The reason for the name, The Art of Standing, is a Bible verse from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (6:10-20). It is a revered testament to courage because Paul wrote it while in prison for the crime of speaking his faith. He was likely in the presence of a Roman soldier in full armor when he spoke these words aloud to a scribe who wrote for him.

Imagine the scene as Paul said:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

“Therefore 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lords people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

I took out the verse numbers because those were added later as a reference, and I put it in quotes so that you could see that Paul was speaking. Here is the key phrase for The Art of Standing:

“and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then,”

Christians would need courage. They would soon suffer more for their beliefs as Roman emperors became increasingly vigorous in their attempts to stamp out any thought that didn’t acknowledge the Emperor as a god. The famed coliseum was built to allow more people to see the power of Rome as soldiers clashed and Christians were fed, live and defenseless, to lions.

They achieved the opposite result.

Faced with certain death, Christians turned to the God they would see after death, to Jesus, who defeated death and rose from the grave. Persecution sped the spread of the message. It was Rome that eventually fell prey to its own beliefs.

It is in this Spirit and with this courage that I wish to write The Art of Standing. This is the encouragement I wish to share.

No matter how well I do it, others have done it better. I only hope for the courage to stand with them.

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