Devotional

Be Ye Steadfast

“Therefore, my beloved bethren, be ye steadfast , unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

I Corinthians 15:58 (KJV)

Steadfast! That’s my word of the year for 2021. Looking ahead at the year to come, I know I’m going to need it for a multitude of reasons.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, steadfast means firmly fixed in place: not subject to change: firm in belief, determination, or adherence. In Old English, the word steadfast was used to describe warriors who stood their ground in battle.

This metaphor is so fitting since Paul, in the New Testament, refers to Timothy as a soldier of Jesus Christ. (2 Tim 2:3-4). He also compares other believers to soldiers in Philemon 1:2 and Philippians 2:25. Why does he do this? It is because, as Christians, we are in a spiritual battle.

The continuous spiritual battle can wear you out, make you weak, discourage you, and tempt you to quit. That is when you must remain STEADFAST!

If you are like me, you can feel the spiritual battle raging all around you. It is very real in your spiritual life, in the life of your family, in the ministries you are involved in, and in the world all around you!

Remember Ephesians 6:10-17 where Paul tells us to put on the whole armor of God so we may stand against the “wiles of the devil”? Verse 12 reminds us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

I Want to Quit!

Have you become weary in your efforts or discouraged because you don’t see the fruit you want? You plan lessons, but your students just don’t seem to respond. Mentoring a struggling child or adult just doesn’t seem to be making a difference. Your own family members aren’t making godly choices. You are struggling with a besetting sin that you just can’t overcome. Your relationships are strained.

Sometimes you feel opposition all around. No matter what you do, you can’t make people happy. Friends and family don’t agree with your choices. Your best efforts seem to be met with roadblocks. And now you see the government interfering with your personal and religious freedom.

Even you are your worst enemy at times. You have health challenges. Struggles with your thinking, motivation, with discipline and organization are constant. You make excuses. The battle in your own spirit to keep going every day has taken its toll.

Or perhaps you feel like the Lord has put you right where you belong. He has given you ministries you love and feel you are good at along with opportunities that grow and stretch you and make you depend on Him. What if those opportunities are yanked right out from under you due to no fault of your own! What do you do? (You start a blog and begin writing, of course!)

And you strap on the armor of God and fight! You fight the spiritual battle with every ounce of strength you have.

Every hint of opposition, every doubt, every struggle with sin is a part of the spiritual battle that would discourage you and cause you to want to quit. But you can’t quit! You must remain steadfast. You must stand your ground and fight the spiritual battle that is raging all around you.

Why Be Steadfast?

In the verses leading up to 1Corinthians 15:58, Paul reminds us of the gospel. He gives us a simple definition – Christ died, was buried, and rose again the third day! He reminds us that this was no fairy tale, but that Jesus was seen by hundreds of people, including himself, after he was resurrected.

There were people in that day preaching that there was no resurrection. Paul spends much of this chapter trying to reason with them. He tells them that if there is no resurrection from the dead, then Christ has not risen, and their preaching and faith are worthless. If there were no resurrection then Jesus was dead, all those who already died are dead, and there is no life past this one. How depressing!

He goes on, however, to remind them that in Adam all die, but in Christ all are made alive! Even though they didn’t believe it, there is hope! — Hope in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. There is hope for a better life after this one!

Paul then shares the greatest mystery of all. He tells us how that we shall all be resurrected at the sound of the trumpet. We shall all be changed from these mortal bodies into immortal bodies. At that time death will be swallowed up in victory!

This is where our verse comes in. “Therefore, my beloved brethren . . .” Here is our purpose. This is why we remain steadfast and continue on! It is because of Christ. It is because He has given us a future with himself. We have a future of no sin and no death. The work we do for and through Christ has eternal value!

How Do You Remain Steadfast?

Know your purpose

Purpose

Soldiers join the military and fight for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they are following in the footsteps of a beloved friend or family member. They may be a great patriot with a desire to protect the integrity and freedoms of their country. In the heat of battle they fight to protect their fellow soldiers along with their own lives.

What is your purpose as a Christian, a soldier of Christ? You will be more likely to remain steadfast, stay in the battle, and fight hard if you know your purpose. Are you fighting for the gospel? Do you fighting for truth and right? Are you fighting for the spiritual integrity of your friends and family? Hopefully you are fighting for the eternal benefits.

Arm yourself with God’s Word

God’s Word

Before a soldier can effectively fight, he must have his weapons ready and know how to use them against the enemy. For a military soldier, that might mean a gun, tank, missile, etc. For a soldier of Christ that means the word of God. Understanding God’s word and hiding it in our hearts will be both our strongest weapons and defenses against evil. Even Jesus himself quoted scripture to fight off the devil.

Become a Prayer Warrior

Prayer

Prayer is powerful! Fight your battles on your knees. Take your requests to the Lord; let Him fight for you! The Bible is filled with prayers. It tells us of people who prayed or failed to pray and how that affected their lives. God commands us to pray. Jesus gave his disciples a sample prayer after they asked him to teach them how to pray. Prayer is our direct line to our Heavenly Father who is able to give us what we need, including strength to fight our spiritual battles.

Put on the Whole Armor of God

The armor of God
  • Loins girt about with truth
  • Breastplate of righteousness
  • Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
  • Shield of faith
  • Helmet of salvation
  • Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

When fighting our spiritual battles, we often stop with the helmet of salvation. After all, we are saved, that’s all we need, right? We might even add the word of God or a touch of faith. However, we need the entire suit of armor to protect ourselves from the enemy! Don’t neglect to put on part of your armor!

Stand with your fellow soldiers


Stand together

There is a great sense of camaraderie on the battlefield. Soldiers who live together, train together, and face danger together will fight for each other.

I have a ministry friend who refers to her fellow ministry friends as “sister soldiers.” What a great title! We are in a battle together, fighting alongside each other for the kingdom of God! Fight together, pray together, encourage one another and remain steadfast together!

None of us knows what the new year will bring, but we know one thing. No matter what challenges or blessings lie ahead, we must stand firmly in place, keep the faith, and fight with all our might, doing the work of the Lord! Be ye steadfast!

Wife, mom, grandma, and country girl. I am living by faith and encouraging others to do the same. I integrate faith, family and country living.

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