Stand

Reading the headlines over the weekend, it is a sad testimony to humankind. Rapes, murders, beheadings, kidnappings, ransoms, censorships, mandates, oppression, and the list goes on and on. The easy thing to do is disconnect. The hard thing to do is to engage. Many people are asking: What can I do? The answer is not simple. Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” And verse 13 says, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Standing is increasingly difficult these days because of fear, enormity, discernment. It can be overwhelming.

In Ezekiel 22, the Lord God speaks into a situation in ancient Israel much like what we have in many places around the world, especially in America. In Verse 25, the Lord God says, “There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.” In Verse 29, The Lord says, “The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.” He concludes in verse 30, “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” Sadly, He found none.

We all like to quote that verse about how the Lord searched for someone who would make up the hedge and stand in the gap before Him for the land, but we rarely quote the last of it, where He found none. Don’t get me wrong. There are many organizations that are standing in the gap, seemingly against overwhelming odds. There are many more people who are asking themselves and others, “What can I do?” First, seek the Lord. Are there things in your life that are preventing you from seeing what to do? Are you discerning the truth for truth’s sake or to confirm your own bias? Ask yourself, “what is the mission?” As individuals we cannot solve all the problems, but the Lord knows you can help solve one of them. Ask the Lord to show you what He wants you to do. Don’t confuse the Lord’s work with political beliefs.

Remember what sets people free from oppression—truth. As Christ said about his disciples in John 8:23, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” We can’t defeat lies with lies. Discern the truth. Finally, taking a stand is doing what you can do where you are. The Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”  Peter goes on in verse 12, “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” Pray. Know who you are. Put on your armor. Dig in. Make a stand. The Lord will work through you.

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Bill Wilson

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