PERSEVERE; DON’T LOSE FAITH
TEXT: 1 COR 10:1-12
The matter apostle Paul raised in 1 Cor 10:1-12 which we are about to explore was actually a carry-over study of 1 Cor 9:24-27. Paul understood vividly that it was not as though those that fell in the past planned it before it happened, nor that God was not faithful or destined it.
So who is to be blamed? The truth remains, their fall can never be attributed to God in any way but it was completely their carelessness at some points in their lives they least expected. So for this reason, Paul said,
1Cor 9:27 “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway“.
How I wish you saw that phrase, “BY ANY MEANS”. This “by any means” is what Paul referred to as “DEVICES” in another place. You see, Paul has this consciousness in him concerning who the devil is. The worst mistake a believer will make is to take Satan to be a player or for granted. Satan is a serious-minded fellow ALWAYS at alert seeking for the next available life to strike. Satan is not confused and that is why believers should not be confused or distracted.
Anointing does not and has never scared devil away from people. Devil doesn’t fear anointing.
In fact, the more anointed you are, the more motivated devil is to attack. Devil doesn’t give up. He sees fall in all men that is why he tempts all men and Paul understood it well.
He understood the fact that devil is very mean in sending any man whether believer or not to hell. With all these impending dangers, you’ll still see believers becoming loose and playing games with sins in the secret place. One thing they’ve suddenly forgotten is that the devil can’t be deceived.
Now hear this
If the glory and the beauty of heaven is not enough to or will not motivate you to live righteously, then let the dreadfulness and the frightfulness of hell discourage you from sinning.
Let’s now journey through 1Cor 10:1-12.
Paul told us what he MUST personally do as recorded in 1 Cor 9:27, to make sure that after all his exploits will not be cast away. From his statement, it was obvious that Paul was not a careless, overconfident, or activity-type believer. As much as he was interested in building and helping other lives, he was very much meticulous and consistent with his own life. He has this consciousness in him that as a saved man, even having sent many to heaven can still miss heaven ( end up not becoming saved- a castaway). Paul was not running ministry at the expense of his own spiritual perfection.
Paul was not starving himself spiritually. He made sure that what he PREACHES was in direct consonance with what he DOES unlike some of our contemporary preachers. So in order to continually reflect on what he teaches, Paul made PERSONAL commitments, plans/resolutions on what he must be doing as God grants him strength so as to remain on course till the last day of his breath on earth, which we saw in 1Cor 9:27. But if I may ask, Paul was under grace too, why disciplining himself, if what we do doesn’t matter again as some made us to believe? Grace is very much interested in what we do.
The question here is, have you personally just like Apostle Paul make rigid plans/commitments on what you must be doing in order to remain on course and focused?
That is the way to persevere in the faith. Paul said I discipline my body… Now if I may ask, have you disciplined your own body?
Sister, have you disciplined your tongue, throat, and emotions?
Brother, have you disciplined your eyes, emotions, and ego?
Do you even have boundaries at all? Have you disciplined yourself on how to be consistent in prayers and bible study daily? Hear me, anyone that wishes to finish strong like Paul, needs to make conscious, deliberate, and tangible plans just like he did, through the help of the Holy Spirit. So you can see,
Apostle Paul was not the type that teaches others how to do their quiet time without observing his.
He was not one of those that teaches 7 steps to greatness and financial freedom without first of all being constantly great and rich in his relationship with God.
He didn’t just teach the subject of evangelism, he practiced it.
He didn’t just teach us how to live a godly life, he also practiced it.
His faith was backed up with good works. That is what is expected of us. Dare not to be a signpost believer that will be only directing people to heaven without being carried along…
Glory to God, we’re still pressing. In 1Cor 10:1-13, Paul continued the subject of perseverance in the faith from another dimension. If you critically observe that passage, you’ll see that it painted a picture of a preacher passionately speaking to the congregation of believers (brethren) of which some seem to have started messing up and losing sight of what took place in the past.
And by extension, the message is directed to us with the aim of achieving two main purposes; As a warning to those that have somehow started drifting away and secondly as an instruction to those standing to keep on standing strong.
So to further explain to us the necessity of persevering in the faith, apostle Paul through the leading of the HolyGhost brought up the past event, how most of our fathers in the faith that started well just like most believers ended up halfway.
This will not be our portion in the name of Jesus. Also, it is not to scare us or to make us see heaven to be an impossible task, but to show us that God is not a respecter of persons, hence our need for total obedience to His word.
