“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. John 15:18-20
Boy, if there was ever a time when the attribute or character trait of “standing alone” is needed it is today. “Tolerance” has become the virtue du jour and in the name of tolerance believers are being pressured to agree with many things that are absolutely unacceptable in Kingdom life. Holiness provokes derision and righteous life is the butt of jokes. I am not speaking about the faux holiness that is preoccupied with skirt lengths and make-up but rather, the real thing—the attempt to sincerely imitate Christ and demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit in the workplace. It is funny how those who shout the loudest about protecting the rights of others, who demand tolerance for every behavior and every lifestyle, put Christians solidly outside the circle of those they are willing to defend. Then again, we have been warned that this would be the case so it should neither discourage us nor cause us to waver in our commitment to obey the Lord and follow His commands. This hymn should still be our song: “I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus—tho’ none go with me…”
Are you standing alone today? When someone in the workplace is being alienated, humiliated or rejected, do you reach out anyway? When your stand against profanity and degrading, demeaning jokes earns you the label of “prude” do you loosen up and “go along to get along”? There is no place for self-righteousness or superiority in our Christian walk but we are obligated to separate ourselves from things that are displeasing to God. We are called to love people but not sinful behaviors. We can love others without agreeing when they claim all Gods are equal and that there are many paths to salvation. We don’t have to stay silent when they declare that God is simply a figment of the imagination or the wishful thinking of weak people. The fact that they are spiritually blind is no reason for us to turn out the lights and stumble around with them. They might believe God isn’t real but I hope you spoke with Him this morning and are persuaded that He still believes in them. And, that you’re willing to tell them so!
The truth is that the One who dwells within us is far greater than the forces and powers of this world. We have been given the power to overcome evil with good but we have to KNOW the true character of the God we serve and know that we are hidden securely in Christ in order to walk fearlessly and boldly in today’s workplace. We must spend the time with God and in His Word so that our minds are renewed and our lives transformed or we will be unable to work in the world without being influenced by it.
We are called to be light the darkness like a city set on a hill. We are the salt that has been spread throughout the workplace to season it with the favor and blessing of the Lord. So be honest, how are you doing in your dark piece of the planet? If you have been blending into the crowd, now is a great time to change that. Identify what’s holding you back—fear of man, fear of job loss, fear you won’t be able to represent the Kingdom if put to the test? Whatever it is, God’s got your back. He will meet you right where you are and walk with you into the destiny He has designed for you. Remember always, when God looks at you He sees Jesus! God sees nothing wrong with you—just some things that haven’t been developed or matured in your Christ-likeness. Spend time focused on Him and His promise is that you will become like Him.
The world needs you to rise up and stand out. Light up the darkness wherever you are and bring God glory by pouring out His love. Put His promises to the test by inviting Him into your most challenging circumstances and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead you through them in triumph. The world will credit you with the courage and attribute of “standing alone” but in your heart you’ll know you’re never alone. God Almighty has chosen to stand with you!
How will you know if you are demonstrating the success factor of Standing Alone? You will be someone who:
- is willing to stand up and be counted
- doesn’t shy away from accepting personal responsibility
- can be counted on to stand firm and confident when times are tough
- will be the sole champion for an idea or position if the Holy Spirit leads you to do so
- can comfortably work alone on a tough assignment, knowing you are never really alone!
“The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”