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by Adah L. Hutchcraft
“Standing Firm In Faith”
1 Peter 5:8-9
Be self -controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
Spiritual Awareness ❦
Believers in Christ can not survive the good fight of faith without maintained sensitivity to God. A conscious effort must be made to keep one’s conscience undefiled and to not quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19) Whenever one becomes unresponsive to God’s voice, no matter how insignificant the situation may seem, Satan gains the advantage. He attempts to lure Christians away from Christ by sugar-coating sin and planting seeds of doubt. The nature of deception is to hide the fact that when people let their guard down Satan can devour them. This is why the scriptures preach self-control and spiritual alertness. The word of God is very clear; Christ is victorious over Satan and by faith we, too, overcome. Faith guards us against the wiles of the devil, quenching his fiery darts and causing him to flee. That is why every believer desires more faith– it is precious to them, and it is precious to God. By faith we become aware of who God is and what he is doing, thereby gaining the advantage.
Your Enemy The Devil ❦
Christians must remain alert and sober in the Spirit because our enemy is alert. Satan’s initiative to destroy is directed toward God’s children because of his hatred toward God himself. Satan can not touch the Almighty, so he vents his anger against God’s chosen people. God is serious about our salvation and Satan is serious about our condemnation. The logical conclusion is that we, too, ought to be serious. The outcome of our souls is not a light matter!
Satan is a personal enemy. He is called “your enemy.” No one is insignificant to him. Satan is looking for any opportunity, great or small, to harm the faith of Christians. He searches for spiritual weakness and for hearts that do not take Christ seriously. His aim is to devour– not merely to make one stumble. The devil is ambitious in his enterprise. So it is imperative to be ambitious about your faith in order to stand against Satan. Doubt is the fatal flaw of those Satan can sift. But by continuing in faith, remaining self-controlled and alert, you have a spiritual guard against the Devourer. Although Satan is seeking for an opportunity to destroy, he that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.
Whom He May Devour ❦
Satan only has power against Christians when their spiritual armor is removed. If the devil had his way no one would believe on Christ. But “the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people lay hold on it”. (Matthew 11:12) That is to say, Satan is unable to hinder the work of God or condemn those who hold to Christ by faith. The devil is seeking whom he may devour. He can not abolish the salvation of one who rests in Christ Jesus. Christ owns those who believe him, and Satan has no power over what belongs to Christ!
R esisting Satan By Faith ❦
God enables his children to be strong and stand firm in the faith. This is good news because faith is an anchor for the soul when trials and persecution flood in. Faith endures all tribulations. James 1:6 says, “he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” Such a person can not expect God to work in their life. God commands us to resist the devil and stand firm in the faith. To stand in faith is to stand in Christ. And Satan cannot have the victory over anyone who sides with the Victor, Christ Jesus.
This admonition was written during a time of persecution among Christ’s Church. We know this because Peter writes, “you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” There are no details given about what kind of persecution was involved. But that information would detour from the point of Peter’s message which was to encourage and exhort the brethren to be firmly grounded in Christ. Satan may send strong persecution and tempt Christians to doubt the promises of God, but those who put their faith in the Truth will receive their heavenly reward.
The Battle is Not Forever ❦
Although we have the promise that our faith is not in vain, we also know that it is not without effort. (Luke 13:24) We are constantly on a spiritual battleground, never at liberty to let down our guard. Satan is hostile toward God and his children. He has set himself against Christ. But women and men of faith can survive his attacks and stand by grace in the evil day. Faith is powerful not simply because we believe, but because of whom we believe. Jesus is victorious over the devil and he is bringing ‘many sons to glory.’
It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of our salvation perfect through suffering.” (Hebrews 2:10) Just as Christ was made perfect through his sufferings, Christians are also perfected in faith through tribulation. But we will not always have to battle with the enemy of our souls. If we hold to Christ, our faith will become sight. Our spiritual battle will one day be over and we will rest in the bosom of Christ, finally able to lay our armor down. Fight the good fight of faith now so that you may rest is Christ then!
YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH
GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT
THE STEWARDSHIP OF TIME
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