“Luke 21:34-36 helps us to realize that the downward trend on earth today is very strong. Actually, this trend has become a tide that carries everything and everyone along with it. It is extremely difficult for us as believers in Christ to stand in the midst of this tide. In order to stand, we need to be watchful and pray daily in a particular way so that we may receive the strength that comes from the resurrection life within us to stand against the trend, the tide, of the world. If we are strengthened, we shall not be caught by the trend of this age. Rather, we shall be full of Christ and shall be buoyant. As those filled with Christ as the divine air, we shall be raptured to stand before the Son of Man.” (quote from CNT msg 178)
Fresh as the dew of the morning,
Bringing a sweet rest unheard,
Christ, in the gentle anointing,
Whispers His comforting word:
Stand till the trial is over,
Stand till the tempest is gone,
Stand for the glory of Jesus,
Stand till the kingdom is won.
Sometimes when I think of the tide of the age and going with the tide / going against the tide, I think of myself like those salmon swimming upstream. They give their last ditch effort to make it upstream to spawn and die. And often times, at work, at school, at home in front of the computer, I think, Lord, I just have to fight this temptation, just overcome this one thing for the next…X amount…of minutes and then… sometimes I do end up overcoming it for those few moments. I do make it upstream. And then… just… die. There just seems to be no joy in that, and come to think of it, no profit either.
However, both in the quote from the CNT and the hymn, this word stood out: Stand. What a precious word this is to me. Stand. It doesn’t say we need to fight, battle, strategize, renounce, etc, etc, etc. Just Stand. How do we remain standing? This week I had this realization: the enemy likes to catch us off our guard. He waits for us to be looking off into space and he comes in a very subtle way, a few words from a friend, a colleague, a teacher, a parent and temptation comes in that debunks our faith in the Lord’s word, in His faithfulness, His trustworthiness, His preciousness. But in Matthew 26:41 the Lord told His disciples how to remain standing: “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Watch and Pray. To watch and pray is to be filled with the buoyant, pnuematic, overcoming Christ so that through His resurrection life we can STAND. Whatever darts, however subtle, the enemy might throw at us, we remain standing in our wonderful Christ. In the end what we experience is not death, like the salmon, but instead we enter into the joy of our Lord.
Lord, have mercy on us to make us such persons, those who watch and pray. [guest post: Maria D.C.]