Always to do the will of God, to turn neither to the right nor to the left, to be immoveable, to maintain the right and denounce the wrong, to fight without faltering, to shine as a light in the midst of darkness, to speak the truth in love but fearlessly, to follow without flinching, to suffer and never be overcome.
Always to do the will of God without regard to the consequences…..
That is steadfastness!
There seems to be so little of that in the life of the Christian in our day and age. Perhaps that has always been the case. We are inclined to think it was when we remember the history of Israel in the Old Dispensation, as well as some examples in the New. Still, it seems to us as if it is worse in our day than it was in the past. And undoubtedly it is. For Scripture teaches us that there is a development in sin. And especially does the Word of God declare to us that in the last days the love of many will wax cold and many shall depart from the way of truth, so much so in fact that our Lord Himself raises the significant question whether, when the Son of Man shall come again, He will yet find faith?
We are living in those last days.
The signs of the times are becoming more and more manifest. We clearly behold them. Not the least among these is the conspicuous absence of true steadfastness. The unrest and instability, which characterizes the whole world today in almost every sphere, makes itself felt also in the church. Also spiritually we experience the repercussions.
How apparently simple it is today to leave the church in which we have been indoctrinated for almost any carnal reason!
When the way becomes too narrow because of the obstacles of sin and the oppression of the power of darkness, it is but a simple matter to build another bridge that links it with the broad way of the world! And how easy it is, when we circumvent the difficulty and walk on the broad way, to tell ourselves that is well and to ease our conscience with the carnally satisfying but false excuse that necessity demanded it! “We have to live, don’t we? We have to eat, so what else could we do?”
You could die!
Yes, of course, that is the extreme; but not the impossible.
Perhaps someday it will actually be a question whether we shall eat and live in the earth or whether we shall starve and die! And then, as now, it shall be a question of steadfastness.
And then, as now, there shall be O so many reasons why we should not be steadfast. But they shall all be carnal! And if now we are so soon moved by reasons of carnal interest, what can we expect if and when God casts us into the midst of the fire of trial? If now the slightest wind of opposition makes us fear and tremble and we falter in the way, what shall we do when the storm comes? If now the lust for carnal things can so easily turn us out of the way, what shall we do when it becomes a matter of necessity? If now our desire for “butter” results in such a lack of steadfastness, what will we do when it becomes a question of “bread”?
Always to do the will of God, regardless of the results!
Easy? Yes, when the way is smooth, when the sky is without a cloud, when opposition is unknown, when scorn and reproach are not experienced and we pass unnoticed through the world. Easy it is then because it requires no suffering, no denial, no blood. Easy because there is no experience of a need for steadfastness.
Always to do the will of God!
No, my friend, that is not easy. Nay, it is impossible! Fire and storm will prove that to be so. For we ourselves are weak and carnal. In us there is no steadfastness, no power to accomplish it. That we must realize first of all. We must not seek it in ourselves; it is not there.
It makes me think of only one, Jesus Christ, my Lord!
Yes, He was steadfast, steadfast unto death!
And looking unto Him by faith, it is and shall be realized by His grace in us.