Summary: Living a victorious Christian life is a challenge we should readily accept; however there is much to discourage us in this pursuit.
STRENGTHENED WTH ALL MIGHT
“That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.” Colossians 1:10-11 (NKJV)
The Apostle Paul challenges the church at Colosse to live victorious Christian lives worthy of the Lord who redeemed them. Let’s look at some things that we would do well to consider in order to make this happen.
I. THE CHALLENGE TO LIVE A CHRISTIAN LIFE. “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NKJV)
“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 (NET) “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good (well-doing).” 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NKJV)
Here are three of the numerous Scriptures that command, encourage, warn or instruct us in our Christian lives. Living a victorious Christian life is a challenge we should readily accept. There is much to discourage us in this pursuit. For this reason we need to take the challenge seriously realizing that Satan will do everything in his power to prevent our success.
II. OUR INHERENT SPIRITUAL WEAKNESS. Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (HCSB) “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.” Romans 7:18-19 (NASB)
We can all identify with Paul when it comes to the weakness of the flesh. If Paul, as great a Christian as he was, had a problem with the weakness of his flesh, how much more will we find it likely to be with ours?
We dare not let pride or confidence in the flesh deceive us but rather recognize the truth expressed in 1 Corinthians 10:12 “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” We need to stay mindful that our spiritual weakness is not overcome by the energies of the flesh. Paul wrote “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (I Corinthians 9:27 NKJV)
III. THE SPIRITUAL WARFARE IN WHICH WE ARE ENGAGED: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12 (NKJV)
Satan is our sworn enemy. He is totally committed to keep us from honoring God in our lives. We err when we underestimate his cunning, deceitfulness and tempting power. He observes our every move. We are at a disadvantage because we cannot see him; indeed when we do see him he may appear to us as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14)
IV. THE DISCOURAGEMENT WE WILL EXPERIENCE. "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (NKJV)
Discouragement can come in a variety of ways, tribulation being just one of them. For many Christians unproductive labor is among the leading sources of discouragement. Simon’s response to Jesus’ instructions to “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch” was that they had toiled all night and caught nothing (Luke 5:4-5). We who minister the Word of God must never lose sight of the fact that His Word will not return unto Him void but will accomplish that whereunto He has sent it. (Isaiah 55:11). We read further, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
Another source of discouragement is feeling that your service is not appreciated. This has discouraged many Christians but we must keep in mind that it is our Lord’s approval that we seek…not the plaudits of men.
V. OUR SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL STRENGTH “…strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power” (Colossians 1:11)
We receive spiritual strength when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. Jesus told His disciples,