Ephesians 6:13 | Psalm 59:10 | Ecclesiastes 4:12 | Jeremiah 9:3 | Luke 21:16-19 | 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 | 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Do you need to take a stand?
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to make a stand. Even the most flexible and easy-going person–at some point–has to speak out in dissent. And it’s never easy.
These days, if you believe God’s Word, you will find yourself increasingly at odds with the rest of the world. (In case you missed it…we said, “THE REST OF THE WORLD.”) How do you stand against that kind of opposition?
First, like Paul told the believers in Ephesus, you can dress for success by putting on your full spiritual armor.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.Ephesians 6:13 ESV
Second, you can’t do it alone. Contrary to popular mythology, if it’s “you against the world,” the world will win. Do the math… We’re talking BILLIONS AGAINST ONE, here!
In his unfailing love, my God will stand with me. He will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies.Psalm 59:10 NLT
King David knew this from an early age. As a shepherd boy, he defeated a lion, a bear, and (as you may know) a 9-foot tall Philistine soldier! How? Not by slinging stones. He did it by calling on God, then following Him into battle. That was David’s way for his whole life, and it made him a man after God’s own heart.
In addition to trusting God, you will benefit from other Christians standing with you.
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT
The devil would like you to think you are completely alone in every battle, but hey–he’s the father of lies. Right? He just wants you to cave, not saying anything, not resisting his schemes. But God hates that.
“My people bend their tongues like bows to shoot out lies. They refuse to stand up for the truth. They only go from bad to worse. They do not know me,” says the Lord.Jeremiah 9:3 NLT
It may seem impossible to swim against the torrential current thinking. You will be going against friends–even family. It may even be dangerous. But Jesus says it will be worth it, because your soul will be safe following him.
“Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But not a hair of your head will perish! By standing firm, you will win your souls.”Luke 21:16-19 NLT
The Holy Spirit in your heart is your guarantee of God’s promise to stand with you.
It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us.2 Corinthians 1:21-22 NLT
He will never leave you or forsake you, and you can stand with Him, no matter what the opposition.
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT
Questions for Group Discussion
- What does it mean to make or take a stand?
- Can you always trust that God is with you? What if scripture contradicts you or your cause? What if you haven’t prayed and asked for his help? What if you are not sure?
Challenge: Go Against the Flow
Sometimes you have to be a salmon and swim upstream.
Your challenge is to move against the current. Consider this performance art: you will devise an activity in which you move opposite a significant current.
There is one MAJOR STIPULATION: you may not attempt to literally swim against a strong current in water. That is dangerous and foolish.
Consider the following suggestions:
- Position yourself in your school hallway to “go the wrong way” when classes let out.
- Do something against a current trend: wear the ‘wrong’ clothes, cheer for the ‘wrong’ team, listen to outdated music. Pick a trend that you find silly or needing to be challenged.
- Find a loving way to challenge current contra-Biblical thinking. Maybe it is better to love your enemy. Maybe adultery is not cool. Maybe… (You get the idea.)
- Bike or roller skate up an especially challenging hill. This one is kind of a stretch symbolically, but we’ll count it.
If you can take video or otherwise document your outing, that’s a plus. Either way, make a few notes afterward about what you learn from the experience, and share them with a trusted adult. Then pray and ask God to give you the courage to follow him, against all opposition.