STEADFASTNESS.





"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always

abounding in the work of the Lord." 1 Cor. 15:58. Steadfastness is an

essential principle in Christian character. There can be no success nor

prosperity in the Christian life when this principle is wanting. The

Psalmist said, "My heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord." This is true

steadfastness. It is cleaving to God, let the storms rage as they may. It

is resting and abiding in Jesus though the trials of life may be the

severest possible. It is a firm, fixed, settled decision to abide in

doctrines of the Bible. It is to rest confidingly upon the teaching and

promises of the Holy Scriptures. Just as a man lies confidently down to

rest upon his bed, so a Christian, in his steadfastness, rests

confidingly, rests without fear, upon the never-changing Word of God.



Through Jesus Christ, Christians are made partakers of the divine nature.

They receive the imprint of divine character in their souls. Among the

different principles in the character of God is found steadfastness. When

God delivered Daniel from the lions, Darius the king said, "I make a

decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before

the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast forever." Dan.

6:26. Just as Christian fortitude is noble, manly, and pleasing to God, so

a lack of steadfastness is ignoble, unmanly, and highly displeasing to

God.



Some (it may be many) are led by their feelings. We, as the children of

God, are to be led by the Spirit of God; but not all fully understand what

is meant by "being led by the Spirit." I would rather be led by a sense of

duty than by my feelings. I do not understand that in order to be led by

the Spirit we need always to have a strong inward impression or almost

audible voice speaking to us. The Spirit of God has illuminated the Word

and enlightened your mind to know what is your Christian duty; hence when

you go forward and discharge your duties faithfully, you are truly being

led by the Spirit. You know it to be your duty to help the poor, to

support the weak, to comfort the sorrowful, to attend religious services,

to witness for Jesus, to study the Scriptures, to pray, and diligently to

follow every good work. You may sometimes feel a strong impression to

pray, but you do not need to have this feeling always in order to be duty

-bound to pray. It is your duty to pray, to give of your means, etc.,

oftentimes just as much when you do not feel impressed to do so as when

you have strong inward impressions. You do not need to wait for such

impressions before you act, for a knowledge of your duty makes you

responsible.



A man can have no true steadfastness who is influenced by his emotions or

impressions. The man who is steadfast, unmovable in the Word, goes forward

to a discharge of his known duties, no matter what his feelings may be.

Whatever may be his impressions to do a certain thing, if it is not

consistent with the Word and the Spirit and his knowledge of right, he

persistently refuses to obey.



How the true principle of steadfastness abides in the will of God and the

doctrines of Christ is demonstrated in the teachings of Barnabas to the

church at Antioch. There was some contention in the church over

circumcision, and heavy persecutions from without, and many were being

moved from the true faith. Barnabas exhorted that with purpose of heart

they cleave to the Lord. Steadfastness is a firm, fixed purpose of the

heart to cleave unto God, to attend strictly and promptly to every

Christian duty. It is a decided, unchangeable, unshaken purpose of the

heart to obey implicitly the teachings of the Savior, regardless of the

feelings.



You will find that, if you attend to every Christian duty, you will often

have to go contrary to your feelings. How often the enemy of your soul

will, if he can, cast indifferent feelings over you concerning prayer.

That is the time to show your Christian fortitude and steadfastness. It is

weakness and laziness to neglect prayer simply because we do not feel

inclined to pray. To yield to indifferent feelings is to encourage them,

and they will grow stronger and stronger, so that we shall feel less and

less inclined to pray. The more we pray, the more prayerful we feel;

likewise, the less we pray, the less prayerful we feel. When we have

yielded to indifferent feelings for sometime and have sadly neglected

prayer, we have a hard struggle to get through to the glorious light and

victory and sweetness. But you must get out where the blessings fall; you

must get where you have sweet tastes of love and the satisfying blessings

of the presence of God. You must be courageous, manly, and decided. The

way to enjoy serving God and doing our full Christian duty is always to do

our duty and especially at those times when doing it seems to be the least

enjoyable.



Steadfastly resist Satan and every indifferent feeling, and do your duty

at any cost. Remember, it is not he that feels to do good and doeth it

not, but "he that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin,"





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