In I Corinthians 15:58; we read, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." Then in Galatians 6:9; we are admonished, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Along our journey of faith, God knows when we need encouragement, when our flesh is weak and we need to be challenged to press on. I am no different than you or any other person. Satan is only too happy to seize those moments. He comes to tempt me, acting as my friend who is concerned about my well-being. He gives me all the justification I need to take my eyes off the prize. This is how Satan will come to you as well.
Let me share with you some powerful words written by Charles Spurgeon. I pray that they will inspire and encourage you. They really sum up what this journey is all about. There is perhaps no greater challenge we have as followers of Christ than to remain true to the faith.
"Perseverance is the badge of true saints. The Christian life is not only a beginning in the ways of God, but also a continuance in the same as long as life lasts. It is with a Christian as it was with the great Napoleon. He said, "Conquest has made me what I am, and conquest must maintain me." So, under God, dear brother in the Lord, conquest has made you what you are, and conquest must sustain you. Your motto must be, "Excelsior." He only is a true conqueror, and shall be crowned at the last, who continueth till war's trumpet is blown no more. Perseverance is, therefore, the target of all our spiritual enemies. The world does not object to you being a Christian for a time, if she can but tempt you to cease your pilgrimage, and settle down to buy and sell with her in Vanity Fair. The flesh will seek to ensnare you, and to prevent your pressing on to glory. "It is weary work being a pilgrim; come, give it up. Am I always to be mortified? Am I never to be indulged? Give me at least a furlough from this constant warfare." Satan will make many a fierce attack on your perseverance; it will be the mark for all his arrows. He will strive to hinder you in service: he will insinuate that you are doing no good; and that you want rest. He will endeavor to make you weary of suffering, he will whisper, "Curse God, and die." Or he will attack your steadfastness: "What is the good of being so zealous? Be quiet like the rest; sleep as do others, and let your lamp go out as the other virgins do." Or he will assail your doctrinal sentiments: "Why do you hold to these denominational creeds? Sensible men are getting more liberal; they are removing the old landmarks: fall in with the times." Wear your shield, Christian, therefore, close upon your armour, and cry mightily unto God, that by His Spirit you may endure to the end."
These words sum up so eloquently the challenge of remaining true to the faith. It is a challenge to not turn away from serving the Lord after a season to go back into the world. It is a temptation to indulge the flesh. It is a challenge to ignore the lies that the work you do for the Lord is all in vain and makes no difference. The physical battle of fighting weariness, fatigue, and the war against apathy and political correctness are all very real issues. Those who serve the Lord must face these issues along their journey through life as they strive to remain true to the faith.
I pray today that these words will challenge and encourage you in your personal journey, especially as you meditate on, or better still, sing the words to the first two stanzas of Onward Christian Soldiers:
Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus, Going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, Leads against the foe; Forward into battle, See His banners go!
At the sign of triumph, Satan's host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, On to victory!
Hell's foundations quiver, At the shout of praise; Christians, lift your voices, Loud your anthems raise!
In His Amazing Grace,
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