As I sat on the dinning room table I saw the whole thing unfold. Three little girls, 5, 6 and 8, trying to catch a 12 year old (human years) Jack Russell Terrier. He evaded them as best he could for a while, but suddenly he found himself cornered. Behind him a wall, in front of him the three little girls, determined to catch him. No escape route, the fight is over. Right? What I saw next inspired me. The terrier, true to his nature, put his head down and rushed straight toward the girls. He bounced off a leg or two, pulled himself through their grips, and came out on the other side ready to fight another day.
I know, it was not as dramatic as I make it sound. But the determination of the Terrier to take a final stand and fight his way out of a sure onslaught of hugs and kisses made me think about our determination as Christians. When we are between a rock and a hard place, what do we do? Do we give up or do we put our head down and take a stand. I hope we have the character and determination like that of the Terrier.
The Bible encourages us to stand and fight. Nor give any ground to the enemy. And if placed in a bad situation, put our heads down (or up) and fight our way out. Of course we are talking in a spiritual sense.
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
In a battle, you do not give up the ground gained. Giving up hard earned ground would make all the effort, blood, sweat and tears for naught. Moreover, it would be a tactical mistake. Thereby, the ground gained is defended. Soldiers dig in and hold position. The only proper movement is forward. To retreat is the same as conceding defeat. This holds true in our spiritual walk.
Php 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
The best defense is a good offense. Look at boxers, when they are moving forward, jabbing, attacking, and have his opponent on the defensive, moving backwards, against the ropes, the offense is limited, if not completely eliminated. I think Paul (who runs not with uncertainty and fights not as one who beats the air) is calling Christians, the Church, to take stand, stand fast, dig in, move forward and grow, in their faith, knowledge, insight, discernment, and love.
Php 4:1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
If we do not move take a stand, put our heads down and push forward in our faith & knowledge of the Lord, we will never grow or mature. Thereby we will remain babies, useless in spiritual warfare. Not only are spiritual babies useless in warfare, but they are a liability to mature spiritual soldiers. They unnecessarily slow down the advance of mature Christians, wanting to retreat, rather than to go through the growing pains of maturing.
1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;3 for you are still carnal.
As believers, we are under attack daily. Temptation, our secular culture, the media, lusts, greed, jealousy, anger, selfishness, Satan. The attack is so bad that our worse enemy is ourselves; our sinful nature & our flesh. It’s too hard, so the easy thing to do is to give in, give up, retreat, stay a baby and be bottle fed. You know… to compromise a little, be friendly with the world, water down the word, not offend anyone. Right? NO! If you are in Christ you are now a new creation, so put away the old self, which is corrupted by its deceitful desires, and put on the new self.
Ro 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Don’t look back, don’t retreat. Christ fought hard for your salvation. He did not give up, he did not retreat. He took a stand on Calvary. Thereby, you stand fast in your faith, don’t give the enemy any ground. Not an inch. You have been given freedom, why voluntarily enslave yourself again. The foundation you stand on (Christ, the Rock) was fought for and won at a hefty prize. The sacrificial blood of The King! Why would you retreat, give up, and give that holy ground back to the enemy, for what?
Col 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight--23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
We have no excuse. Christ has provided us with the tools (Holy Spirit) and the means (the Word of God) to live the Christian life, to stand fast & keep moving forward. We just need to train, prepare, mature, trust, and hold the ground gained, not give it back to the enemy.
1Co 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
If you do not think you can hold on because you are too weak. You are right! We are weak, we are worthless. But we have Christ in Us. Thereby, we have NO EXCUSE, not to stand our ground.
Php 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Therefore, like the above mentioned Terrier. When your back is against the wall, don’t give in, and don’t give up, put your head down and charge forward. Stand your ground in that foundational stone that is Christ, our LORD!
1Co 16:13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.