Hey guys, I hope your day has been good so far. I’ve been praying a lot of our family to be able to fight off feelings of defeat, being overwhelmed, and fighting off the spiritual warfare that discourages us.
Satan is so effective at enacting his plan on us, he is sly, he is calculated, and he wrenches on us so that we wind up getting buried head first in discouragement before we even realize what has happened. So needless to say I’m praying for extra strength because it seems to be coming at us rapidly these days.
One thing at the front of my mind is how Satan can even use people who proclaim Christ to throw us off! Wait…how does he do that?! There are many sly and cunning ways, although one of the most powerful is through the subtle world of peer acceptance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about committed followers of Christ, genuine brothers and sisters in Christ will build us up and strengthen us. I’m talking about people who say “I’m a Christian” but don’t have a foundation in the Word or a relationship with Christ. Although well intentioned, without the foundation of Jesus Christ, these people tend to follow along with the ways of the world, bending to every whim of the popular culture and compromising on their beliefs to fit in to the culture. My heart breaks for these people, and I hope that our walks are an example for them of how we should follow Christ.
I’ve also been thinking about how we can avoid ever finding ourselves in that same category. Son, I know it’s tough at school, being a Christian is not easy when many middle schoolers have never opened a Bible, and certainly wouldn’t say they have a walk with God. At work I see the same thing, people who are set against God, people who claim to know him while their actions speak louder than their words, of course rarely (far too rarely) I find a truly devoted follower of Christ which is a breath of fresh air.
So how do we guard against complacency and falling into this ideal? How do we stand for the Word and not be side tracked by the popular frame of mind in society? How do we fight against false doctrine that is spread by well-meaning people who don’t spend time in the Word?
There is only one solution…Get in the Word ourselves! Being in the Word will strengthen us, and when false teachings or topics come up that are contrary to the Bible we will be able to identify them and stand for the truth. It makes me think about the verse for today, where Paul encounters the Jews in Berea.
That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.
Acts 17:10-12 NLT
The Bereans were great students of God’s Word, and when Paul and Silas came to teach these Jews took them seriously! They did not immediately cast off the words coming from Paul and Silas, yet they also didn’t blindly follow. Rather their approach (a wise approach to follow) was to spend time in study, following up on the teachings that were brought by Paul and Silas and see how they align with God’s Word. Interestingly enough, when they finished their research they came to a simple conclusion, what Paul and Silas were teaching was real, accurate, and full of hope. It wasn’t blind faith, this wasn’t coercion on Paul’s part, this was wise, Biblical understanding that builds the faith and solidifies hope. This same hope that the Bereans found in the scriptures are the same hope that we can find! It’s the same hope that will strengthen, embolden, and help us stand firm for what we believe when the culture is swaying in the wind.
Our Christian stance may not always be popular (in fact it’s usually very unpopular), but with time in the Word, properly dividing the scriptures God has given us, we can stand firm in a world of false doctrine and popular culture. We can fight discouragement, spiritual warfare, and the defeat that we so frequently face. We can recognize when people are trying to push us down a path towards compromising our beliefs, and instead allow us to minister to them rather than following along.
When we build that foundation on Christ and the word of God, Satan doesn’t stand a chance, and regardless of who or what he uses to get us side tracked, we will always stand firm in Jesus’ Victory!