How To Stand Strong In Surprising Spiritual Attacks
I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. — John 16:1-4
All the way through the Gospel, Jesus warned His disciples about the dangers they would encounter for following Him. He warned them because He knew there would be times of rejection, hatred, and even violence. He also knew the people who instigated it would justify it, putting them in very dangerous predicaments that would test their faith.
But read Jesus's comments carefully. Notice who's instigating the persecution. It's the people of God who believe they are doing God's work.
In my life, there have generally been two types of attacks that I have encountered for my faith. The first is the attack that comes from the front by non-believers. The second is the attack that comes from behind by self-proclaimed believers. Both of these attacks are difficult to navigate. But it's the attacks from behind by people who are convinced that they are doing God's work that catch me by surprise and lead me to times of the greatest discouragement.
And it's during these moments of discouragement that I am most vulnerable. That is what is on Jesus's mind here. He is concerned about His men when they get knocked down and beaten up by passionate people from their own race and religion. Thus, Jesus warns them about these moments ahead of time, not to scare them, but to prepare, strengthen, and embolden them.
Church, this is a present-day reality for all who follow Jesus. Attacks will come from unexpected sources, and they'll wound us deeply. So if you are in this moment, here's the charge for you today:
- Read the Truth: Get into the Word of God and remember, recall, and recite it.
- Remain Unsurprised: Don't be surprised by spiritual attacks. Jesus gave us a guarantee that attacks were coming.
- Resolve to Not Compromise: Don't compromise even when you are down, lonely, and beaten up. Your uncompromising resolve for Jesus is a testimony to His truth, and God might use this to persuade others to believe in Him.
Our world needs godly believers like this. Will you commit to being one?
- How have you personally experienced or witnessed attacks on faith from both non-believers and self-proclaimed believers? Reflect on how Jesus's warnings and encouragements might guide you through those challenges.
- In moments when you've felt down, lonely, or beaten up for your faith, what practical steps can you take to remain committed to Jesus? Consider how the charge to "Read the Truth," "Remain Unsurprised," and "Resolve to Not Compromise" applies to your personal walk with Christ.
DO THIS: Take one of the three steps above.
PRAY THIS: Lord Jesus, grant me the fortitude to stand firm in my faith, especially when faced with opposition from unexpected places. Fill me with Your wisdom and strength, so that I may not waver in my devotion to You, always reflecting Your love and truth to those around me. Amen.
PLAY THIS: Whom Shall I Fear [God of Angel Armies].
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.