North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

If you’re ever caught between a rock and a hard place, the pressure sometimes can be more than you can bear. We’ve all been there. We want to please someone or we want to do it our way, but we know based on our convictions we should do something else. As you may know, there are times when this is no joke. Conflict arises within ourselves and with others. Some call these times “no-win situations”. There’s always a better way to do something and the consequences might not be quite as severe.
Solomon was one of the wisest men that ever lived. He acquired this insight because he asked God for it (1 Kings 3:9). He had the uncanny ability to see through to the core of a problem and find the justice needed to be fair. He also knew even the most Godly people will encounter problems related to convictions. Ideas, convictions, beliefs, notions, even whims find their own place in our decision-making process. So, how can we, on a daily basis, given all the people we come in contact with, “please God”? There are many fine lines of communication which we mustn’t cross. Our personal standards are often put to the test.
The “Christian thing to do” is also referred to as convictions. We would be wise to check our motives and make sure our convictions are not stubbornness in disguise, or as it has been called “baptized prejudice”. The Bible tells us to do what’s right in the sight of God (Deut. 6:18). But what about the “gray areas”? —there are no “gray areas” with God. He says, “But let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Anything more than this comes from the devil” (Matt. 5:37). Leave no room for indecision. The easiest and simplest way to always formulate your answers is to pray until you are sure what is God’s will in a situation then going through with it. There have been times in my own life I was unsure of what to do. And in those times, I usually had to deal with a personal hang-up before I could gain clarity on what to do. Reserve time, practically speaking, to consult God. In fact, if you’re truly Spirit-filled and walking in faith, answers to your problems will always be available. The Bible tells us in Acts 17:28, “For in Him we move and have our being.” God will take care of us when we are right with Him and our motives are sincere.
There will always be an outside voice or a distraction that can fog your vision or distort your thoughts. So, be aware of this. But like the apostle Peter, determine that you will “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). To do this requires that you take a stand for what you believe. Ephesians 6:13-14 says, “…put on all the things God gives you to fight with. Then you will be able to stand in that sinful day. When it is all over, you will be standing. So stand up and don’t be moved…be right with God.”
The Scriptures deal with the why, where, when, and what of the Christian stand—You need to:
1) Stand Up. Some people, even Christians, are afraid to stand up for the Lord. The reasons might be that they’re shy, self-conscious, or simply lacking in spiritual stamina. As good Soldiers of Jesus Christ, we must stand up for him. And when we do this courageously for the Lord, He will be there to strengthen, steady, and sustain us.
2) Stand Still. The Bible says, “…don’t be afraid! Be strong and see how the Lord will save you today” (Exodus 14:13). If and when difficulties strike, many people take quick and drastic actions which potentially can bring devastating results. Like Moses and the children of Israel before crossing the Red Sea, we need to stand still and wait for God’s providential orders. Stand still and wait in patience and faith for God’s time to “go forward” (Exodus 14:15).
3) Stand By. To stand by means to do God’s service and be trustworthy. It’s hard to stand by when we are too busy with our own interests and pursuits. But we are called to be totally committed to Him, giving God first place in every facet of our lives (Matt. 6:33).
4) Stand Fast. (1 Thess. 3:8). Sometimes you never know where to find some of your wishy-washy friends and acquaintances. Life is one great adventure after another. There are mountains to climb, valleys to descend, and rivers to cross if we are to “stand fast” in the Lord. And many times we have to climb, descend, and cross by ourselves. Don’t wait on the crowd or your peers when God tells you to do something and you know it’s from Him. The directive to follow is simple: Never give up doing the right thing! The reason to follow is simple: “For a crown of life awaits those who “stand fast” in the Lord” (Rev. 2:10).
The gracious promise is that God will take care of the consequences when we seek to please Him first. All the things we think we have to take care of, God will take care of. Human effort botches things and leaves a situation worse instead of better. God can work out the perfect solution to every hardship you face. Understand God’s Word: “When a person’s ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Prov. 16:7). Be obedient to God by finding a church where you and your family can grow in the Lord and worship Christ.
• This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Aug 25 2013. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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