“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
1 Cor 15:58
It is imperative for God’s elect who believe in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to understand that steadfastness is an essential principle in Christian character. There can be no success nor prosperity in God’s elect when this principle is wanting. The psalmist said, “my heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.” This is true steadfastness. It is resting and abiding in Jesus through the trials of life may be the severest possible.
It is a firm, fixed and settled decision to abide in the teaching of the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.
Many people claim their loyalty but steadfast people are hard to find. Jesus declared in Luke 9:62 “no man, having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the Kingdom of God.” Let us identify some keys to steadfastness that was evident in the life of Apostle Paul from Acts 21:1-14.
Paul’s steadfastness serve as an inspiration and a challenge where any person who contemplates just settling for second best. Based on Paul’s unshakeable faith, we get an appreciation of the agony, fear and conflicts he endured in his thirty years of ministry. Paul’s unwavering attention to God’s priorities makes him an example of how to remain calm, sober and reliable when others give up. God’s elect ought to imitate Paul’s steadfastness in our journey towards faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness and kingdom building.
Paul’s difficult missionary journeys prepared him to face more complicated challenges that elevated him to the highest halls of human leadership. Paul was able to articulate great leadership skills to major leaders of the day while speaking of his own defense. Paul was willing to endure so much adversity for Christ’s sake, even rulers curiously beckoned him to talk to them about his motivations. God’s preparation program often enables us to be able to accomplish far greater exploits if we are willing to let God put us in the best places. God’ elect ought to trust God to use their years of steadfastness to propel them into greater places of service unto the Lord.
Paul’s steadfastness helped him to overcome the temptation of other weaker people. While many other believers fall into all kinds of sins of omission, commission, wrong attitudes or faulty assumptions, a steadfast Christian zeal is able to avoid the trap of this corrupt world. God’s elect ought to be so zealous with Christ’s service that they are facilitated in being delivered from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
Paul’s steadfastness taught him to not listen to unwise people who urged him to avoid going to Jerusalem. Many well-meaning people may offer misguided advice. Paul chose to listen to the voice of the Spirit of God instead of those who were more concerned about his human safety. A steadfast Christian will have to rely more on the Spirit of God’s teaching, prompting and leading than even their best friend’s counsel. God’s elect ought to ask God to give them the steadfast discernment to hear God’s voice above any human persuasions.
Paul’s steadfastness come from his commitment to obey God regardless of the cost. Even when Paul heard the prophetic voice of a good man urging him not to go into Jerusalem, he proceeded because he knew that real love for God is measured best by our obedience to His will. John 14:21 Steadfast Christians are going to remain solidly committed to the Gospel of God’s Righteousness, the growth of the Church and helping to fulfill the Great Commission. God’s elect ought to ask God to help them to lead people to show greater commitment to the essential instead of many unessential desires.
Paul’s steadfastness helped him to develop a spirit of humility and confidence. He gained the realization that God could do whatever He wanted to do through him. It is an insurmountable feat to transform ourselves into godly people without the Holy Spirit cleansing our former way of life. Just as Job learnt, Paul surrendered his will to God in all things knowing that no purposes of God could be thwarted. Job 42:1-2 God’s elect ought to ask God to teach them how to exhibit more of an attitude of humility, confidence and trust in God’s sovereign power.
Paul’s steadfastness proved to be a huge inspiration to the families in Tyre and wherever he went. Tyre was decaying commercially but Paul gave them a greater means of obtaining prosperity. Never underestimate the positive effects that steadfast Christians can have on those around them. Paul’s sympathy, affection and godly character blessed everyone he came in contact with. God’s elect ought to ask God to teach them how to inspire others to greater service, spiritual maturity and godliness.