Often we are told in the Word and by the Spirit to simply stay put. To stand firm in the spot where God has planted us.
There are seasons for breaking new ground and moving forward with kingdom assignments. There are other seasons to continue in the instruction we have already received until new revelation comes. Either way, we are to stand steadfast in our faith, not allowing circumstances to destabilize or distract us.
There are plenty of temptations right now to lose our grip on hope and give into despair. The political-social-moral-cultural landscape is about as messy and discordant as it has ever been in my lifetime.
Because of or in spite of this reality, we need to commit even more to our stand, maintaining a posture of moral and spiritual courage.
One biblical example of this posture is the prophet Daniel. Daniel, desperately in need of a word from the Lord said, “I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes” (Dan 9:3). He did this for 21 days, after which the angel came and assured him, “Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words” (10:12). Daniel set the dial of his heart on 10. Nothing was going to move him. He stayed put in a posture of prayer, fasting, and full submission, and the answer came because of his readiness for it.
Jesus taught that his disciples are to abide in him. He is the vine; we are the branches (John 15). Branches don’t strive to grow, but they stay in their place, connected to a growing organism, which in Jesus’ metaphor is himself and his church. We stay put, allowing the vinedresser to do his work of tending and pruning. This is not passivity; it is obedience and persevering faith. This is how we remain fruitful and give glory to God, whatever the circumstances swirling around us.
Paul attests in several epistles to the importance of simply standingand continuing in a stance of steadfast faith. In Ephesians, he instructs the believers that once they have put on the whole armor of God, they are to “stand against the devil’s schemes” (6:11), ready to use all spiritual equipment to fight their battles and defend the territory God has given them. His people are not instructed to go out and find enemies and shoot them down. But when the enemy invades, we are directed to be ready to stand boldly and “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (6:16).
Another metaphor in Ephesians recalls Psalm 1, that of being “rooted and established in love” (3:17). Paul addresses the need for stability. God’s people are not “tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there” (4:14). We are to model solid, steadfast, courageous confidence in God–our Father, Savior, and eternal Champion.
Paul instructs the Colossians, “…Continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel” (1:23). He says to continue diligently in the decision you made to follow Christ and were reconciled to God. Again, this is not passivity, but it is solid, steady commitment to remain in the will of God, whatever comes our way.