In seeking God for a theme for this new year of 2014, I heard several times, “Stand By Me.” I asked God for the meaning and understanding of these words. I understood that it is a clarion call to diligently draw near to God, to listen and receive revelation and be built-up in Christ Jesus, because the enemy of God’s people, Satan, has greatly increased his evil and malicious assault on His glorious church. I also received further clarification and amplification that these words and message are calling God’s people to stand in Him, on Him, for Him, near Him, and to abide faithfully committed to obey His voice.
The devil is a master at deception and we, as believers, are encouraged to not be deceived but to know the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. We have heard it said, “knowing what you stand for limits what you fall for.” There is a sense of caution and admonition in this year’s theme to draw near to God that He may draw near to us. Paul wrote the Philippians and encouraged them to “STAND FIRM IN ONE SPIRIT, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents – which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.” (Philippians 1:27,28)
This is a time for renewal and commitment to prayer, devotion and communion to Jesus, the Great Shepherd of our souls. It is imperative that we, God’s children, exhibit spiritual discernment of good and evil, and allow the very power of the Holy Spirit to pierce the dark and deceptive assaults of Satan.
May we stand by Jesus in the fullness of the meaning and implications thereof and see the salvation only He can impart in every moment of our lives. This year, let us declare along with David, “But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me, my glory, and the one who lifts my head.” (Psalm 3:3)
(James 4:8; Philippians 1:27,28; Romans 12:1,2; Psalm 3:3)
(Listen to entire sermon below.)