The concept of “resistance” can be discomforting; especially when pertaining to spiritual matters. It speaks of having to abandon the leisurely path in order to maintain ones situation, without knowing the scope, intensity, time-span or personal cost that one may have to bear. It may well mean being misunderstood, or cast in an evil light, by our contemporaries. In regards to maintaining our testimony of Jesus in the time of the end, it will mean, separation from, and betrayal by, family members, neighbors, and contemporaries whom we had previously regarded as having a solid foundation. We will witness the (necessary) detaching of all moorings to this present system and the disassembling of all that is familiar. We can expect to be thrust into a firey domain that brings us face to face with the end of ourselves; where all of our physical assets fail and our allegiances are made manifest.
For one who is born of the Spirit, we know that Jesus has promised to be with us always; regardless of what we may have to encounter during our time of our sojourning.
The best place to embark on a discussion of this nature is with some familiar passages:
Matthew 24:12-13 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
Hebrews 12:4 “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood in striving against sin.”
I Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober, be vigilant; because you adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
In the first passage, Jesus informs us of the need to remain faithful in an increasingly hostile environment. It goes without saying that this is manifesting before us. The second passage reminds us that we must resist iniquity with everything that is in us. In Romans 13:14, the apostle Paul warns us to “make not provision for the flesh” (by taking on the nature of Jesus) while in I Cor. 6:18 we are warned to “flee fornication.” I recently came across a troubling statistic. It stated that nearly 50% of the people who regularly attend church struggle with an addiction to internet pornography. The understanding that this statistic even has the “potential” of being accurate, (it cannot be proven) causes one to realize how dark the climate has become. This causes one to realize, all the more, the significance of the three passages referenced above. Iniquity abounds in ways that previous generations could have never envisioned. The enemy utilizes every means at his disposal to pollute the atmosphere, wear down the saints, and foster compromise.
If we cannot settle in our hearts to resist sin today, and/or if we love our lives in this world, we cannot expect to stand when a mark will be required to maintain ones status in this place, Ephesians 6:12-17 should be committed to memory and practiced continually; that we “may be able to stand in the evil day.”
The third passage is twofold. Verse 8 reminds us that we have a relentless adversary who continuously seeks to derail us. He never deviates from his single mission; that being to oppose all that is true and precious. We become fatigued; we allow silly distractions to have mastery over us, (note to self) and we allow large segments of time to pass while we remain idle. (another note to self) Satan is relentless. He plots while we are asleep, he positions his assets while we are drifting through a spiritual “furlough” of sorts, and he patiently awaits for us to wander into a situation where he can slip past our spiritual radar and set up shop in our backfield. Two of the most critical moments for being spiritually engaged are right before going to sleep and at the first moment of consciousness. Sometimes, when I awaken, the thoughts are rampant and in need of quick casting down. It’s as though the enemy moves in reinforcements during the time of slumber and, as soon as the transition to consciousness begins, they launch their vile arsenal.
Verse 9 reminds us that our situation is not unique; nor should it be surprising. The true remnant saints (not the plastic cookie cutter types) will always be under assault from the enemy. Oftentimes we may feel as we are the only one who still cares about the deep things of God; just as Elijah felt “all alone,” despite the presence of 5000 throughout the land who had likewise not bowed to an image. The time is coming when we may be truly “alone” in every sense of the word. I feel it now; even when visiting the various churches in the area. The things which the Lord have placed on my heart seem to never resonate with those who are content to settle for “christianesque catchphrases, soft messages and a form of godliness with just enough reference to spiritual matters to convince them that “everything is ok.” Despite continual prayerful seeking, I have significant fellowship with only two other saints and one of them is presently residing on another continent.
Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Regardless of what we may have to face in this life; no matter what the cost or what has to be endured, it is as nothing in comparison to that which lies ahead. It seems redundant to write this, however, with an issue of this magnitude it’s imperative to maintain a proper perspective. Our time of sojourning is so insignificant in comparison to the everlasting habitation. As the apostle Paul observed; “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Looking unto Jesus, ensuring that he is “truly” our first love (Hebrews 3;12, Revelation 2:4-5) and resisting the enemy in every facet (James 4:7) and loving not our lives in this world, regardless of the cost (Revelation 12:11) is imperative. When we abandon this world from our heart, most of the enemies arsenal is rendered ineffective.
