“Be holy and faithful, Beloved, even unto death.”
My Precept bible study teacher used to close out our meetings with that phrase. Over the 12 years I sat under her tutelage, I never got tired of hearing it. It served as a sober but empowering reminder that, each day, I have a mission that superintends my circumstances, my feelings and my appetites.
I can recall, more times than I can count, the desire to engage in something that would be less than holy – a book, a movie, an image, unwholesome language. “Be holy and faithful, Beloved, even unto death” would stir in my heart stopping my hand in mid reach, my eyes in mid glance or my tongue in mid-sentence.
Sadly, at other times, my curiosity about the world around me causes me to intentionally stumble. Once I satisfy my curiosity, all that remains is grief. Grief that the moment of titillating exploration left me feeling empty and devoid of life. And powerless if I have the courage to admit it to myself.
My curiosity about the world is just one example of how I stumble. There are so many reasons for stumbling or trying to satisfy a legitimate need in an illegitimate way.
The good news is that those moments of weakness remind me of the truth of the gospel. It’s not that I walk in shame, but that I accept the gift of repentance and by bringing my full self to the Lord so that He can supply what the world and/or myself cannot give to me.
And why do I turn back to Jesus? It’s because He holds the words of eternal life. Jesus has loved me with an everlasting love! Remaining connected to Love Himself ensures that I position myself to be an Overcomer. For where else or who else can I really turn to for life?
“So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.'” -John 6:67-68
Those weak moments strengthen my resolve to stand firm in the faith. To guard the deposit that is within me.
“By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” -2 Timothy 1:14
To be an Overcomer.
To experience the life of an Overcomer, I need to daily die to myself and the evil desires of my flesh.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” -Galatians 5:24-25
The present age rises against the Truth of the deposit that is within me.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” -Titus 2:11-13
An Overcomer understands the present age, but through the lens of the Gospel, not through the lens of culture or politics or economics. While we don’t check our brains at the door to become “numb and dumb” Christians, neither do we buy tickets to become spectators and then participants in the evil that plagues our current generation.
To be holy and faithful, even unto death, requires a heart that is trained to be steadfast on the Lord, Himself.
“Open the gates,
that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in.
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
On January 27th, we will engage in training on how to keep our mind stayed on Jesus. We will learn how to stand on our Everlasting Rock, Jesus. We will declare to one another that we intend to “Be holy and faithful, Beloved, even unto death,” as we decide, once again, to give God full permission to superintend our lives.
Hope you will be able to join us! We were not meant to take this journey alone.
Be holy and faithful, Beloved, even unto death,