"Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?"
- Psalm 94:16 NIV
When my son, Joseph, was in high school years ago, he came home with an article from the school newspaper that deeply disturbed him. Some students had written about a New Age shop in a nearby city, which they praised and encouraged people to patronize. But the students didn't stop there. They severely criticized those who didn't embrace the store or its philosophies, characterizing them as "narrow-minded," among other things. It was a flagrant attack on Christians and their values, and I, like my son, was incensed by it. I prayed and asked the Lord what He would have me do. Then I sat down and composed a letter to the principal, and to the other appropriate authorities at my son's school, telling them how I felt. I sent copies to local churches, to alert them to what was going on in our children's schools, and to ask them to pray. A day or two later, I received an apologetic note from the school's principal, saying that he would personally handle the matter, and that he would chastise the newspaper staff for their insensitivity. Over the next few weeks, I got calls from local churches who applauded my actions, and who told me how they had posted my letter on their bulletin boards, and had read it from their pulpits. And I marveled at how one heartfelt letter could have such a profound impact on an entire community.
Sometime later, the Lord led my son, Joseph, to start a Bible club in his high school. My son went through the proper channels to get permission from the school authorities to launch his club, and to hold weekly meetings on campus after classes. At first, everything seemed to be going smoothly. Then suddenly, a mountain of resistance began to rise up against the club and the kids involved with it. My son became frustrated and downhearted, and I began to do some research to find out exactly what the club's rights were. I discovered that the school was trampling on the club's privileges, simply because their purpose was "controversial," as the principal put it. I explained to my son that his club had a right to be treated like all of the other clubs at school, and I told him that if he wanted to fight for his rights, I would back him up. After we earnestly prayed about it, my son decided to take up the fight, and we contacted a Christian organization that said we had a good case, and they would be our advocates. They warned my son that it was very likely that he would suffer recriminations from teachers, school officials, and fellow students, if we decided to threaten the school with a lawsuit. Nevertheless, that's exactly what we did. As we prayed and trusted God for the victory, the school backed down, and assured us that the Bible club would receive the same privileges as all the other clubs from then on. Because my son and I took a stand, the club that his school--and the devil himself--tried to bury, began to thrive and grow daily, so that it touched and changed the lives of countless people in our community and beyond.
The apostle Paul wrote, "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service." (1 Timothy 1:12 NASB) When we are faithful to the cause of Christ, He will empower and equip us to be world-changers for His glory. There's no doubt in my mind that my actions those many years ago had everything to do with me ministering to the masses today. Sooner or later, all of us will be called upon to defend Christ and the Gospel. Perhaps the Lord is saying to YOU today--"Who will stand up for Me against evildoers? Who will take his stand for Me against those who do wickedness?" (Psalm 94:16 NASB)
Prayer: Lord, give me the courage, the wisdom, and the backbone I need to take a stand for You and Your truth when it's Your will. Make my efforts so fruitful and successful, that I'll be encouraged to do so more and more. Thank You for helping me to set an example for others that will challenge and inspire my family, my friends, my community, and the multitudes!
- J. M. Farro