Psalm 112:6 “For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.”
How many times have we attempted to ‘stand our ground’, or determined to hold our position in the midst of opposition? We may have a point of view we refuse to be dissuaded from, a political line, or a course of action we’ve set in our hearts as the proper path.
I love my wife, I’ve been married for 32 years to Shelly and I thank God He gave her to me at such a young age. I was very reckless when my wife and I first met. I could be swayed by a thought that seemed reasonable and then I would make a conclusive determination that thought was right, often times without taking other thoughts into consideration. I would attempt to hold my ground on an opinion until my wife showed me another perspective. It was hard to let go of my ground, it seemed to signal defeat, and I just knew if I showed weakness, I would lose respect (at least that’s what I thought). I thank God He has used my wife to make me more mature and holy.
When it comes to spiritual matters, the position we take can either be one of principle, founded in wisdom or it can be one of foolishness, springing forth from a heart of pride.
*What is the basis of our position?
Why do we hold so firmly to a thought which can be so difficult to move us from? Is it the way we were raised? A lesson we learned from a parent or person in authority we highly respected? Maybe an experience we went through and determined by our observation that the lesson learned must always hold true?
We many times can reject all sound wisdom because we have “made up our mind”. Personally, I have talked with many atheists that have determined in their hearts there is no God. I have asked them what it would take to make them believe? They have often times revealed their need to actually see God descend from Heaven and show them personally that He is real. My thought has been, would that really convince them?
The children of Israel witnessed miraculous displays of God’s power in Egypt, saw a flame of fire before them at night and cloud lead by day. They witnessed the Lord descend upon the mountain and heard His voice come from the clouds to their terror. How did they respond? Exodus 20:18-19 “When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sounding of the ram’s horn, and the mountain enveloped in smoke, they trembled and stood at a distance. 19“Speak to us yourself and we will listen,” they said to Moses. “But do not let God speak to us, or we will die.”
Once Moses descended from the mountain with the Moral law in his hands, rebellion had broken out among the people.
Exodus 32:25 “Now when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained (for Aaron had not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies),”
Three thousand men died that day, because of their rebellion and their unbelieving hearts. What more did they need to see to convince them who the One true God was that day?
*The rebellion among the people of Israel was not because they didn’t “believe there was a God”, it was because they refused to worship Him as God alone!
The Lord has appeared more than once to mankind throughout history and the way people responded still continues to baffle me today. The Pharisees would continue to reject Jesus, regardless of how many miracles He performed. One story that particularly stood out was when Jesus healed the man who was blind from birth in John 9.
vs. 6-7 “When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.”
Now, this man who was well known among his neighbors had to convince them himself that it was indeed him who had been blind. It was one thing to have to deal with his infirmity all his life, now he had to convince them that it was he who could see.
Vs.13-16 “They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”16Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.”Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.”
Do you see the response of those set in their ways? The first reaction of the Pharisees was skepticism, accusation, and condemnation. After their initial reaction, you would have thought they would soften up and at least consider the possibility that something special had happened, but to the contrary, it was a further hardening of their hearts.
John 9:18-19 “But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
The continued skepticism exhibited by these men simply revealed their hardness of heart. They believed Jesus was a sinner and they were determined to prove it. The brought the healed man back to their chamber and questioned him again, this time, the conclusion showed the honesty of the healed man’s heart.
vs.25 “He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
Isn’t this the realization of a man whose world had just been completely changed. He didn’t know Jesus, all he knew was where he had been without understanding yesterday, blind and where he was today, with knowledge.
*It didn’t seem to matter whether Jesus healed the blind or raised the dead, the Pharisees represented those fixed in their ways, unwilling to believe.
Being unmovable isn’t always a bad position to be in.
Reading through Psalm 15, we see the conclusive characteristics of a man of God, “He who does these things shall never be moved.”
To enter into the presence of God requires one to be presentable. “1Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
“He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
3He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;”
The man established in God lives according to God’s standard. His righteousness is reflected in his obedience to the law. His heart is not deceptively false but he lives by the truth. He loves God by being obedient, he loves God by loving his neighbor.
In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5He who does not put out his money at usury,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
The man established in God’s Kingdom hates evil and yet rejoices in the truth. He doesn’t make vows on Gods behalf but owes up to his own debt…he is faithful. He is kind to the poor and defends those who have been falsely accused.
This man will NEVER BE MOVED!
*What is it that you hold so tightly to? Have you been convinced the door is closed, that there is no room for growth or a change in perspective? No matter how much we have grown, we must always be ready to hear.
We don’t compromise in areas of principle. Principles that God’s Word is true, that Jesus is the only way, that salvation is only by grace, these are non-negotiable. What we can grow in is a depth of truth as we know it, a depth that reveals God’s nature.
I recently completed another step in a program called Freedom Session. The progression of this course has led me to the lesson in communicating effectively and subsequently establishing boundaries. Pastor Ken Dyck taught that he always leaves a 5% chance that someone may change, that boundaries may not always remain fixed. Never giving up on someone is the same consideration God gave me. In my past stubbornness and hardness of heart, the Lord continued to show me love. My wife has likewise shown me this same measure of grace throughout our marriage and I am very thankful the Lord gave me such a godly woman.
The importance of considering our position and not moving from defined truth is crucial. In this day of the myriad of various philosophies and doctrines, we must not be swayed in our steadfast position of Christ alone. Jesus maintained many steadfast patterns of resilience and truth. These are our mainstays, these are the positions we should not be moved from. If God is telling you, “your wrong”, as Jesus did to the Pharisees, it would be wise to reconsider your position.
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
He alone is our rock. It is the power of God that keeps us until the day of our salvation.
Be established in Him!