The Christian discipline of standing firm is of interest in this week’s column.
Have you ever been walking along, sure-footed, and then suddenly found yourself on the ground? The risk of falling is increased when conditions are slippery, like they are in the winter. The danger of falling also increases with age.
Is it better to reduce the risk of falling or reduce the severity of the injury? In Ephesians 6, I would argue that for the Christian — spiritually speaking — we should devote ourselves primarily to reducing the risk of falling. This is why the apostle Paul emphasizes for Christians to “stand firm.” Multiple times in Ephesians 6:10-20, the Christian is commanded to “stand firm,” “be strong,” “take up,” “put on,” “be alert,” “pray.” These are all instructions on how to best avoid falling.
In this evil day, the Christian must learn to walk a disciplined life. Our duty is not to be “cool” so others will want Christ. Our duty is not to somehow make God look more attractive than he already is so others will be attracted to him. Our duty is not to show how graceful God is by living ungodly lives. Our duty is not to impress others with our liberty to do as we want.
No, Christian, our duty is to stand firm. Why? So that in this evil day, we will not be found on the ground — if you will — because of an unexpected fall. Devote yourself to walking a disciplined life so as not to fall. Put on your gospel shoes so that when you advance into this slippery day, you have done all that you can to stand firm.
Be sure to gather this weekend, in faith, with a fellowship of faithful followers of Christ — saved by the grace of God, who are as interested in standing firm as you are. This is a day for standing firm in the faith.
Our speaking boldly, as we ought to speak, is best heard while we are standing firm.