An essential path to fulfilling your God given destiny is taking a stand on the things that do matter. When you stand your ground, you not only move towards the future, but you fight for it. standing your ground doesn’t depict the absence of fear, but the overshadowing of courage above all fears, so that you, by faith in Christ though your works by grace, are able to stand for that future which God has laid in you. when you stand your ground in the unknown, you can always trust God for directions and guidance- Psalm 37: 23 “the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand.”
Let us study the story of someone in the Bible, who despite having a present that screamed a “NO” to the future she desired; was able to stand her ground on the present for the future she wanted. Ruth said to Naomi in – Ruth 1:16 “inthreat me not to leave thee; or return to following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” This was the future Ruth desired- to be with Naomi, to live in Israel, to experience something new and exciting, to live life. She had to take a stand in what she believed, a stand in what she wanted. And that meant giving up her past, giving the things that didn’t matter to her anymore, saying no to all her no’s, while saying Yes to hope.
Before you embark on standing your ground, it is important to take note of the following
- Identify which grounds you’d like to stand, why and steps to take.
Before opting to go back to Israel, Naomi and her daughter in-laws got the news that God has visited Israel by giving them bread. If the news had spread in the country of Moab that God was providing bread in Israel, it must have had much significance- meaning there must have been a lack and wanting in the country of Moab. Ruth had reason enough to stand her grounds, she knew where her bread was, where her hope was and what was needed to be done to get there. the question now is – what is it you need to take a stand in your life today? and why?
- Know which ground to walk away from.
when Ruth made the decision to continue with Naomi into Israel, she had to walk away from Moab, from the comfort of her familiar surroundings, her family even her gods. To fight for the future, she had to walk away from the past which proved contrary to the future. It is the same for you, to drop those things that would pull you back from stepping into your future. You need to stand your ground and fight for your future by saying “NO” to the past. Let the past be the past, take on the courage to be a part of the new thing God is doing in your life every day.
- Say “NO” to Persuaders and Dissuaders.
Bear in mind that as you stand your ground, there will be dissuaders, dissuading you from standing your ground. And persuaders, persuading you to go back to the past that hunted you. both dissuaders and persuaders usually use the tactics of “bait dangling”- they dangle a bait that resembles that which you desire, a bait that offers a false hope, a bait that tells you “this is just as good as the real thing,” a bait that gives a blurry glimpse of superficial peace that stems from settling for less, a bait that promises comfort and rest in the familiar, a bait that promises to take away all your fears; so why bother go through barriers to get to your future, when you can achieve a different result doing the same thing? A bait that’s full of lies and deceptions. Unfortunately, many of us fall for it. I wish I could tell you, that I haven’t fallen for one such baits before, but that isn’t the case. Orpah returned to her sorrowful past after Naomi persuaded and dangled baits before her eyes. she found herself back-out from the journey she had intended to take. In Ruth 1: 8 Naomi said to both her daughter in laws “Go, return each to her mother’s house, the Lord deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and me.” And for the baits, she went ahead to say in vs 9 “The Lord grant you, that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husbands.” That was a very yummy bait- it was one of the primary things they needed at that point. In fact it seemed the ultimate solution to all their problems. But remember, a bait will always remain a bait. Ruth refused to fall for it, she knew better than that. When she looked at her past, all she saw was death, sorrow, loss and lack- how then could something new and good happen if she kept doing the same things, staying in the same place, serving the same gods, being with the same people? No way was she going to be caught and frozen in the past and what it had to offer for the rest of her life. She had to stand her ground, she had to move, change base, change her company, change her gods, change her ways of thinking by adopting Israel as her people. She recognised that something new happened under the sun -EVERYDAY! and she MUST partake of that. Vs 14 says “Orpah kissed her mother in law, while Ruth clave to her”. Decide today to see beyond what Orpah saw- see beyond the bait and stand your ground. Have faith that through Christ you can do all things, and God will give you the strength for forge forward.
- Know your People.
Identifying those who are for you, and those you are for, is a major part of standing your ground. You need all the support you can get to fulfil destiny- you need a strong team to work with. Your first partner is God, you must know that He is for you not against you, you must acknowledge that it isn’t by your power nor by your might, but by the Holy Spirit of God- He is the power that brings to accomplishment all your endeavours, it is Him who gives you the strength, so that you are able to defeat the giant Goliath, it is Him who makes a way across every sea in your life, so that you walk across on dry land. Hallelujah!
Ruth identified Naomi as her key partner, she knew that she couldn’t stand her ground alone. Neither could she stand her grounds with those whom she was leaving behind. But She recognised that Naomi had a role to play which was necessary to create the future Ruth longed for. Great deeds are accomplished by great minds with loyal people and steady hands willing to work together to fulfil a common goal. You cannot walk alone in the path to fulfilling destiny, God works through people, so you’ll be needing people who share the same dreams as you do, people who can see the greatness in you and are loyal enough to stay and support you throughout the process, people who will walk with you to fulfil destiny, having in mind that the accomplishment of that greatness isn’t just yours alone but for the benefit of others as well. But note that you alone can make the decision to stand your ground.
LET US PRAY
Dear Lord, we commit into your hands all our desires, hope and dreams. We pray for strength, focus, consistency, courage and faith to do that which we ought to do. Please direct our ways, open our hearts to see beyond what our eyes can see. Help us stay true to ourselves, so that we can stand our grounds only where it truly matters. Amen!