We protect that which we cherish and value.
We protect because we live in an imperfect and sinful world. We buy insurance, house and car alarms, wear helmets and sunscreen. But what about protecting our faith?
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
If you treasure your relationship with God, you will protect it.
P- Put up a fence.
The Bible refers to the Lord’s protective walls and hedges that He puts around His people (Psalm 18:2-3, Isaiah 49:15-16, Job 1:10, Matthew 21:33). Because we have a sin nature living in us along with the Holy Spirit, there is a battle that rages, urging us to cross the Lord’s hedges.
“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Galatians 5:17
Our only hope is to let the Holy Spirit have control. “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” Romans 8:6
This does not mean we are to fence ourselves off from the world and its people entirely. Otherwise, we would not be following the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). We are to be lights, reflecting Jesus’ love (Matthew 5:14). If we let down our wall/fence, and allow sin to take over, we are no longer reflecting Him.
R– Run from things that will draw you back into the desires of the sinful nature.
Running away holds a negative connotation, suggesting weakness. However sometimes, the strongest thing you can do is run. In Genesis 39, Joseph ran from his master’s wife so as not to give into sexual temptation.
“She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.”
Faith isn’t a one time deal. We must work at it for the rest of our lives. “Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me…” Philippians 4:9
“. . .Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13
T- Think like the enemy.
Any successful team or army learns all they can about their opponents. It is the same with us. First Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Satan will look for our weaknesses and prey upon them. That means we need to give thought to our individual tendencies. We must give special attention ahead of time—before temptation— to how we usually react to stress, loneliness, fatigue or confusion. We need to be on our guard, wearing the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).
E–Endurance goes hand in hand with “ongoing.”
As we continue to put into practice our faith, our endurance grows stronger. Life isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. And Lord knows we need endurance.
“So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:4
Being in community with other believers strengthens and protects our faith through accountability, opening our eyes to the needs of others, using our spiritual gifts, meeting our need for love and much more (Psalm 133:1, Romans 12:4-5, Hebrews 10:24-25, Galatians 6:2)
T– Trust God.
We protect our faith as we learn to trust God more and more through an ever-growing relationship with Him. Remember, faith isn’t blind, but a combination between intellectual assent and trust. For more on this read: https://beckielindsey16.com/2016/04/12/help-i-need-more-faith/
We protect that which we cherish and value. Do you need to reevaluate what you value most? How are you doing at protecting your faith? Comments welcome!