Steadfast In Faith
You can't handle the battle alone, you must have God's help in getting victory.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Doin’ all right today? Yes, of course that little corny greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your good friend, Bob Cook. And we’re together again looking at the Word of God, this time in the book of 1 Peter, and we’re in chapter 5. We’ll start today with verse 9. But in order to get a running start into that, you have to go back a ways, because verse 9 begins with a relative pronoun, ‘whom.’ So you have to find what it’s talking about.
Let’s go back to verse 8, where Peter says, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour, whom resist, steadfast in the faith.” Now you take that relative pronoun and change it, and you could say, “Resist him, steadfast in the faith.” The word ‘resist’ is in the aorist in the Greek. It means, it’s a point action – Do it and, and, and settle it! “Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
Now, the logic of all of this is you’re in a battle. It’s your adversary, the devil. No matter how pleasant the approach is of the world system and the people in it, may be, you’ll find that there’s an adversarial position, because Satan is the prince of the power of the air, the God of this world. And there, when the Bible uses that phrase, ‘this world’, the God of this world, it doesn’t mean that Satan is the God of flowers, and trees, and mountains, and cups, and saucers. He’s talking about the world system, the world mentality, the world culture.
He’s the God of this world. And you have an adversary. Walking through this world on your way to the glory, you’re in a battle; you are an adversary, one who is standing against you by virtue of the very nature of who and what he is. Your adversary, you are in a battle. Don’t ever think that you can dignify the Gospel to a place where it’ll be acceptable to the unsaved heart. Only when the unsaved heart is willing to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, and accept Him then as savior, only then does the Gospel become acceptable to the unsaved heart, living in the world system. Because the Bible says, “The God of this world hath blindeth the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ should shine unto them.”
I’ve had people say to me so often in the past years, as I’ve dealt with folk and, and ministered to them, and attempted to win them to Christ; I’ve had people look at me, shake their hands and their heads and say, “I just don’t get, I don’t get it.” Why? Because the human heart has blinded by sin, and by Satan. And until the Holy Spirit of God opens it up… See, the Bible says, “The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.” – what the old-time Methodists used to call prevenient grace.
The God of this world… Satan is, has been, is now, always will be, your enemy. Never think that you can co-exist; like some Chamberlain with his umbrella going to make an uneasy peace with Hitler. Never think that you can co-exist with Satan, on a peaceful basis. He’s your enemy, he always has been, he always will be. You’re in a battle, your adversary. Now, the second thing about the logic of this is, your enemy is smarter and stronger then you.
“Satan himself,” Paul says in 2 Corinthians, “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” He’s smarter than you. Don’t think that you can handle the opposition, and the temptations, of this world, as directed against your life. Don’t think that you can handle him on your own. He’s smarter than you, and then he’s stronger than you. Peter uses that phrase as, ‘like a roaring lion he’s walking about, seeking whom he may devour.’ Smarter than you are, and stronger than you are; what are you going to do about it? Well you have to realize that if you trust in yourself, you’re, you’ll fail. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God, who hath made us able ministers of the New Testament.” If you trust yourself, you’ll fail.
I remember praying with a man years ago in Chicago. A doctor friend of mine had sent me his name and address – the man’s name and address written on the doctor’s prescription blank, and with the simple cryptic note, “I think you can help this man, more than I can.” And so I decided, “Well, I’ll go see him.” I found the man just coming off of a several day binge. He was just getting over the DT’s, and he was a wreck; and so was the apartment in which he lived. It looked as though a cyclone had hit it.
But he invited me, and I told him that this doctor had sent me, and I gave the Gospel to him. And before our conversation was finished, he had prayed to receive Christ as Savior. What a joyful occasion that was, because the man had truly committed himself to Christ as Savior. When we were finished praying, I cautioned the man. I said, “Now listen, you are not going to win this battle against alcohol on your own. You need God’s help. And that means you’re going to have to trust Him moment by moment.”
Oh the man was euphoric, and, and he said, “Oh I am all right. I’m, I, God has given me a new start and I’ll be all right now.” And I thought to myself, “Oh boy!” Well you know what happened; he fell off as we say, fell off the wagon. And so I went back to see him again, found him dejected, and again hung-over. And again I opened the Word of God to him, and again he prayed. But now he had understood something: he had to have God’s help. And he began then the process – slow and painful at first, but it continued – the process of trusting the Almighty Savior.
