Thursday, April 11, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Standing Firm

If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.
-Isaiah 7:9
Christ calls His people, who believe in the word of God, to be firm in their faith.  Paul even speaks of standing firm in Philippians 1:27.  So this begs the question, "Am I firm?"
This reminds me of the country song that says, "You've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything." And this is so true.  We have to stand on the truths that are found in the Word of God -- or we will fall for Satan's lies.
Isaiah says two chapters later that, "wickedness burns like a fire, it consumes briers and thorns, it kindles the thickets of the forest and they roll upward in a column of smoke" (Isaiah 9:18).  And how true this is.  Once we concede on one part of what Scripture says, we have given Satan a foothold and it shouldn't be surprising that sin will consume our hearts.  Causing the smoke to cloud our judgment ... causing us to "dwell in a land of deep darkness" (Isaiah 9:2).

Sin will never fully satisfy us.  It will always leave us hungry and wanting more (Isaiah 9:20).  And how could it not?  Only the Word of God is our bread.  Only it can fully satisfy our cravings.  Man cannot live by bread alone, but only by the word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:3).  It is silly for us to expect satisfaction from something that in and of itself cannot satisfy.
This is why it is so imperative that we read the word of God; that we pray and commune with God; that we gather corporately and worship God.  It is the Lord that is our food.  God will satisfy the desires of our heart (Psalm 145:16).
God's word gives us the ability to stand firm and not waiver.  Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."  This is what we should strive to be.  A tree that is so deeply rooted in God's word -- our bread and water -- that we do not cease to bear fruit even when trying times come. 
The opposite of this is also found in Jeremiah, "Cursed is the man who trust in man, and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.  He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come.  He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness in an uninhabited salt land." (17:5-6).  Strength and knowledge that comes from man will surely fade.  When we turn away from God and His word and truths then eventually we will end up in a wilderness -- a lonely, uninhabited, fruitless land.
If we are not firm in our faith in our Lord, then we will surely not be firm in anything.  Just look at our society.  It will prove this to be true.
Standing firm in my faith will not always be the easiest thing to do -- or the most popular -- and will probably bring people to dislike me or think that I'm weird.  But as Christians, we are called to uphold the word of God.  We are called to herald the good news of Christ.  Even if this means going against what society calls acceptable. 
So, am I standing firm enough in my faith?  Or do I tend to waiver?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

He Knows

Therefore, he had to be made like his brothers in every respect ... for because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. 
 - Hebrews 2:17-18
There are days where I throw myself a pity party and tell myself that no one understands the things I go through.  But how wrong am I to harbor these sinful thoughts.
Jesus, who is perfect and mighty, humbled himself and came to walk the earth as a human.  He was like us -- he had a physical body, ten fingers, ten toes.  Even though he lived a sinless life, he knows what suffering and pain feels like.  He knows that we are tempted daily by the devil.  He fully and completely understands.
Jesus was made like us in "every respect."  How comforting is that to my soul!  He calls us his "brothers" (and sisters).  He identifies with us.  Not only do I serve a Savior that is ruling the universe by one word (Heb 1:3), I also serve the same Savior that understands our weaknesses, who understands what it is like to live on this sinful earth. 
He is high and lifted up, but he is also near and personal.  What a gift.
Lord, what a gift it is to serve a Savior that knows and understands temptation and suffering.  Jesus can identify with me, so much so that He calls me his sister.  I thank you for sending Jesus to earth, for it is by him being humbled and suffering on the cross that I get to experience freedom from sin and Your daily grace.  Forgive my selfish thoughts, thinking that no one understands.  Remind me to cast my burdens at Your feet.  You know me better than I know myself....