RED ALERT, RED ALERT, RED ALERT
“Praise is declaration, a victory cry, proclaiming faith to stand firm in the place God has given you. Praise is a proclamation that the enemy’s intent to plunder you will not rock you. Praise declares that you will not be moved by the enemy’s attempt to snatch you away.”
-Darlene Szchech (Singer-songwriter)
If you can believe it, I once was a wee lad that went to preschool at the YMCA of Northwest Illinois. It was really great to be in the same place all the time where my dad worked. He was the Executive Director of said YMCA and in a way, he oversaw the preschool program that I was in. My dad was also the hire and fire guy (comes with the job description :o))! And he had hired this wonderful young lady, who would soon become a very dear friend of mine, named Kim. She was very sweet and worked alongside the preschool teacher, another dear friend of our family Mrs. Sophie Chianakas (a very proper Greek woman).
One day, as was customary, all the kids lined up in a single file line to use the bathroom and get a drink from the water fountain. Miss Kim had noticed that I was in the back of the line every single time we lined up. So, she took it upon herself to come over to me at the back of the line, on this particular day, to tell me that for the whole day I was going to be at the very front of the line, leading the whole class wherever we went. I politely said, “No thank you, Miss Kim.” So she pressed a little bit and said, “Clay, you get to be the leader of the whole class and don’t ever have to wait to get a drink for the whole day, come on up here.” Again, I politely said, “No thank you, Miss Kim.” So Miss Kim asked me, “Clay, why don’t you want to skip all of the people in line and be first today?” I looked at her with the most serious and intense face I could muster and said, “Miss Kim, the Bible says ‘The first shall be last and the last shall be first,’ so I’m staying right here!”
I wish I could say that I have always stood my ground as firmly as I did at 4 years old, specifically when it comes to my life of faith. The interesting and sometimes sad truth is that little 4-year-old me may have had a more solid foundation of truth than 37-year-old me has today. And yet, this is what we as Christ followers are called to aspire to, right?! We are called to stand our ground and be firmly rooted in the gospel so that when the day of evil comes, we will not be enticed and dragged away. Or worse, devoured by the Enemy and his schemes of destruction!
We are to be unwavering in the hope that we have found in Christ alone. If you ask me, being able to effectively have our feet firmly planted and established in the gospel is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT disciplines in a Christian’s lifestyle of faith. When we understand that God will never let our foot stumble as we seek Him in all things, we no longer are, “tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching (Eph. 4:14).” We become more than conquerors through Christ who gives us strength. Again, in Ephesians Paul urges us to, “take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to TAKE YOUR STAND (Eph. 6:13)!”
One more to really drive the point home: In Peter’s first letter, he uses some pretty bold language about standing firm, “Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith… (1 Pt. 5:8-9)”
This hymnist certainly had it right:
“How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in His excellent word! What more can He say than to you He hath said— To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
“Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed, For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid; I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.”
Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us a way to stand firm when the Enemy wants to derail us. Help us to be men and women that look only to You for the strength to resist any and all temptation. Give us hearts and minds that boldly stand with Christ; it is only there that we find life and peace. In the strong, bold, and mighty name of Jesus, Amen.
Clayton J. Elliott Pastoral Ministries and Prayer, Kontaktmission USA clay@GoKMUSA.org (731) 217-1741
Here are current prayer requests from KM missionaries:
From the KM missions team working in South Sudan
“We thank God that we are able to teach in South Sudan. Please pray that the work will be fruitful and that God will keep us safe there.”
From the KM missions team working in Kamnik, Slovenia:
“Since March we have been regularly setting up a booth with Christian literature in a central place in town. Please pray for good weather, good conversations and enduring new contacts. This month we plan to have an outdoor worship service and picnic. We hope this will be a means to reach people who don’t normally attend worship. Please pray that people will come and that God’s Spirit will touch their hearts.”