1 Cor 16:13
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” NIV
I am struck by how much reference is made by commentators, columnists and political leaders on the need to “stand firm” when discussing the various international political issues of the day. Someone is always urging us to stand firm, not to back down, not to weaken in our resolve, not to compromise. The message is that if we stand firm, we will see results; if we waver, we will be defeated. Whatever the issue, it is common knowledge that a firm resolve is the foundation for victory. And history has proven this to be true time and time again.
The same is also true in the spiritual war that we are all engaged in as Christians. There is a battle going on – you may not see it, and it may not be intense in this season of your life, but it is there. It is the war that the devil is waging against the saints of God (Daniel 7:21, 1 Peter 5:8). The enemy’s strategy is to shake our confidence in God, to weaken our resolve to hold fast to the Word of God, to cause us to waver in our faith.
The Apostle Paul knew what it was like to be at the receiving end of the attacks of the enemy, and out of that experience, he had much to share with us.
First, be on your guard. Know that there is a battle going on and you are on the front lines. You have an enemy that is always probing, always seeking to penetrate your defenses. Don’t allow your defenses to be compromised by sin and disobedience. Don’t give him a foothold in your life. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Second, stand firm in your faith. The enemy will seek to weaken your resolve by bombarding your mind with doubt, unbelief and fear. Military commanders call it psychological warfare – an attempt to convince an opponent to give up, to sow confusion and doubt, to cause them to hold back. Don’t merely sit and receive these attacks. Sink your roots deep into the Word. Fight back with the Word of God! For example, every time you are fearful about something, speak Psalm 119:165 over your life (Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble). God has given us so many of these wonderful promises to counter the lies of the enemy. Learn them. Use them. They work!
And then, be men and women of courage, be strong. I take that to mean that we are to determine in our hearts that no matter what may happen, no matter what may come against us, we do not give up or compromise. The enemy might send strong winds to buffet us, we may suffer setbacks now and then, but we determine in our hearts not to give up because we are confident of victory, sure in the knowledge that in the end, we will prevail because God is with us, and is for us.
“Therefore, my dear brothers [and sisters], stand firm. Let nothing move you” (1 Cor 15:58).[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]