Stance is important for athletes as well. Virtually any sport that involves physical exertion is concerned with how the player stands. In football, different players use different stances so they can do their job effectively. Linemen crouch low and stand with their feet wide apart so that they are stable and powerful. The quarterback keeps his head high and feet moving so that he can move quickly. Receivers setup for explosive speed and keep their hands up and ready to catch the ball.
Baseball, soccer, tennis and golf players are all concerned about their stance too. Coaches spend lots of time making sure a player knows the optimum stance and they force the player to practice it until it becomes second nature. Everything flows from the stance.
A player that, both literally and figuratively, starts off on the wrong foot is at a disadvantage. He or she is often slow to react and cannot take advantage of an opportunity. Full power cannot be delivered to the bat or club. Worse, he or she is off balance and can fall to the ground and be out of play altogether.
But stance is not just for athletes. It is incredibly important to everyday life. There is an interesting verse in the Bible that says, “Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
In this passage, St. Paul is directing followers of Christ to be ready for evil days. He knew that evil days are part of life. They happen to everyone. If you haven’t experienced an evil day, don’t worry; it’s in the future.
And because evil days are on the horizon, it is important to be ready for them. Paul first talks about the armor that God has given to us, and then he talks about the stance we are to take. He says, “stand your ground.”
Picture a soldier who is ready for battle. The line has been drawn and his commander has told him to hold his assigned piece of ground. The soldier prepares himself. He checks and re-checks his armor. He checks the positions of his fellow soldiers relative to himself. He stretches his muscles. And then as the enemy approaches he crouches in a state of readiness. No one looking at this soldier from afar would doubt that he is prepared for battle.
All of us are in a battle every day of our lives. We battle for our families, for our marriages, for our children, for our friends, for our faith, for our health...for our lives. Far too often, we forget to prepare ourselves like a soldier preparing for battle. And far too often, instead of crouching low and being ready, we bumble along blindly and are surprised when the enemy attacks.
Your stance can make all the difference. A stance of confidence in a God that is faithful and true. A stance of faith that believes the best in the midst of the worst. And a stance that communicates a willingness to fight to the death for that which is worthwhile.
How’s your stance today? Have you gotten lazy? Have your forgotten that you are engaged in a battle? The pastors in Kings County would love the opportunity to encourage you this weekend. Why don’t you give one of our great churches a visit and get back in the battle?