The following is a partial “list of sorts;” featuring the theaters wherein we must resist the enemy.
1 – “The hour I first believed” From the moment we enter this world, Satan works relentlessly to shield us from truth. In the days when we knew not the Lord Jesus, we were happy to play his game. We loved his trappings, we followed in the dance, we enthusiastically ventured down whatever rabbit hole he drug us to; the heart thumping with anticipation over what exciting thing awaited us. But in that life-changing moment, when we came to sincere repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus, everything changed. We abandoned the destroyer and obtained that which he had forfeited – eternal life in the presence of the Lord, the holy angels, and the saints from every tribe and generation. In my case, he launched a lie; right at the moment that I asked Jesus to save me. The lie backfired as it caused me to declare with emphasis “I’m serious; Lord Jesus I want to follow you – I do not want go back to the old ways…..ever!”
2 – Little sins. Things we let slip because, to do the right thing “seems counterproductive.” They have several definitions, white lies, necessary evil, momentary weakness and what not. I knew of a saint who was employed at an auto dealership that was owned by professing Christians. Dishonest practices were engaged in on a daily basis, but they justified it with “this is how the business is run. If we don’t do it this way, we’ll eventually have to close. Such thinking is the very foundation whereby millions who once had a relationship with Jesus will end up receiving a mark. “I have to provide for my family – I Timothy 5:8 says so. I have to obey the governments orders – Romans chapter 13 says to.” Or how about “I did it ignorantly – my pastor never talked about things like this.” The little sins are far more dangerous than anything the son of perdition can throw at us because this is where seeds of compromise are sown.
3 – Love of this world. simply put, if we love our situation and our assets here, we’ll do anything to save them. Subsequently, making the jump from a biblical worldview to one that “appears” more logical and compassionate will be a small thing. This is another reason that I’ve been unable to settle in a church. There’s a profound love of stuff ….. and no fear of God. I know of folks who are living together and yet teaching Sunday school. Recently I saw an ad for a t-shirt that made me sick. It featured a picture that was supposed to be Jesus. There was a word bubble next to him, like he was speaking, only, the word bubble was empty. Above the picture were the words “Regarding homosexuality, Jesus said this:” They pervert scripture in order to justify that which is vile and unnatural. NO FEAR AT ALL and this is only the beginning. (Kind of a different topic, but…..oh well)
4 – Strong delusion as is referenced in Matthew 24:24 and II Thessalonians 2:10-12 The supernatural fireworks that Jesus mentions in Matthew 24:24 will be so believable that even the most spiritual of the spiritual will have to do a double take. They will be challenged, but will not fall because of who they know and the truth that they have hidden in their heart. But those who have neglected to make their calling and election sure will be “ripe for the picking” so to speak. A departing of their first love which transpired without notice (Revelation 2:4) a going with the flow and justifying it by saying “well everyone at my church is doing it” and one has a recipe for everlasting disaster. Those who are partakers of the great falling away, established the framework long ago. The seemingly little things that were excused; a single quick click on one a sensual pictures that appeared in the add column on facebook that led to future (and longer) visits, a small lie that kept peace in the household, a rearranging of the numbers that sold a vehicle. The list is endless and with each trip into the supposed “grey areas” the pattern of compromise becomes more entrenched.
Matthew 24:23-24 “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.“
II Thessalonians 2:9-11 “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”
Well It’s about time to go. If one passage seems paramount regarding this topic, it’s James 4:7-8“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye double minded.” In other word, ensure that Jesus is truly our first love and let nothing interfere. If we do this, all of Satan’s assets are rendered ineffective.
Blessings in Jesus name.
“Teikoryoku ga tsuyoi made ketsueki’ roughly translates “resistance strong until blood” in reference to Hebrews 12:4