The definition of steadfast is resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering. I think we have been realizing with more and more confidence that our Abba is steadfast, in fact James 1:17 (NKJV) tells us Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (emphasis mine). Our Heavenly Father has no changing in Him, He is the epitome of steadfast. We may not always respond to situations with that thought in mind but if we can take the time to pull away from emotions and look to the truth, we will find in the Word the fact that God is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The steadfast that I want to think about today, though, is not God’s steadfastness, but ours. The pursuit to have in our spirits a hope that is resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering. James tells us that we should not be like the waves of the sea driven and tossed by the wind, essentially a double minded individual. I think when it comes to testings it can be challenging to be single minded but that is what God is working to develop in us, a steadfast spirit, a single-mindedness that does not waver during difficult times.
It’s pretty frustrating to go to bed confident and wake up the next morning with frustration, anxiety or fear. It seems to make no sense that on any given day you can be totally confident in what you feel God is doing in you and in your life but by the time you’ve had lunch all that confidence went the way of your sandwich…it just disappeared! I don’t know about you, but I want to leave my wishy-washy ways behind, I know it’s not pleasing to God, and I certainly don’t enjoy it! What can we do to overcome this up and down cycle and become stable, steadfast women of God?
To begin to answer that, let’s take a further look at James to see what he has to say. James 1:13-14 says 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Here are some key things that can help us recognize what is at the root of this unhealthy cycle. First, God is not the one causing the wild swings in our emotions. Picture a fish on a hook and he’s being reeled in and then there’s slack and he swims back out, only to be reeled in again. That hook in the mouth, that line and that reel are not the work of our Heavenly Father, it’s the work of the enemy and/or the work of our own emotions which we have not learned to discipline. I believe if we understand that God is not responsible for our ups and downs it starts the foundation of stability because regardless of what we are feeling we can always remember that our foundation is Christ who is for us and is our firm foundation, our solid rock.
Next let’s look at the fact, in verse 14, that we are individually tempted when we are drawn away by our own desires and enticed. Here’s what I see when I read that, I see Peter, eyes on Jesus, walking on the water until he gets distracted by the winds and the waves and turns his eyes away from Jesus to look at his situation…boom! no more walking on the water, but Peter starts to sink. Does that sound like a familiar event? I have a conversation or get a phone call, email or letter that reminds me of my problem my mind starts to think about that, my heart begins to beat faster and my emotions really get the ball rolling and before I know it, I’m sinking just like Peter! Here’s the good news, though, I can begin to turn that whole scenario around by realizing that what I’m feeling isn’t God’s truth on the matter, it’s just my human response to something I feel I can’t do anything about or have no control over, but God is doing something, God can do something and God wants to!
I think the most important thing I am learning is that I need to know what God has to say about what has been done for me through Jesus. That no matter the situation or circumstance, God is the answer and in all of this He has made a way for me to have His peace, His joy, His love and His rest. In previous blogs I talk about a number of these topics and there are many scriptures that are there to help erect walls of stability and steadfastness on the firm foundation we talked about earlier.
Being steadfast does not mean we don’t have the opportunity to be pulled away by bad circumstances or emotions, but like it talks about in our very first scripture, Hebrews 6:18-19, it means we’ve decided to have an anchor in Him who is always steadfast!
18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,
We can be steadfast because He is steadfast and through the blood of Jesus, we are now in Him. Peter let Jesus do the work and we can too!
A Daughter’s Prayer – Abba, again You are reminding me that my hope is in You. In You my seas are calmed, the winds of adversity have to stop their blowing and peace is found. I am so grateful that my steadfastness is not dependent on my abilities but by He who is always steadfast, my Jesus. I can have Your peace, Your joy and Your rest in the most difficult situations because Jesus was victorious and I have my victory in Him. Holy Spirit, help me remember, when I am afraid, the truth that sets me free and to pull away my attention from those things that so easily beset me back to Him who ensures that I overcome. In Jesus’ holy name, amen.