I have often cycled back to this verse as means of recalibrating my heart and mind. It has served to remind of the value of giving myself to the Lord’s work. But recently I’ve been focusing on the first part of this verse, stand firm. Let nothing move you; a truth that is becomes particularly relevant when we come to a hard place in our journey with the Lord.
I think you would agree, we grow in the tough times, more so than when the path is easy. The key to our growth, the key to standing firm is how we respond when we come to the hard places in our journey. Discouragement, doubt, conflict, adversity, loss, pain, suffering, as human beings living in a fallen world we are well acquainted with these realities. How we respond to these kinds of things reveals what it is we hold in our hearts.
Trials in this life will expose what’s in your heart. (John Bereve,The Bait of Satan)
How we respond to adversity and discouragement, how we respond to the hard things that come into our lives reveals what it is we hold in our hearts, our deeply held convictions. How we respond depends on what we believe. Action is controlled by conviction; whatever is on the inside will show up on the outside sooner or later.
When our lives are anchored in Christ, in His grace and mercy, and in the truth of God’s Word, we have some stability when the storm arises, when the path gets hard. We become grounded, our roots go down deeply and we are then able to stand firm.
The term “stand firm” refers to a soldier holding his post no matter what happens around him. Let the enemy attack as he will, the soldier’s orders are clear, stand firm! This command was often repeated by the Apostle Paul:
Stand firm in the faith. (1 Corinthians 16:13)
Take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:11)
Stand firm … with the belt of truth buckled around your waist. (Ephesians 6:14)
Stand firm in all the will of God. (Colossians 4:12)
Stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
Why this repeated emphasis on standing firm? I think Paul had a healthy respect for the devil’s attempts to discourage and distract the children of God / the Church. He knew that we would be tempted to leave our post when the enemy advances / hard times come, so he repeats it again and again…Stand firm!
John Bevere makes this observation: Once you leave the place God has chosen for you, your root system begins to dwarf.
We are rooted and grounded when we bear this intense love and trust in God. No storm, no matter how intense, can ever move us. This does not come by strong will or personality. It is a gift of grace to all who place their confidence in God, throwing away the confidence of self. But to give yourself in total abandonment you must know the One who holds your life.
It all comes down to knowing Christ / being found in Him. So my friends at Valley, if you do nothing else, stand firm! In Christ we have at our disposal all we need to do just, to stand firm in our faith, to live a live that is pleasing to Him, that honors Him and blesses others. Stand firm! Hold on to Christ, and do not let go!