Your Standing Firm is a Part of Resisting
Standing firm, as used in this article, is a reference to knowing and obeying God's Word, in spite of the temptation to do otherwise.
In our text (i.e., I Pet. 5:8-11), Peter first of all urges his readers to resist the devil. And then he haves them to know that God will restore them, after they have suffered a little while.
We don’t spend much time talking about resisting the devil. And every now and then we need to remind ourselves that we all must suffer, but we have some hope also. In this devotional series, I want to suggest that we should work on resisting and suffering with hope.
In this particular devotional, let’s focus on resisting. As big and as bad as the devil may be, we are not helpless. We must not allow him to simply have his way with us. Nor should we simply pray for God to make the devil leave us along. Our text urges us to resist him.
Notice the four ideas included in resisting the devil. We are to be self-controlled, alert, known for standing firm in our faith, and aware that others are suffering the same thing that we are suffering.
The third suggestion for resisting the devil is standing firm in our faith. Remember from Romans 10:17 that faith comes by hearing the Word of God, and in James 2:17 we learned that faith without works is dead. Therefore, to be strong in the faith is to remember the word and to obey it.
Personal and church Bible study in addition to listening to biblical preaching will help us be mindful of God’s Word.
However, we must also seek to obey God’s Word, which calls for our decision to obey, and such a decision is often helped by the support of other believers.
Some of us know enough, and we often have a mind to obey what we know, but we often lack the support of others, in staying with what we know to be true. The church ought to be a place of developing supportive relationships.
It is so frustrating to see how much attention is given to minor stuff, while little attention is given to major stuff. Demonstrating your knowledge of a text and your ability to raise questions and make comments about the Bible study lessons is minor stuff. Demonstrating how to live by the text is major stuff.
What color bag we are going to have at the retreat or are we going to be in cabins or rooms are minor issues (they really are – smile). Helping women and men live by God’s Word and be strong in their faith is major stuff. Let’s resolve to help one another be strong in the faith.
Standing firm in the faith must include our knowing that no matter what happens, we are saved because of our faith in Jesus. John 3:16 teaches that whoever believes in Jesus for eternal life shall not perish but shall have eternal life.
No matter how we mess up as singles or married people, we are saved by faith in Jesus. No matter how we fall by the way side in helping our fellow man and woman with such things as predatory lending reform, we are still saved.
When we falter in helping our church be a part of rebuilding the economic infrastructure of our community, and sharing the gospel, we are still saved by faith in Jesus.
No matter how frustrated we become with God’s timetable and apparent slowfulness to our cries and prayer requests, we are saved by faith in Jesus.
And our faith should be focused on loving God, ourselves, and others. Mark 12:29-31 has us to know that the greatest commandment is to love God with all that we have. And the second commandment is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Love God enough to worship Him, tithe to Him, and obey His word. Love yourself enough to take care of your health, wealth, and know your history. Love your neighbor enough to help them get back on their feet, protect them from wicked oppressors, and keep them encouraged on their journey.
Don’t put ritual, traditions, and preferences above love. Standing firm in the faith means being strong in our knowing and obeying God’s Word. The word puts high priority on being saved by faith in Jesus’ death for our sins and loving God, ourselves, and others.
1. On a scale of one to five, with five being high, how well are you doing with standing firm in the faith?
2. What are you going to do to improve in this area, within the next week?
Great and awesome God, I praise You for being a God who is more powerful than any satanic influence that I will ever encounter. I thank You for Your marvelous plan for Your people. I thank You for saving me and allowing me to be numbered among Your people.
I confess that I have not been standing firm in the faith, as I should have been. I have not rejoiced in my salvation nor been obedient to your will, as I should have been. Please forgive me for these and my many other sins, in the name of Jesus.
Please help me to live a life known for standing firm in the faith, as a way of resisting the devil. Thank You, in the name of Your Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Please complete the feedback form below.
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