The Bible says, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” You have a champion in the Lord Jesus Christ. And he’s greater than Satan, and greater than all of the demons that follow Satan, and greater than all of the opposition that can be raised against you. You are absolutely, spiritually, bulletproof. Nothing can, can down you, nothing can defeat you, when Jesus is your Savior and Lord, and leading your life in His will.
A friend of mine was being abused by his jailer, in one of the Iron Curtain countries years ago. The man was routinely subjecting him to all sort sorts of harassment and physical torture. And one time my friend said to him, “You’re trying to make me hate you. But,” he said, “I choose to love you because of Jesus Christ, my Lord. You can’t make me hate you, you can’t make me cave in, because I choose to love you, through Jesus Christ my Lord.” And he said the man recoiled as though he’d been struck, and went away from the cell. But that very night in the midnight hour, when all was quiet and the prisoners were asleep, there was a rustling of the key in the door, and the same guard came in and said, “I haven’t been able to get away from what you said. I want to become a Christian.”
Oh yeah. “Greater is He that is in you, than he, that is in the world.” That’s the logic of this truth about Satan. You’re in a battle, it’s a real one. Your enemy is both smarter and stronger than you. If you trust yourself, you’ll fail. But you have a champion in the Lord Jesus Christ. And if you’re a believer, you have the indwelling Holy Spirit to fight your battles for you. You want to take hold of that today, for yourself? It’s a blessed, wonderful, glorious life-changing truth. Let the Lord Jesus fight the battle.
Little girl in her simple way said, “When the, the devil comes to the door of my heart with a temptation, I tell Jesus, ‘You go answer the door.’” All right, however you put it, the truth is there: you have a champion, the Lord Jesus Christ. And Paul said, “The secret of this Christian life is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Now he said, “You, you do have an adversary, but you can do something about it.” What do you do about it? He said, “Whom resist steadfast in the faith…” Take out the relative pronoun and put it this way, “resist him, steadfast in the faith.” The word ‘resist’ means, ‘firmly set against’, ‘actively, firmly set against’. And it’s in a verb form that means, ‘do it as a point action’, right, straight, now – no question, no ‘ifs’, nor ‘and’s’. You’re going to resist, “Resist him, steadfast in the faith.”
How do you resist the devil? Well, let’s take what the verse itself says, you resist him in faith. Now why? Because you can’t, you can’t handle this yourself. But you, you have someone who can handle it, and you trust in Him. The Lord Jesus Christ is able, God is able to, has steadfastly helped those that are in any trouble. “Because He himself hath suffered, being tempted, He is able also to succour them that are tempted.” Word, old fashioned word, ‘succour’ – ‘s-u-c-c-o-u-r’ – means’to help in time of need’. He’s able to help you in your time of need, because He, he’s gone through it Himself, the Lord Jesus has. So you’ve got someone who can handle the situation. So if you’re steadfast in faith, that means you’re going to trust Him, you’re going to turn it over to Him.
We go back to the words that I gave you, as we talked about verse 7, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.” Now it’s a same process in, in verse 7. It has to do with getting rid of your burdens, and worries, and heartbreaks. In verse 9, it has to do with fighting the battle against evil, and the process is the same. The way up is down; the way to victory is to surrender. You have to learn that if you’re going to get anywhere with God. What do you do with your troubles, and trials, and heartbreaks, and heartaches, and tears – your cares, in other words? He says, “Cast them on Him.” What does that mean? That means, “Tell Him the truth about it.” Bible says, “Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee great and many things which thou knowest not.”
Paul said in Philippians, “In, in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God. And as a result, the peace of God that passes it all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Tell God the truth about it, level with God about it. Don’t try to kid God; He knows how you feel, and what you are already. But He wants to hear you tell Him. And second, give Him the right to handle it. And third, let go of the situation, and let God work. Tell Him the truth, give Him the right to control, and then let go of it yourself. That’s how you handle heartaches. So how do you handle temptations, and the opposition of Satan? Same way. We’ll get at that the next time we get together.
Father God today, Oh, make us winners in the battle against evil. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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