Paul was writing to the Corinthian church to encourage them as he knew there were issues in the church such as divisions within the church, sexual temptations, and questions about worship.
Be on your guard.
Paul commands us to stay alert and watch. This brings to my mind military movies that watched where the soldiers are asked to keep around the clock watch of their military base as the enemy can attack at any time. The Bible has told us repeatedly to be on the watch and put on our spiritual armor because we are told that Satan is constantly prowling. He has come to kill, steal and destroy. For those of us who have gone hiking, we need to always be on the lookout for branches of trees overhead and especially on the guard for the roots of branches on the path because it can trip us. I know many friends who have sprained their ankle tripping over those roots because they lost attention for a split second. The moment we think the path is safe and lose our focus, we may trip and fall. The moment we think we are not prone to temptation, that is the moment pride takes over and temptation sees the opening. Jesus told the disciples, our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak. We cannot let our spiritual walk with God sleep. We need to be spiritually awake at all times. In this life, we will never be in a place where we don’t have the danger of sinning.
Stand firm in the faith
Standing firm is an active phrase and not a one-off event. To stand firm in faith means to stand about God’s truth in His Word at all times, 7 days a week. No matter what the world says or what temptation that comes our way, we can confidently and obediently say no. We stand firm on God’s word for that is our firm foundation. We cannot be like infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful teaching. In the past couple of years, we have heard world-renowned preachers fall into temptation and sin. The better we get at something, the more proud we become. As our pride increases, God decreases in our life. We should not start strong and finish badly. I remember when I was a new Christian and I keep hearing this phrase ‘on fire for God’. I asked Pastor Margaret Seaward who around 90 years old at the time when she preached. You can just sense the fire she had for God and see it too. I asked her how to keep that fire burning because I do not want it to ever extinguish in my life. She said the key is the keep the flame steady. Keep the flame steady means our faith will persevere, persist, hold our ground until the end.
Points for reflections:
Are we staying in God’s word?
Stay alert to the tactics of the deceiver, Satan.
Reflect on how do we want to be remembered in this life.
Heavenly Father, we want to be faithful to you for all of our lives. Teach us, O Lord, to run this race well. May the Holy Spirit guide us in all our ways and strengthen us not to fall into sin. Give us the strength to preserve in our faith so that we can stand firm in the face of any adversities. Amen.