Lesson 3 -- third quarter 2001
June 17, 2001
© Copyright 2001, Christian Light Publications
God and His truth must always be represented, even if you are the only one doing it. No matter how much He is mocked, stand. Without regard to how much His Word is belittled, stand. Stand even when you must do it alone.
Be ready to stand alone, but not in word alone. Even when others say the right thing but live below it, stand alone in word and in deed. When those about you find satisfaction in less than full obedience, live for God alone, even if you must do it alone. When others tolerate and even condone inconsistency, stand for integrity of life and conviction, even if you must live that way alone.
When the values of others drift toward materialism, stand for spiritual and eternal values. When others flaunt the rules and the law (even in the "minor" things), stand for submission and obedience. When the rest indulge their flesh in entertainments, stand for putting the flesh to death. When those around you gradually succumb to looser morals, stand for absolute purity. Never sacrifice righteousness for company; stand alone if you must!
Though it costs you friends and gains you foes, stand. Though it brings you discomfort and peril, stand. Though it results it misunderstanding and mockery, stand. Though it scares you and tires you, stand. Though you're called a radical or a goody-two-shoes, stand. When the choice is standing for right or falling for wrong, stand. When the options are standing with conviction or drifting with convenience, stand. Though you feel alone, stand. Alone, if need be.
Remember, those who stand with God never stand alone. Those who cannot stand alone for God will one day (and forever thereafter) stand alone.
When is it dangerous to stand alone?
This lesson puts a premium on standing alone. Standing alone is the noble, godly, strong thing to do. Sometimes. Other times it is the ignoble, unrighteous, dangerous thing to do. When are those dangerous times? Consider two:
When I'm being stubborn. Many people (even I) will occasionally stand alone just because there's no way I'm going to give on an issue. Regardless of the facts, I'm sticking to my guns. No matter who says what, here's where I said I stood and this is where I'm going to remain standing. Oh, I may couch it in nicer terms and try to make it more palatable with some "spiritual" seasoning, but that is the attitude behind it. When I find myself standing alone, one of the possibilities I need to face is that I'm only standing for myself and my unbending opinions.
When I'm going against a godly brotherhood. When God calls individuals to follow Him, He also calls them into the support and accountability of a local body of godly believers. To stand alone against them puts me in grave danger. Does this mean that a significant majority of a congregation cannot be wrong? Of course not. It does mean that to stand alone in such circumstances is dangerous.
Don't let others stand alone for the right!
Why did Elijah have to stand alone? God assured him later that there were still quite a few people who hadn't bowed before the false gods. So where were they when Elijah had to stand alone?!
We don't know, and it doesn't matter any more. Let's just make certain that we stand with others for the right, so they don't have to stand alone.
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