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"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12).
In these few words the apostle says so much: that the child of God can fall from God's grace and promises; that there is the need to be careful to avoid falling; and that the person who especially needs to take heed is the one thinking that he is secure. In all areas of endeavor -- physical labor, mental effort, athletic competition, prevention and control of disease, there is the need for those who think themselves to be strong and immune from opposition to exercise vigilance. So it is in the realm of the spirit.
The question from the practical side poses itself: How can I take heed? Here the Word of the Lord supplies the answer that is designed by the Lord to serve not just as an answer to the question, but also as the solution to the problem of fall ing.
1. Buffeting Of The Body: -- While the word here rendered buffet in 1 Cor.
9:27 means to bruise, the Lord is not urging us actually to abuse our bodies.
His emphasis is upon what the latter part of the verse refers to as "bringing
it into subjection," lest we become castaways. It is extremely necessary
for God's people to learn self-denial, even as our Lord said in Matt. 16:24.
If I understand what the Lord is saying
here, He wants us to give regard to spiritual considerations, not to the desires and concerns of the fleshly man. One who wrongfully hearkens to the call and cry of the fleshly man is preparing the ground for the seed sowed by Satan. He must learn to consider the body from the standpoint of its being useful for God's purpose rather than from the standpoint of physical gratification and satisfaction that is opposed to the standard of righteousness.
2. Using The Whole Armor Of God: -- Eph. 6 discusses the armor needed for successful combat in the spiritual realm. It is supplied by the lord, to be used in its completeness, with the spiritual power that God supplies. A use of only a part of the complete armor constitutes a weakened effort in the battle against sin and a lack of appreciation for the Divine Provision. Using the complete armor and standing in the strength provided are to be don in conjunction with prayer and supplication, according to vs. 18. Is it any wonder that God's people so aften fail? They fail to take heed in this matter which is so urgent in our effort to remain faithful.
3. Resisting The Devil: -- Active opposition is the idea of resisting, no passive drowsiness. God's children can best prepare themselves for the attacks of Satan and ultimately discourage their continuation by open resistance to the Devil. The promise of inspiration is that the Devil flees from such resistance (Jas. 4:7). The case of Jesus proves what the promise of James means. After Jesus had steadfastly resisted the Devil, "then the Devil leaveth Him, and angels came and ministered to Him" (Matt. 4:11).
In taking these measures, we take heed to ourselves, to God and His provisions, and to the attacks of the Devil. In doing so, we take heed lest we fall.
By Bobby L. Graham in Gospel Guide, Vol. 27, No. 10, October 1995.
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