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Weekly Devotionals

Standing Firm by Pressing On

“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!”Philippians 4:1

Growing up my family would vacation at Virginia Beach every summer. In spite of my own (seriously) irrational fear of sharks, I loved and love swimming in the ocean (as long as someone if further away from shore than me, because, sharks). The bigger the waves, the better. One of my favorite things to do in the ocean would be to body surf. If you time it right, you could ride the wave far into shore. If you time it wrong, the wave would slam down onto you. There is a point of no return, where you are too far from the wave to escape and too close to ride it, and you need to brace yourself for the coming impact try to protect yourself from getting knocked over and smashed into the ground.

When I hear the phrase ‘stand firm’, I imagine bracing myself against a coming wave or force; to dig in and try to keep from being moved. However, in his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul does not describe standing firm as bracing oneself against a wave. Rather, Paul writes what he does is “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14)”.

We stand firm in the Lord by pressing on. It is not a passive activity of bracing oneself, but is accomplished through straining towards the prize of Heaven; to “take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (Philippians 3:12).

This scripture echoes the exhortation written in Hebrews 12:1-2, “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” In 1 Thessalonians, Paul writes that the perseverance in our faith comes from our hope in Jesus.

Therefore, if we want to stand firm in the Lord, it’s all about Jesus; fixing our eyes on Him, running towards Him, and fueled by our hope in Him. This requires us to be intentional about seeking the Lord and growing our relationship with Him. Let’s spur each other on to stand firm in the Lord by running after Him!