1 Corinthians 16:13-14
13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.
Examine / Explain
It is interesting that in the chapter with Paul talking to the church in Corinth, he is focused on the interaction of other believers like Timothy and Apollos. Then all of a sudden in injects this this statement and then continues talking about others like Stephanas, Aquila, and Prisca. What was happening between the believers? What would cause Paul to be on alert if their fellow believers were coming back to Corinth? One commentary states the inadvertent leading of these believers causes a specific following of Apollos which causes division in the church.
How do I apply this to my life?
The enemy, Satan, wants to steal, kill, and destroy anything that brings us toward God. Do we really comprehend the level to which we are in a spiritual war? Can we understand that the enemy doesn’t play “fair” and he absolutely hates God and his creation? Is it possible for us to grasp that he would even use people in the church to steal, kill, and destroy? Yes, we need to be on high alert as we live out this life. We are to mature in our faith. Look at the example of a man that Jesus set. Lion and lamb. We can be strong in both of those. We must redefine what we consider weaknesses. We have bought into the culture as to what is weak or strong. The culture is influenced by the enemy that is trying to steal, kill, and destroy. If we are not maturing in our faith that is grounded in Jesus and a flame fanned by the bible we are going to believe what the culture is spewing out at us. And we must share what we have with others. We are to love our neighbor. We are to exemplify Jesus with our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we look like the culture in loving other believers why would a dying world want anything to do with us? We are to be different. We are a new creation with the Holy Spirit living in us. We are to be in this world and not of it.
What is my response?
Father, I want to dance with You. I want to experience the perfect community that is Father, Son, and Spirit. Yes, I want to learn more about You through Your word. However, knowing about You is different from living with You. I want to be in Your presence more than anything else. What does that look like for us, right now in our present time? My flesh is at war, I want earthly comfort and I want You. Those don’t always align with each other. I long for the peace that sometimes escapes me. I seek joy but find happiness. I get caught being closer to the world than just being in it. I need to be on alert and above my passivity. The enemy is constant and only has one rule. He can’t go above You. He can manipulate, contort, and bend but he can never create. He wants to destroy me. You want to keep me forever. Draw me near and let me move with You. Amen.