Steadfast


Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture
steadfast.jpg
James 1.2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let
steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in
nothing.

The biggest problem you and I face in terms of our spiritual growth, is not
temptation or sin. At least not in the sense we ordinarily think of it. In truth the
biggest problem most Christians face is a lack steadfastness. Irregularity. Hit
and miss spirituality. On-again-off-again, hot and cold, up and down, sporadic
spirituality. Nothing more undermines true spiritual progress and growth in the
likeness of Christ than the lack of consistency. Or in the words of our text,
steadfastness. The argument most often proffered against steadfastness
however, is in fact a categorical error. If it is suggested that one needs to read
their Bible daily, pray daily, worship with the saints regularly and witness to
others of God’s saving grace – the immediate response is – “what! are you a
legalist?” But of course that has nothing whatsoever to do with it. If your doctor
told you you have to eat, drink, sleep and exercise to stay alive the response
wouldn’t be that. Why not? Because in physical terms, we understand that while
none of those things creates life, they are how life is sustained. And it is exactly
so with our spiritual lives. If we were to suggest that one earns God’s favor by
such things, or that our salvation is the result of them – THAT, would be
legalistic. You ought rightly recoil at the thought. But what is being talked about
here, is the nature of sustaining and maintaining one’s health – supporting and
growing in the life you have been given by grace. And nothing, nothing is more
central to that growth and the experience of the ability to obtain joy in the midst
of trials than steadfastness. This is why the current trend of endless lists of
techniques and steps to cure loneliness or heartache or anxiety so consistently
fail. You tell me, how many sets of steps and techniques can you digest and
have at the ready at all times to meet each circumstance? You can’t. Fresh trials
and challenges require a fresh supply, poured into us daily, and providentially
provided when we CONSTISTENTLY, and STEADFASTLY look to His counsel in
His Word, His intervention in prayer, His provision for encouragement in the
saints, His presence by His Spirit quickening all to us each day. You cannot, I
repeat you cannot just go, find in Scripture the best strategy for dealing with
temptation, and then log it internally to bring out on any occasion. We must
receive it in humble, deliberate, daily, conscious, steadfast reliance upon Him in
the present. This is living in the Spirit. Anything else, is religicized self-help.

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One thought on “Steadfast

  1. “We must receive it in humble, deliberate, daily, conscious, steadfast reliance…”

    This statement is for lack of a better term….”jarring.”
    The impact is made and the descriptives keep hammering more truth. I am grateful to God for statements like these.
    This sounds like a lot, but the alternative is like sitting down in front of the Human Resources department during a job interview and asking if it was OK to show up periodically.

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