2 Thessalonians 2:15-17 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold tot he teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
In my sophomore year of high school I had third hour PE, and my PE teacher was a former military man who believed in discipline in every area of your life. We would do endless sit ups, toe touches, lunges, quick sprints, and the dreaded 30 second drill. A drill that was designed to break even the best athlete. Every day we would start with stretches and by the time we were 15 minutes into class time I was sweating profusely.
After about the fourth week he decided he was going to do some testing…..to see how we were doing. Oh great! He went down the line asking different things of different people and I was wondering, “Why is he not having us all do the same thing for our testing?” He finally came to me and did only one thing. He pushed me. I locked my toes in place in my sweaty tennis shoes and stood firm. He walked past me and then quickly came back to me and pushed me again, hoping to make me take a step back. It worked. I was so proud that I had withstood his first push, I let my guard down and sadly took a step back. He laughed and went on. I felt like he had been so unfair to me, since I had handled the first test. After class I couldn’t stand it anymore and went up to him to ask if my step back would affect my grade. He smiled and said, “No, the first push was for your grade and the second push was for you.” “You are in great shape, but always be prepared for the second push. That’s the one that will get you.”
Of course, I never forgot that lesson in always being prepared in all situations. The PE teacher that everyone tried to avoid in scheduling gave me a great life lesson and it has stuck with me to this day. Here’s the lesson: stand firm! That’s it. No big flashes. No book tour. No guest appearances on TBN. Stand firm. You say, “what’s so earth shattering about those two words?” The earth shattering part of those two words is we haven’t stood firm. We have drifted from the truths God has given us to follow and the second push has caught us off guard. The first time we stood on God’s promises was for us to be made right with HIm through salvation. But the second push was for us. Satan gives us a quick push to cause us to take a moment to consider what it means to stand firm and we take that step back and sometimes never recover.
Here’s the good news. God pulls us back up and invites us to stand firm again and encourages us through other believers who are standing firm with us. When we stand firm we are not standing alone, but arm in arm with others who are trained to stand in all situations. Trained by God’s Word.1 Corinthians 9:24-27 says we are to train to run a race that focused and purposeful and train for it. And when you get in the race you will be prepared. Standing firm is part of that preparation and not only part, but the most important part. Know what you stand for and then Stand firm….Stand firm….Stand firm….The first stage of your life was when you received Jesus Christ and that made you right with God. The second stage of your life is for you to live and breathe and share everything you have learned from the one who gives the test. He has prepared us for this race and now we get to run it. Stand strong, stand true, STAND!!
Until He Comes,