Combat Readines: Stand Firm
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
2 Peter 2:1-3:
In the military, leaders can cause great benefit or great harm to the Soldiers under their supervision. In my nearly two decades of service, I have been exposed to all types of leaders. I have seen leaders who were great, good, average, and terrible. The leaders who have always impressed me were those who stood firm on what was right, even if it meant they were unpopular or downright despised by their subordinates. This takes courage.
Some of the most destructive leaders are those that are desperate to be adored. They break rules because it is easy and means more people may like them. When leaders do this it causes confusion about what it is right, causes division in the unit, and endangers their subordinates.
We are at a pivotal moment in the history of the Church. Politics, morality, and social issues that are not Biblical have crept into the Church and are causing confusion and division. They are endangering the souls of the lost. Many Christians are failing to stand firm because it is hard. They are afraid of the repercussions and words of those around them. We need to strive to stand on what is true, not among those who relax the Biblical worldview in favor of the easier secular worldview.
The Bible is chalk full of verses that discuss how we will be persecuted for standing for Christ and the Word. 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “In fact, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Jesus says in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, understand that it hated me before it hated you.”
These verses show us we should expect to be mistreated when we stand up for God. When we stand up for God, Satan attacks to discourage us, break our spirit, and destroy our witness. Satan wants us to give in and give up. When we change our worldview and cause more confusion among the saved and unsaved, we no longer pose a threat to the forces of darkness.
Take heart. When you stand up for Christ and what is right, even though it means persecution, God will richly reward you. Jesus says in Matthew 5:10-12, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Pray today that you will stand strong in Christ and in the words of the Bible. Pray also that other Christians will stand firm and not give in to what is easy.
Joshua Bixler is a Christian, husband, father, and a Sunday School teacher for 5th grade boys. He is a veteran of two combat deployments to Afghanistan, and loves military history. He and his wife enjoy creating tabletop RPG gaming products.