Where Do You Stand?
Where do you stand?
It is the question that comes to mind as I ponder the past year of 2019 and the present future of 2020.
In all sincerity, this question could sum up 2019 for me and that which lays ahead in 2020 too.
For in the past year, I have had this question pressed upon me in ways I never thought possible.
I’ve had to ask myself time and time again, am I going to follow Christ no matter what? Am I going to stand upon His Word and His Word alone, even if my stance keeps giving massive dividends of pain back in return?
My world was rocked in 2019 and the shock waves have carried into 2020. And the question Where do you stand? continues to reverberate through my life.
It is easy to say I stand for Christ and on the foundation of His Word when the sailing is smooth.
Yet, what do you do when that stance puts your business in opposition to what is popular in today’s culture? What if that stance puts you at odds with dear family and friends? What if that stance threatens every dream you’ve ever had in life?
Where do I stand then?
Being human, I admit I have wrestled with this immensely in 2019 and it shows no sign of letting up in 2020.
Yet, as I reflect over how short my life is and how eternal eternity is, it starts to reshape my short-term vision. Eternal souls are at sake. Heaven and Hell are the ONLY options for one to spend eternity. Praise God my eternity is secured as Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Yet, how many are in the perilous path of spending eternity in this terrible place called Hell? More than I can comprehend and I know so many of them!
So why do I gauge where I should stand by my own personal pain? Isn’t the Christian life supposed to be one of service? And did not our Savior Himself tell us we would be hated just like they hated Him?
Why am I so surprised when standing on God’s Word brings pain into my life? Do I think the forces of darkness are going to sit quietly by as I proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost and dying souls in their captivity? Of course not!
Isn’t it better to die for something eternal than live for something temporal? Isn’t Heaven my home and not this present world?
So in 2020, where am I going to stand?
With God’s help, I am going to stand on God’s Word and God’s Word alone. With God’s help, I am going to preach the true gospel and the true gospel alone. With God’s help, I am going to live for the glory of Another, King Jesus. With God’s help, I am going to throw my life away in the world’s eyes, because I’ve found something so much greater than money, fame, glory, power and self. With God’s help, I’m going to wear the yoke of Christ and not the yoke of man. With God’s help, I am going to proclaim truth, even if it gets me crucified.
With God’s help, I am going to stand for Jesus and Jesus alone. May God help me, may God empower me, for this is something I cannot do on my own. For on my own, I will utterly fail.
So Lord, I turn my eyes to You. Truly, You are worth my all. Better to be bleeding in the King’s army, than living in luxury in the palaces of the wicked. Better to be praised by You, than by man. Better is the disgrace of Christ, than the approval of men. Better is the pain of doing the right thing, than the pleasure of the wicked. Better is a clear conscience in the midst of a trial, than a troubled conscience in the midst of human accomplishment. Better to be lonely with the King, than satisfied in the company of others. Better to stumble along the path of the King, then run on the path of the unrighteous. Better to be broken before the King, than to be strong in my own pride and strength.
Yes Lord, You are worth my all. Yes, living…and dying for You is worth it. Yes, the pain, the reproach, the shunning, the abandonment, the hate one garners from following You is worth facing. Because Lord, You are worth my all, for You gave Your all for me. How could I do any less?
So here’s my prayer for this year, make me more like You.
And when people ask, Where do you stand Nathaniel? May my response be, I stand with the King, for the King and under the King’s glorious rule. I stand for Him and Him alone.
Glory be to You and You alone Lord!
Now, my reader, I must ask you.
Where do you stand?