Summary: What are some reasons that many fail to stand firm?
Archibald Naismith says that at the Battle of Waterloo, when the fight became its worst, an officer galloped up to the Commander, the Duke of Wellington and said, "My Captain says we are being destroyed, we need reinforcements quickly." The Duke said simply, "Tell him to stand." The officer galloped back to relay the message to his Captain. Shortly the same messenger galloped back with the same message. Again, Wellington said simply, "Tell him to stand."
Very soon another officer came with the same request. Wellington’s response was this, "I have no help to send you, tell him to stand." The officer saluted and replied, "You will find us there sir."
When the battle was fought and won the Duke found each of those men at his post. All dead, but they stood. They had laid down their lives for the victory. As Christians this is what each of us are called to do. “but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:13, NIV.
To stand firm or stand fast is a military term meaning to "hold your position." There is to be no retreat. The Greek word for this is stēkō and reminds me of driving a stake into the ground.
This term “Stand firm or stand fast” is used several times in the Bible.
Starting short series about Standing firm, start with “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13, NIV.
So many today fail to stand firm, fail to remain at their posts, fail to keep the faith. We need to “be on our guard” against those things which cause us to want to retreat.
Thesis: What are some reasons that many fail to stand firm
What is so bad about pride? Shouldn’t we take pride in some things? Well, the pride I’m talking about is described here: “In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” Psalms 10:4, NIV. Thinks so much of himself that he does not want to think of God. This kind of haughty pride is the opposite of the spirit of humility that God seeks: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). The “poor in spirit” are those who recognize their utter spiritual bankruptcy and their inability to come to God except for God’s mercy and grace. The proud, on the other hand, are so blinded by their pride that they think they have no need of God or, worse, that God should accept them as they are because they deserve His acceptance.
Admitting sin and acknowledging that in our own strength we can do nothing to merit eternal life is a constant stumbling block for prideful people. We are not to boast about ourselves. “Therefore, as it is written: 'Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”” 1 Corinthians 1:31, NIV. The Corinthian church had many problems, and most of them were the result of pride. While Paul dealt with these problems separately, perhaps the best argument is in chapter 13. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1 Corinthians 13:4, NIV. The very word translated “proud” offers valuable information. It comes from a Greek word meaning to “puff up” or “blow up.” The phrase “having a big head” communicates the same idea. To be puffed up is to have an inflated opinion of oneself. Pride cannot coexist with godly love. Christian love is not proud or focused on self. Jesus Christ is our example and he did this, ““Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14, NIV. “Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13, NIV.
What does this have to do with standing firm? “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18, NIV. “I got this!” If we believe that we will not rely on our faith and we are headed for a fall. “Be on your guard”
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8, 9, NIV. In these two verses, Paul lists several types of pain — mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual.
When pain and suffering comes this is when we need to stand firm in the faith. However, for some, instead of relying upon their faith to get them through, they retreat, leave their post, resign.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. ” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17, NIV.