What does it mean to "stand alone"?
As a believer, it is likely that some time during your life you will be challenged to stand alone—to be in a situation that forces you to decide if you will obey God or “follow the crowd.” Your decision will either glorify God or give the enemies of God an opportunity to scorn Him. (See II Samuel 12:14.) Your circumstances may involve something as seemingly insignificant as refusing to let your child participate in a school activity, or they may involve a situation that would demand great sacrifice on your part, such as the loss of a job or even your life.
Consider a Biblical Example of “Standing Alone”
The life of Daniel provides an outstanding example of one who was willing to stand alone. When faced with the choice to either forsake his allegiance to the Lord or be thrown into a lions’ den, he chose to face the lions. Daniel was willing to forfeit his life rather than abandon his convictions.
Daniel was forced to face the lions, but God sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths, and Daniel was not harmed in any way! As a result of Daniel’s willingness to stand alone, to be faithful to God and His ways regardless of the pressures to abandon righteousness, God received praise and honor.
In fact, when King Darius witnessed the mighty power of God to protect Daniel, he had this decree written: “In every dominion of my kingdom men [must] tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions” (Daniel 6:26–27).
Each time Daniel made the choice to stand alone, it looked as if he would be destroyed. However, time after time, God not only rescued Daniel from destruction, but He prospered him. Daniel’s life brought glory to God. The Scriptures describe Daniel as a “man greatly beloved” by God and a man who had “an excellent spirit.” (See Daniel 6:3 and 10:11.)
In every generation, God is looking for Daniels—men and women who understand the truths of Scripture and have purposed to uphold them, to obey them, regardless of the cost. When you choose to stand alone, you can greatly influence others and bring glory to God.
Be Courageous Through Confidence in God
Standing alone requires courage. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather a decision based on confidence in something or someone greater than the emotion of fear. To stand alone, one must have confidence that obedience to God and His Law results in a superior way of life. Even a child can stand alone for truth, if he has this confidence in the Lord and His Word.
David stood alone (both literally and figuratively!) when he faced Goliath, even though he was very young. He had confidence in God; God had proved Himself worthy of David’s confidence many times. (See I Samuel 17.)
Daniel’s companions, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, stood alone in the fiery furnace when they refused to worship King Nebuchadnezzar. They were fearless because they were confident in God. (See Daniel 3:17–18.)
Their story illustrates the fact that though we may feel like we are standing “alone,” we are never actually alone. Our God is always with us—even in the midst of a fiery furnace that has been heated seven times hotter than usual! God Himself stood in the midst of the furnace with these three men. (See Daniel 3:24–25.)
As a result of their confidence, conviction, and courage, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego brought glory to God. When God protected them in the furnace, not a hair of their heads was singed, their clothes were unharmed, and they didn’t even smell like smoke! (See Daniel 3:27.)
In the face of this miraculous deliverance, Nebuchadnezzar responded with praise to God, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him … and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. … There is no other God that can deliver after this sort” (Daniel 3:28–29).
Be Willing to Suffer Rejection or Persecution
All those who stand alone do not experience miraculous interventions, such as those experienced by Daniel and his three friends. These men were willing to accept death rather than worship a false god. Although God rescued them, they had made a decision to uphold righteousness and reject wickedness, even if that decision required them to sacrifice their lives.
You must count the cost when you choose to stand alone. Hebrews 11 gives an account of many heroes of faith who stood alone. Although many of them experienced miraculous deliverance, there were also many who suffered, who were “destitute, afflicted, tormented” (Hebrews 11:37), who died as a result of horrible torture and unbearable physical conditions. (See Hebrews 11:36–40.) When you choose to obey God regardless of the cost, the cost can be very great. We must turn to God for the grace and strength to face whatever may come. (See Psalm 56:11, 16:1, 4:5, 56:3, 118:8, and Jeremiah 7:23.)
Use the Sword of the Spirit to Do Battle Against Evil
To stand alone, we must know the truth—God’s Word. Truth is the believer’s most powerful weapon against evil. The Apostle Paul admonishes us: “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. … Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth …. And take … the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:10–11, 14, 17).
When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Christ defeated Satan by quoting truth from the Scriptures. In His response to the devil’s first temptation, Jesus emphasized the necessity of knowing God’s Word, pointing out that our need for God’s Word is just as critical as our need for physical sustenance. He said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). We must know the truth in order to stand alone for truth.
Prepare Your Heart Before God
When given the opportunity to stand alone for Christ’s sake, God will provide you with the courage and wisdom you need. As the Lord daily guides you in paths of righteousness for His sake (see Psalm 23:3), it is important to:
- Let the Lord renew your mind with the truths of His Word, which will enable you to see life with a perspective that is pleasing to Him. (See Romans 12:2.)
- Apply God’s truth to every aspect of your life, and obey the promptings of His Holy Spirit. (See Romans 8:13, Proverbs 3:6, and Psalm 119:105.)
- Walk in the strength of the Lord as you identify with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. (See Romans 6–8.)
- Love the Lord with all your heart, so that you become more concerned about bringing Him honor than you are concerned about pleasing yourself. (See John 14:21.)
- Realize that you are never alone, because God will never forsake you. (See Matthew 28:20.)
- Remember that when we face persecution, God will provide the grace we need to encounter the situation. (See Matthew 6:11–12 and II Corinthians 12:9.)
- Walk in humility before God and man. (See James 4:6, 10; Psalm 9:12; and I Peter 5:5–6.)
- Hate evil and do not yield to the temptation to secretly want what you condemn as evil in others. (See Romans 2:1, Proverbs 8:13, and Psalm 97:10.)
As we take a stand for God’s truth—whatever the cost—God’s kingdom will be advanced. Know that King David’s proclamation can be yours as well: “… God is for me. In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word. In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. … Thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?” (Psalm 56:9–11, 13). Are you willing to stand alone for Christ’s sake? Put your trust in God, and walk before Him with courage and faith!
Learn more about standing alone through the booklet available from IBLP, How to Stand Alone.