Thursday, 10 November 2022

Fortitudine Vincimus

Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
      Fortitudine Vincimus: By endurance we conquer. I would like to add to this statement. By endurance in Christ, we conquer all of the onslaughts that the enemy of our soul throws at us.
      Picking ourselves up after falling headlong into sin takes courage and endurance to keep running the lifelong race we are engaged in. Heb. 12:1b Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. The grace of God helps us repent, get up, and endure the battles of life that will come our way. With the guidance and corrections our Heavenly Father administers within our hearts, God also demonstrates the fulness of His love that He has for us. Heb. 12:7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 
       The goodness of God helps us repent and remain in a relationship with Him. Even when we are being disciplined by God, it is done with a loving hand. Psalm 103:13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear Him. Not only does God's loving discipline help us overcome sin, but it also gives us the endurance to fight the temptations and trials that the pressures of sin bring. James 1:2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
      The trend to pathologize every little problem people come up with as an excuse for their misbehaviour is grinding down the grit that was once part of a man's character strength. People are handing over their responsibility to mature as responsible adults to a laissez-faire social attitude that promotes mediocrity and sloth. I'm not advocating for strict ascetic practices, but it might be a good idea to at least adhere to the disciplines that keep us walking in Christ’s righteousness. 
      In his book, Discipline Is Destiny, Ryan Holiday writes, “A weak mind must be constantly entertained and stimulated. A strong mind can occupy itself and, more importantly, be still and vigilant in moments that demand it.“ Our Christian walk demands vigilance and being still, calm, and assured before our God. The question arises, how do we acquire a quiet spirit before God when we are constantly looking to be distracted and entertained? The Apostle Paul knew the words - vigilant and endurance. His life demonstrated the discipline he asked of others. 1Cor. 9:27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. The idea of disciplining ourselves to what God asks of us, and enduring the trials that will come has become irksome to many. They want an easy Christianity with all the blessings and none of the commitments or dedication to the Lord's righteousness.
      Hopefully, it is our intention as we come near the end of our time on earth to be able to say as Paul did. 2Tim. 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. This scripture has words and thoughts that need to be revived in our hearts. Words like. "I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith." These statements are becoming foreign concepts to a generation that thinks not upgrading their phone is a hardship and a sacrifice. Forgive my sarcasm, but, By Endurance We Conquer will take a supernatural awakening of the Holy Spirit if we are to become the people who can conquer what lies ahead.
      The word of the Lord continually encourages us to get up and destroy the works of darkness. This is not a small skirmish but a full-blown-out war against Satan and the kingdom of evil intentions. We will need God's discipline and His knowledge to valiantly overcome and win this fight. There does not seem to be a place on the sidelines to wait it out. We are in or out. As the Proverb says, we respond to God's discipline, or we end up dull-witted. What is it going to be? Prov. 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. Father, in Jesus name, help us choose your disciplines so that we may endure and conquer in Christ. Amen.

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