Nowadays, we face many social and peer pressures to conform and be compliant. People tell us “not to rock the boat,” but to trust political leaders and media sources that try to intimidate us. It is noteworthy when someone stands up for their faith and convictions, others gain confidence to join with us, for courage is contagious. Such was the case with Moses in Exodus 31-34. He was a man who took a stand for what God was telling him to do.
During their time in the desert the Israelites had become frustrated, confused, and genuinely angry about their plight of being without many of the comforts they once enjoyed in Egypt. Moses approached God to ask for direction. God was clear and direct – “Stand your ground Moses and follow Me.”
When Moses took a stand, he found that he wasn’t alone. It’s the same today. Standing up for what is right in the world today can be challenging. Yet when we take a stand for what we believe and face the ridicule and conflict directly we will encourage others with the same convictions to speak out and affirm their convictions as well.
Moses took that public stand. His courage moved the Levites, who had not participated in the others’ sins but had stood by silently, to join him openly. In this way, he ultimately convinced the wandering nation to seek God and not the idols they worshipped. When conscience convinces us that something is wrong, we need to follow Moses’ lead and take a stand for our convictions. And if other committed believers take on the role of Moses, let’s be ready, as the levities were, to support them.
We have constant opportunities to influence others at school, in our work, at church, during gatherings with relatives or neighbors, and within our social circles. Some of us, like Moses and Aaron, may have a position of authority, and the best way to influence others is by standing for what God has shown us and following His Word. Moses met with God regularly to receive His counsel and we need to do the same.
Our impact on the lives of others will be directly proportional to the time we spend face-to-face with God. The aura of God’s presence and power in our lives will go with us. He is the stronghold of our lives (Psalm 27:1), He intercedes for us (Hebrews 7:25), He is our fortress and shield (Psalm 144:2), He is our refuge (Psalm 91:1-2), and a Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6).
At the same time, Paul warns, “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” (2 Timothy 2:23-24) It takes much wisdom to know which battles to stand up for and which to ignore. So, pray for God’s wisdom and seek counsel from His Word and other godly people.
What is it that you need to take a stand on that will influence an outcome for others?
Jim Grassi, D. Min.