The President and the Apostle: Standing Firm with Abe and Paul

Weaving together quotes from a famous person and The Famous Person

Abraham Lincoln said, “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”

1 Corinthians 15:58 says it this way: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (NIV)

The Apostle Paul and our famous President have something pretty cool to say here. The basic message is… follow this two-step plan:

Find the right place.
Stay there.

Seems pretty simple, yet I’d dare say many of us may find it hard to pull off. One of the reasons for this might be that we tend to presume that where we are now is the right place. Once we open our hearts to the possibility that we might not be in the right place, we can actually get started with step one…

Finding The Right Place 

How do we find where the right place is? How do we evaluate the place we are to determine whether we should keep on walking or dig our heels in? Wouldn’t it be great if a large “Right City Exit Ahead” sign appeared along the highway or a “Right Blvd” sign was posted at the correct intersection?  Well if we search Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians for this signage, lo and behold, I think we find it! Here’s the kicker. Paul’s road sign tells us that the right place is not a place at all, but an attitude. The right place is devotion to the work of the Lord and faith that His glorious purposes will be done through it. Giving ourselves fully to the Lord’s work puts our feet in the right place—on the solid Rock of Jesus Christ. Once there, it’s on to step two…

Standing Firm

The Rock upon which we are stand, is not a fixed location but an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus as our Savior and Lord. This Jesus is not a passive, stay-put Lord, but one that is always at work in the world, always directing us to those He intends for us to reach in His name. So we must set our feet on the Rock of Jesus and be ready to rock with Him! Standing firm is not standing still. Standing firm is resolving to keep close to Him and the work He has for us, no matter where it takes us.

Lincoln did it. While battle plans changed, political coalitions changed, world affairs changed, He stood firm in the work he felt the Lord called him to do—unite a broken nation.

Paul did it. When the Spirit said, “Don’t go there” he didn’t. When the Spirit said, “Help us over here”  he went. When he was with Jews, he remembered their customs. When he was with Gentiles, he tailored his witness to their culture. But he stood firm in the work he felt the Lord called him to do–unite broken people with God.

We must do it too – We must never refuse to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit. We must be willing to follow Jesus where He leads us, to love those He loves (that’s everybody), and to proclaim Him always. We must never stand firm in the place of our choosing if it is not the place of His choosing. We must never stand in firm inaction when loving action is called for.

Copyright © 2010, 2012 Dan Buckhout
Abraham Lincoln quote taken from BrainyQuote.com

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