Wednesday, December 28, 2022
1 Peter 5:9 “Resist him [the devil], standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
One of the most enjoyable things I used to do with my oldest son was to take a trout fishing trip every spring to the Peshtigo River in Eastern Wisconsin. We camped in a rustic national forest with no modern conveniences. We sit around the campfire in the morning and cook breakfast. We fish all morning. We nap after lunch. We fish until supper. We sit around the campfire all evening and wonder when the bears will arrive to check out our food.
This fishing trip was one of the scariest and most tiring things I ever did. No, not because of the bears, but because of the strength of the river. Depending on the amount of rain that had fallen the river could be rushing rapidly. One year it was almost impossible to fish. Even when the river is low and the flow is slow, there are slippery rocks below, so you must watch where you go. (poetic, right?)
To catch the fish, we wade through the river. Every step has to be carefully planned to avoid falling in and being washed away in the current. The best way I’ve found to remain upright and have the best opportunity to catch fish is to walk upstream, against the flow. This takes great strength and alertness. Firm footing is hard to find. Every step is a step of faith. The water is dark and in most places the bottom can’t be seen. But we know the bottom is there. We know the rocks are there. We know the footing can be firm if the placement of the foot is correct. It takes strength and resolve to go against the flow, but the exhaustion we feel is quickly dispelled by the sound and smell of trout in the frying pan.
I have never seen a successful trout fisherman who sits complacently. Those who would sit in the river will be at the mercy of the current. They will quickly be swept away. It is less dangerous to stand than to sit.
Unfortunately, in the spiritual world today, far too many Christians have decided to sit complacently in the rushing current of culture. They are being swept away by the flow of faithless philosophy and floundering folks. Few Christians are standing firm in the river of the world and going upstream against the flow. It seems most think it’s not worth the fight.
We cannot follow Jesus and go with the flow. Standing firm in the faith and resisting the devil requires great strength and resolve. It takes training and discipline, but Jesus has called ALL of His followers to stand. Sitting complacently and enjoying the free ride down the river is not an option, and it’s not free. Those who do not stand will be bruised on the rocks. They will be swept under in the rapids. They will go over the falls and plunge to their deaths. Only those who stand and go against the flow will survive. But it will be a fight.
- Those who have stood firm in the past have called it a fight. Fight the good fight of the faith (1 Timothy 6:12).
- They have fought the fight and will receive the reward. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day. (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
- They have been obedient to the teaching they received. Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction…so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. (1 Timothy 1:18-19)
- They have drawn a distinct line between the spiritual and the worldly. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
- They have equipped themselves with everything they need to win the fight and stand firm in their faith. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 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. (Ephesians 6:10-13)
So get up from your spiritual lazy-boy which is being swept away by the current of culture. Put your feet firmly on the Rock. Resist the devil. Go against the flow. Stand firm in your faith. Whatever strength it takes to stand will be supplied by the One who stood for you and died. He did it for the joy that was set before Him. He didn’t sit down until the fight was over (Hebrews 12:2). Get up. Your fight is not done.