“Help!” – “Stand!”

blog help perseverance standing transformation Jan 26, 2024

Have you ever cried “Help!”? Did you get an answer?

I found myself in a difficult situation recently—truth is, the difficulties persist. I worried a bit, I woke in the middle of the night sometimes, I half-prayed because it seems hard to pray when you feel you have dug the hole in which you now stand. I semi-trusted because the emotions of the situation drained joyful prayer from the bottom of that hole. Eventually I simply said, “HELP!” and right away the reply came: “Stand.” I remembered the verse in Ephesians where it says, “having done all, to stand.” I therefore thought that standing was along the lines of being the last one standing when the enemy has given up. While not jumping up and down with excitement, I am at least still on my feet.

The next day, having had no visible answer to my prayer, I squeak-prayed:


Same answer: “Stand!”

Since the answer seemed to be the unchanging, I decided to open scripture and search “to stand.” To my surprise “standing” is much more than keeping armor on and surviving a battle.

Standing in the presence of God

The first place we are called to stand is in the presence of God. This is a mind-blowing privilege that, while we still have our feet on terra firma, our real existence is “with Christ in God.” Jesus died so each one could be a priest (and a king) and stand before the King of the Universe ministering to him. Lots to learn here…

My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before him and serve him, to minister before him and to burn incense. Chronicles 29:11

Standing on high places

Another place we stand is on high places. In the world, high places are slippery places. In the kingdom of God, they are privileged places where the presence of God transforms the condition of man.

He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. 2 Samuel 22:34

Standing in the face of enemies

Just as God sets a table—a bountiful banquet—in the presence of our enemies, so he calls us to stand when faced with enemies, just as Jesus did.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

Standing on level ground, in open spaces

This is the one I would like the most: level ground, broad paths, open roads. But I know that I do not usually get to pleasant places without first going to the secret place, the high places and the tough places.

My feet stand on level ground; in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.

Psalms 26:12 NIV

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Psalms 40:2 NIV

Having looked at four places where I must stand—in the presence of God, on high places, in the face of opposition and on level places—I also observe three ways to stand.

1. Stand up

”The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?“

Joshua 7:10 NIV

”He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.”“

Ezekiel 2:1 NIV 

Sometimes, though not often, I am inclined to do the religious thing: grovel, fast, pray, weep and moan and God is saying, “Shut up, stand up, and do what I already told you to do.” Spiraling into introspection is generally not more spiritual than standing up and hearing God speak.

2. Stand firm

”You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.“

James 5:8 NIV 

”Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,“ Ephesians 6:14 NIV 

God is not overly impressed by my whining or complaining. Since he is Captain of the Lord of Hosts not President of the Country Club, it is fair that he expects me to stand firm.

3. Stand in grace

…through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.

Romans 5:2

Whatever circumstance I face it is overwhelmed by an ocean of grace. Standing in grace may sound like a “where” thing, but it can also blossom into a how thing. Since I know I stand in grace I can wipe the suffering off my face. God will come through; no sense in looking miserable until he does.

Standing before the Son of Man

Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.

Luke 21:36 NIV

The other four places we stand are a prelude to the real deal: at the end of my time on earth the only manner and place of standing that counts is this: “that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

“So, whatever you do, don’t fall asleep at the wheel. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that’s coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man.” The Message 

Dear God, help!  Dear Brett, stand!

For a deeper dive into STANDING, check out this podcast episode: