iron sharpens iron, live for Him, no place to hide, refined by fire, resemble Christ, secret to power with God, stand alone, stand for nothing
We are pilgrims in a strange land
We are so far from our homeland
With each passing day it seems so clear
This world will never want us here
We’re not welcome in this world of wrong
We are foreigners who don’t belong
We are strangers, we are aliens
We are not of this world
Bob Hartman (Petra)
You think there wouldn’t be any testing in this area, because each test we take is virtually alone. Ah, but learning to stand alone when all the world is going the opposite direction is vital to the believer and Kingdom work. These types of testing fall into two parts. Are you ready?
First, after we give our lives to the Lord there are certain friends and relationships that must get the heave-ho. As the Lord weeds out certain relationships from our lives, we are given room to grow and the opportunity to develop better Christ-like relationships. Those older relationships may be renewed later. But in the beginning of our Christian walk, it is imperative that the new believer learn to develop strong bonds with their brothers and sisters in the Lord. “Iron sharpens iron” and these types of new relationships better equip you to make it through the thick and thin.
As you may know by now, there is no place to hide from the Lord. Our Father wants His children to stand for righteousness inside and out. So, the real testing begins! Unfortunately, many believe they can hide from God even in church. It is amazing! They falsely believe they can stand for nothing, while their church stands for something. Always remember there is no safety in numbers or church pews.
This is why so many teenage believers fall apart (spiritually speaking) as they enter adulthood. They go to work or enter college only to become hellraisers. Why? They never stood for anything in the first place. Ouch! Sure, as a group they went on mission trips and participated in other meaningful activities. But standing with others is not necessarily standing alone. Note – When you see someone move to another location and lose their convictions, lose their standards, lose themselves, and sometimes lose their faith, you have to understand. Yes, they were tempted by Satan to sin and follow the ways of the world. But something far greater is revealed in this all too common scenario. Standing alone reveals exactly what you are standing upon …. or not!
All God’s children must learn to stand alone for the Lord when no one else will. Everyone gets this test….everyone. Let’s face it, our faith means nothing to the Lord until we not only are willing to die for Him, but more importantly, we are willing to live for Him and stand in the worst of circumstances. Read again the life stories of the heroes of the Bible. Learn what set them apart from the rest. They stood alone on the words and revelations of God. It is the most isolated and loneliest place on earth, not to mention unpopular. I’m talking Froto and Sam trying to make it to Mount Doom!
These types of tests will come your way numerous times. Each time more of you will be stripped away until you resemble Christ. It is a good thing. Remember, my little padawan apprentice, no one can really help you in these moments. Your closest friends and Godly counsel can only encourage you from a distance. Again, all those who really want to grow strong in the Lord must learn the art of standing alone with God, even when no one else will.
I believe herein lies the secret to power with God. The Father is not trying to keep His power from us, but He does shield it away from those who would use it shamelessly. Only by going through the tests of standing alone are we brought to the place of being entrusted with greater kingdom realities and responsibilities.
How did you do the last time God called you out to stand for Him? Sometimes we can sense these types of tests coming. At other times they come quickly and without warning. Our convictions and standards are developed during times of relative peace and reflection. They are proven in the fire of battle, when we are called to stand alone. Faith is always refined by fire. If you would but hear His voice right now, there is a call for you to stand alone right now. You can’t ask anyone else to stand with you or stand in your place. It is your call alone.