We are all grieved by the terrorist attack in Orlando. Let’s continue to pray for the families and for God to work through this tragedy. I encourage you to read this article by Carey Nieuwhof entitled, “Thoughts on How to Be the Church in an Age of Terror.”
Today’s blog is by my wife, Linda. I think in these unstable days, nothing is more important than for us to stay the course! Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” 2 Timothy 4:7 (NLT)
(by Linda Myers)
I have a set of three year old twin cousins. If anyone tries to help them do anything, they emphatically say, “My do!” They would rather spend half an hour putting their coats on than accept help. Although I’ve been a Christian for over 40 years, I find myself acting like a three-year-old, telling God, “My do!” I suggest all kinds of ways He could answer my prayers, how He should change the other person or how He should run the world. I hate this battle for control with God. Why can’t I trust Him more and submit to Him?
While having devotions today, I read the words “stand firm” three times. While I’m running around trying to fix things my way, God is saying, “stand firm.” He has this covered.
- Stand firm against the devil
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then…” (Ephesians 6:11-14)
When I was a pastor’s wife, I was easily discouraged when people were upset with my husband. I fretted and lost sleep many times over the years. A family was particularly angry with Randy and left the church saying they would never sit under his preaching again. Several families left with them to go to another church. The my do way was to avoid them in the grocery store and to take an offense against them. One pastor’s wife reminded me that we are in a spiritual battle and this is how it gets played out on earth.
I read the book by John Bevre, Bait of Satan, where he points out that Satan’s way is to get us offended with each other and refusing to forgive one another. The first thing I should have done when faced with problems was to pray, but, too often it was the last thing I remembered to do. God used that book to convict me. I needed to stand firm in prayer, letting God fight the battle. A few years later, that family came back to New Hope and we were able to apologize to each other for the hurtful things that were said. That was a direct answer to prayer and evidence of God’s power over the enemy.
God is teaching me to stand firm in the knowledge that He has defeated the enemy, including the my do attitude.
- Stand firm in your faith
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith, be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.”
(I Cor. 16:13-14)
The Bible tells the Israelites over and over to remember the mighty works of God and to tell them to the next generation, like the way He provided for them over and over while leading them out of Egypt. Nothing strengthens our faith more than seeing God work, especially through answered prayer.
Before my senior year of college, my mom and I looked for housing about two weeks before school began. (Nothing like waiting until the last minute). There was nothing available, except for married students. The my do way was to worry and fret. Mom and I sat in the car, while she prayed that God would provide a place for me to live. We decided to go to a church office and see if they knew of a place for rent. As we were standing there, the secretary received a phone call asking if she knew of any college student that needed a room to rent. All three of us just shook our heads and smiled. I don’t always see immediate answers to prayer like that and, more often than not, my prayers are answered in different ways than I expected. I’m learning to stand firm in my faith, believing that God directs my life and hears my prayers.
- Stand firm in your work
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (I Cor. 15:58)
My parents were farmers in the Yakima Valley, where they taught me the value of hard physical work. They also gave me an example of faithful work at church. Mom played the organ, Dad was the janitor and week after week they taught Sunday School to three or four little kids. Dad dreamed about doing “big” things for God, but I don’t think he realized that their faithful work could be used by God in the way He saw fit.
For years I have prayed for the salvation of neighbors and co-workers. The my do way is to give up praying for them when I don’t see results. That’s not God’s way, though. He wants me to stand firm in my work for Him. He has put people in my life for a reason. Paul writes, “We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you.” (II Cor. 10:13)
It seems to be a daily battle to fight this my do attitude but I realize that God wants me to stand firm against the schemes of the devil, in my faith and in my work.
BEFORE YOU GO…
Some of us are ready to give up! We are discouraged and wonder if it’s worth it! It is! Don’t give up! There is too much at stake, as this week’s tragedy has shown us. Keep doing what is right and righteous!
“So go be the church…the real church.
The authentic church.
The church Jesus had in mind.”