Skip to main content
Sunday, December 15 2019

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God” (Heb 3:12 ESV). The unbelieving heart is an evil heart rejecting God who the Source of all good things. God’s commands and traditions in the Scriptures are for the good of every believer. God did not create humanity for His whims, so God also did not give arbitrary commands. Likewise, Jesus taught, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).

            When God gives us a command, He gives it because believers are capable of obeying His commands. God does not give commands that we can’t keep. When God tells us to endure temptations and make disciples and we dismiss our ability to do so, what are we claiming about God? What false god do we claim who keeps us from obeying His commands?

            Your church family is a constant reminder that you are capable of doing more. You can read, pray, assemble, overcome temptations, evangelize, and make disciples. Furthermore, the Pauline writer of Hebrews declared, “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb 3:13; cf. 10:24–25). Christians need one another as we are in a spiritual war — a true holy war. The apostle Paul described that Christians are in a holy war against the evil of coveting and yet able to destroy every argument against the knowledge of God (1 Pet 2:11; 2 Cor 10:3–5; cf. Eph 6:12–13). God has given Christians every means to oppose evil. Paul revealed, “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom 13:12).

            God has given His holy nation the armor and weapons to destroy every stronghold and take captives to Christ (2 Cor 10:4–5; Eph 6:10–20). For this reason, the church must train to handle rightly the Word of God (2 Tim 2:15). The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17; Heb 4:12). Many Christians struggle with God’s Word and fail to carry their own shield of faith because they are not familiar with their armor. They refuse to train and engage the world that is in resistance to God. For this reason, many “believers” degrade themselves and think little about their abilities as a Christian soldier in spiritual conflict. Was God wrong about them or are they wrong about themselves?

            How can a soldier serve when he doubts himself or doesn’t trust his fellow soldiers? The Christian must train with other Christians. The Scriptures are all-sufficient to help the faithful confront struggles (2 Tim 3:16–17). The Bible attests that everyone is made in God’s image, significant, and purposeful so that no paralyzing self-doubt, insult, resentment, or anxiety can stop the faithful Christian. Stand by faith in the identity of God. God is faithful and provides you with more than basic training. God spoke, “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.’” (Isa 57:15).

            God made you to find Him (Acts 17:26–27). God made you in His likeness. God loves you while yet a sinner (Rom 5:8). Paul revealed, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). Christians must listen to God and act as one who is responsible for helping oneself. Paul taught, “For each will have to bear his own load” (Gal 6:5). However, he also taught, “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2). If you can’t help yourself (and yet you can), then how can you help others? Love God and obey His commands!

Posted by: Scott J Shifferd AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email