Stand Your Ground

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Every time you give ground to the devil he will take it and then walk over the top of you to take more.

Every time you allow other people’s perceptions of you to change who you really are you have allowed the enemy to gain ground in your life.

Every time you say yes to fear and no to boldness, every time you say yes to lies and no to the truth, every time you don’t challenge an intruder into your life, you are going to give away what is yours.  It may not feel like you are giving anything away, but you are.

Every time  you allow lies to replace the Word of God in your life, every time you believe a lie without knowing it, every time you listen to false teaching, biblical teaching tempered with humanistic teaching, outright lies pretending to be ‘from God’, you are giving ground to the Devil.

It’s time to take back the ground we gave him.  Take it and keep it and having done all, stand. Remember what Paul said…

Ephesians 6:13

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Christians have allowed worldly philosophies to come into their congregations, their lives and their hearts.  Here’s how it works.   At one time, only about two hundred years ago,  Christianity held the prevailing world view. People may not have been actually born again, but for the most part society held that obeying the law and believing in God were normal and unquestionable.  Those beliefs permeated society to the point that prayers were said in Parliament, in schools, in homes and any time a public meeting was held.  Then a whole bunch of new/old ideas began to gain ground; atheism, eastern mysticism, humanism, ancient gnosticism. These ideas grew over time to become the current post-modern world view, that God is whoever you want him to be and that in fact God can either not exist or be in everything and everyone. It’s a wonderful life.  However, some of those ideas have been around for so long that the undiscerning began to meld those philosophies with Christian doctrine in much the same way as the Israelites melded idol worship with their laws.  This was an abhomination to God back then and still is.  These melded ideas have made their way into seminaries and bible colleges and now they are rolling out pastors and evangelists who couldn’t tell a false doctrine from a true one if they were eye to eye with it.  Satan has gained ground in the church and is now dictating the terms in many Christian’s lives.  So next time you wonder why you don’t live a victorious powerful life filled with the fruit of the Spirit check to see what you believe and whether it actually lines up with Scripture.

So now what you have is an amalgam of biblical and worldly teaching and a body of believers who can’t tell the difference between the two because they have been melded together for so long we think that a lie is the truth. The only way, the ONLY way we can know the difference, to separate the spiritual from the soulish is to go to the Word of God itself and allow the Holy Spirit to interpret the word for us.  But many Christians do not want to do that, it involves actually studying the word in-depth rather than just listening to the pastor do it.  This will not do.  We have been giving ground to the devil in our lives and he has been taking it and trampling it and then once those boundaries are down, he will simply come back for more.  And we will foolishly give it to him, often without knowing we are even doing it.

Now let’s look at this truth on a personal level.  It’s one thing to examine your spiritul life and this is an important thing to do since everything flows from that.  Every part of your life is informed by whether you accept the truth of the greater universe, who God is, who Jesus Christ is, and your relationship to them.  However, how you live your life day to day interacting with other human beings is also informed by your beliefs.

I don’t know what life was like a couple of hundred  years ago when everybody pretty much went to church on Sunday and believed in God, or at least acted like they did.  I can imagine courtesy and politeness would have been far more common than it is today, respect for individuals would have been more evident.  Now of course, ignorance, racism, bigotry etc would still have existed, but in general the man in the street would have understood what rudeness was, what selfishness was, and what laziness, disrespect and rebellion were.  Nobody would have passed off this behaviour because they were teenagers, because they were millenials or because they were old folk who had a right to say whatever they thought. They certainly would not have accepted being dismissed by those who claim to be there to serve them, such as shop assistants or school teachers or doctors. There would have been a greater mutual understanding of what constituted civil behaviour.

That’s all well and good, but life just ain’t like that no more.  We meet not just rude people but outright abuse people on the street or in the hairdressers (often they are the hairdressers) or at work.  As born again bible believing Christians we have a moral compass and we know that the word of God is not just a book, but it is living and powerful and sharper than a two edged sword.  The common philosophy today is to ‘live and let live’, or at least it was in the 70s.  In the second decade of the new century, the philosophy is more likely to be ‘everybody is equal but some people are more equal than others’ and that old favourite ‘everybody is special’, which actually means that nobody is.

Regardless of the prevailing culture microclimates which change just about every other week, and as a direct antithesis to them, born-again believers need to ensure that they believe as the bible teaches and then stand their ground.  The aggression towards anyone with faith in the bible is sown amongst the people of the world like tares amongst wheat. Everywhere we turn, even in church, there are those who don’t like it if we have what some might call a ‘black and white’ attitude to truth.  We are attacked, questioned and have our character impuned if we so much as give a whiff of stiff-neckedness.  We will not be moved.  We will not change and we will not give an inch.  Why should we?  Our God is a holy fire, a changeless, blameless and spotless God who does not adjust his stance for any man, and if we stand with him, then we are to be just as indomitable.  There is no shame in knowing what you believe and believing it wholeheartedly without capitulation, without shadow of turning and without embarassment.  I look at people like Ben Shapiro who is not a born again Christian, but an orthodox Jew.  I look at Jordan Peterson who is not a born again Christian but a humanist.  Both of these men are constantly in the news media and the internet sparking debate and opposition because they stand against and doggedly oppose the current liberal notions of gender and morality.  Yet they are also respected because of their courage and dare I say love of the fight.  They stand because they are not daunted by opposition or even hostility from an opposing force or voice.  These men do not stand with the God we know, although in Shapiro’s case, he is an orthodox Jew so he at least loves the God of the bible.  But he is not born again so does not know Jesus.  Still he stands and is able to silence all comers to his debates.  In fact, he enjoys debates.  He knows he is right and there is no flinching.

Sometimes we can be too quick to apologise, too quick to be concerned about causing offence.  Christians are the easiest people to corral and manipulate because we too quickly believe that we should not hurt or upset anyone.  Ridiculous!  The gospel is an offense.  The flesh fights against the Spirit and vice versa. We are going to upset the unbelievers.  In fact, in the past, Christains have upset the world so much they have died because of it.  If Jesus was persecuted for speaking the truth, for BEING the truth, then how can we think to avoid conflict.  In my opinion, as long as we are being persecuted for preaching the gospel we can hold our heads up and stand our ground.  The problems arise when we try and compromise for the sake of other people’s sensitivities to the truth.  This is not a license to be obnoxious or rude, but simply preaching the truth can get  you  into enough trouble.

Brothers and Sisters, stand in the darkness with the light of God blazing from your midst. This is no ‘little light of mine’, this is a newborn sun of blinding brilliance, the light of God himself.

Clothe  yourself in Christ, in His righteousness, in His salvation, in His truth, in His Spirit and having done all, hold up that shield of faith and stand against the flood of the enemy which comes to steal, kill and destroy.  We have already won the war and these skirmishes are growing stronger as we near the end, but be comforted and be encouraged.  For Jesus will be here soon, and He will give us the final victory!

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