Posted by: missionventureministries | August 4, 2016

HOW TO WIN SPIRITUAL BATTLES – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

1 Corinthians 16 vs 13-14

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be courageous, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 

Every day there is a war going on all around us, and many of the participants in this war are unseen, but we certainly are able to see many of the results.  

Homes are being destroyed. People are caught in the bondage of sin, and they can’t break free. Many children can quote the words of a rap star, but can’t quote anything Jesus ever said. Many souls are incarcerated and doomed to eternal destruction and sadly the list goes on and on. 

Through Paul’s letter to the Corinthians we are told to watch, to stand fast in the faith, to be courageous and to be strong.  

Though we have spiritual enemies that we must fight, even so, love should characterize all that we do. These two verses are not contradictory, because we also read what Paul wrote to the Romans: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (v. 12:21) 

The meaning of to watch is to be alert, to be vigilant. We need to be spiritually watchful as Jesus said we need to watch and pray. The word translated “watch” means ‘to have the alertness of a watchman.’ A night watchman must be even more vigilant than a daytime guard. In the daytime, danger can often be spotted from a distance. But in the night everything is different. A night watchman must use senses other than sight to detect danger. He is often alone in the darkness and without the defenses he would otherwise employ. There may be no indications of enemy attack until it happens, so he must be hyper-vigilant, suspecting something might happen at any moment. That is the type of watching Jesus spoke about. Jesus warned us that we are too easily distracted by the physical and will be caught unaware if we do not continually discipline ourselves by being watchful. 

How should Christians stand fast in their faith? The two things we can do to stand up for Christ are to live according to His Word and to grow in our knowledge of Him. Christ said, “Let your light shine before men…” (Matthew 5:16). This means that we should live and act in a way that supports the gospel. First Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” We need to live and teach as Christ would and let Him take care of the rest. 

The next word is to be courageous. The word “courage” translated from the Greek means literally “boldness and confidence.” Therefore, when God commands us to fear not, to be of good cheer, and to have courage, He is always commanding against fear, which is the opposite of courage. 

As Christians, we are to be strong in the mighty power of God. This means that our strength is not our own; it is not human or fleshly. Our strength is not of the world, but our strength is found in Christ thru our having an intimate relationship with Him. As Paul tells us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). In other words, there is no other source that gives man the strength to overcome the world with its trials, its temptations, and death. It is through submission to God’s strength that we overcome the power of Satan: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). It is by first aligning ourselves with the strength of God through our total submission to Him that we are able to withstand the deceit of Satan: “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11). 

The Bible says that we are to love others the way that God loves us. We are to love the family of God (1 Peter 2:17). We are to love our enemies—that is, we are to actively seek what is best for them (Matthew 5:44). Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25). When we show benevolence and selfless love, we reflect God’s love to a lost and dying world. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). 

In summary, to win spiritual battles we rely on God’s power and not our own. We need to put on the whole armor of God, utilize the power of Scripture and pray with determination and holiness, making our appeal to God. We stand firm in our faith (Ephesians 6:13–14); submitting to God and resisting the devil’s work (James 4:7), knowing that the Lord of hosts is our protector. “Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” (Psalm 62:2)

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