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Steadfast

July 9, 2024
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“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves…” (Ephesians 4:14, NIV).

 

I was frustrated enough that I sent one of my colleagues to speak with him. Two days before, I’d spent 30 minutes discussing treatment with him and his wife. His cancer is advanced and symptomatic. Effective treatment is available, but our first prescription caused a serious skin reaction. He and his wife were afraid to try a different pill. Two days ago, they refused; yesterday, they agreed; today, they did not. The decision was fairly straight forward, but they vacillated each day, preventing him from receiving any treatment.

 

We humans are a vacillating breed, especially when it comes to living out our faith.

 

Such vacillation leads to stagnation in our spiritual life, just as it does in our physical life.

 

Some days we are rock solid, willing to die for our faith. Other days, that doesn’t seem like a good idea. It’s like we are two people warring against each other. God or me? God or me?

What’s wrong with us? Or better yet,

 

How do I become more steadfast in the way I follow Christ?

 

When I look at my own life, at the times I have swerved from God’s highway, drawn to side streets of envy, greed, pride, laziness, pleasure or worse, I am much like my patient with his medical decision, stagnated and hindered from pursuing God’s mission for my life.

 

Nevertheless, I do take heart. After so many years of wandering and returning, wandering and returning, I am beginning to spot road signs that lead me toward steadfastness:

 

  1. Realize there is nothing the world can offer that is better than God Himself (Philippians 3:8).
  2. Realize there is nothing the world can take from me that God cannot restore, and nothing the world can break that God can’t make unbroken.
  3. Abide in Him: The more time I spend with Christ, the less appealing are the diversions.
  4. Soak in His Word and listen for His revelation: His grace got me on His way. His Word lights the way and sits as a guardrail for the curves.
  5. Worship in community every week so that others can point the way when my eyes wander.
  6. And if I turn to take an attractive side road where God is not— Fall into His grace; step back onto His way through the help of the church and power of His Spirit.
  7. Surrender each morning any sin I might commit that day. Give it to God and know that when it surfaces, I have already given it away.

 

If my patient will just quit vacillating, he might find good life ahead.

 

If I can do the same in my life with Christ, not only will I receive the desires of my heart

(Psalm 37:4), but I will much more likely complete the mission He created for me (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Dear God,

Keep me steadfast for you.

Amen

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