingdom we are given the authority to remain in His Grace and Favor over our lives. Making decisions out of Godly Wisdom and not out of our emotions shows God our rate of maturity and willingness to obey. God created us with emotions, but our His spirit to guide us with His wisdom, not our own swaying feelings and thoughts.

Ephesians 6:13Therefore 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.

There will seasons of life where you have done all you can, thought all you can, cried all you can, ran all you can, prayed all you can, asked all you can, knocked all you can, paid all you can, saved all you can, pushed all you can and after you have put on God's armor, you STAND. Standing in God's favor, promise and letting Him show you when its time to walk forward!!! And is possible to stand and walk at the same time..thats another blog post. Until then....STAND YOUR GROUND!!!!


Jessica Smith