October 25, 2021
The Christian life is a battle in many ways. We must not let adversity blindside us but be ready and equipped with the whole armor of God. And ... we must stand firm.
A PERSECUTED PAUL
The Apostle Paul saw this clearly. He was greatly used by God but constantly beset with problems and enemies.
A wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. (1 Corinthians 16:9)
He had a great opportunity for the spread of the gospel, for which he rejoiced. But he was realistic about the opposition also. These enemies did not deter him in the least. He did not want to go into this battlefield unaware but equipped.
A WISE HYMN WRITER
Issac Watts wrote over 600 hymns and shaped much of our worship in the late 1700’s that survive to this day. He was considered rebellious because he departed from merely putting the Psalms to music. He lived during a turbulent time as the church was emerging from the dark ages. It was a glorious time of release and discovery, but not without opposition from many.
One of his greatest hymns is "Am I a Soldier of the Cross?" (a great question to ask ourselves!). It was based on 1 Corinthians 16 and particularly verses 13: Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong."
Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His Name?
Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?
Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?
Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord.
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.
Father, help us to be strong soldiers. Let us our opposition in our day with the great knowledge You are sufficient. Don’t let our softness keep us from entering wide doors for effective service.
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