Now let’s dig deep
1st Corinthians 10:1-4
- Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
- And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
- And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
- And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
If you observed well, you will discover that a particular word was being repeated and that is “ALL“…. Verse 1 through 4 presented to us 5 “ALL” which we ought to take note of:
- All were under the same cloud. That is, all experienced the cloud of the glory of God the same way believers are enjoying it today.
- All passed through the sea. That is, all experienced God’s miracles and deliverance, the same way we’ve enjoyed and still enjoying it today.
- All were baptized unto Moses, that is, all were lawfully set apart for the service of God under the old covenant the same way Christ has lawfully (law of the Spirit of life Rom 8:2) sets us apart for Himself.
- All ate the same spiritual food the same way it has been given to us which is the Word of God and we’re enjoying it.
- All drank the same spiritual drink. The same way we have been given spiritual drink in the person of the Holy Ghost (John 7:37-39).
Surprisingly after thus far they’ve gone, in verse 5 the bible has this shocking statement about them, “But with many of them God was not well PLEASED.” This is to inform us that it doesn’t matter how good you started or how far you’ve gone, but how well you ended. How can ALL of them have such awesome experiences in God and at the end, most of them were discarded.
Now we can see that enjoying the protections, miracles, deliverances, provisions or promises of God is far different from pleasing God. All of them enjoyed great benefits in God, yet, they still messed up, This was actually the crux of Paul’s message in that scripture. Based on this, he admonished us in verse 1 not to be ignorant of this truth, because what happened to them can happen to anybody, That God allowed His blessings to reach you doesn’t necessarily mean He is pleased with your life.
These men actually enjoyed all these benefits from God yet, God was not well pleased with most of them. One can enjoy all these things from God yet, displeasing in His sight. Let’s as the Holy Ghost enables us to prioritize pleasing God more than enjoying the gifts of God. Don’t be overwhelmed by the gifts of God that you now loose grip of or forget the weightier matter. Don’t settle at enjoying His offers, seek to be that offering that is well-pleasing to Him. And the truth remains that, when you’re living a life pleasing to Him surely, you’ll know.
The question is WHY? Why was God not pleased with most of them. This should be our concern, in order for us to avoid their mistakes. Interestingly, verse 6-10 CLEARLY revealed the answer for us to know and avoid the same mistakes.
Here are the answers
- They lusted after evil (vs 6).
LESSON; don’t lust/crave after evil. In order to finish strong, you must maintain a pure heart. Heart emptied of carnality but filled with desires from above.
- They were idolaters (vs 7).
LESSON; you must shun every form of idolatry. Idolatry is loving or venerating anything more than God. Anything that demands your attention more than God (whether parents, children, Job, sports, food, social networks, fashion, etc) is an idol which must be violently resisted and brought to their class of priority.
- They were Fornicators (vs 8).
LESSON; You must flee from all forms of fornication, ranging from lust, seduction, pornography, masturbation, sexual intercourse of all kinds, etc. Don’t allow the devil to hold you down with these traps. Draw strength from the finished work of Christ to stay sexually pure.
- They tempted Christ (vs 9).
LESSON; You must not tempt Christ. That is, trying His patience, exploiting His goodness, doing what is wrong yet expecting His covering, pulling His legs, etc. We must avoid that.
- They murmured against God (vs 10).
LESSON; You must avoid murmuring (expression of discontentment). It takes one who is contented in God not to murmur against God. Murmuring against the authority over you is also murmuring against God. These are what we must avoid. He gave a sharp warning, “let him that thinketh he stands take heed lest he fall.”
Verse 13 is an encouragement to us. Always know that God is faithful. His faithfulness never fail. He won’t suffer you to be tempted above your capacity. Every temptation that comes your way, has its route of escape the Lord has made, so don’t give in, but escape.
The Lord is always with you and forever committed to bring you to His promised eternal rest. Be of good cheer for the Lord has overcome the world. Persevere, don’t lose faith.
- Pray and say God, quench the desires of evil in my life
- O Lord kill every inordinate lust in my life.
- O Lord help me to be committed in following you all the days of my life
- O Lord disarm the wicked from pulling me out of your covering
- O Lord continually keep me as the apple of your eyes
- O Lord plant my life on the rock that I may not sink
- Lord Jesus help me to discipline my life just like Paul in order to keep feet for the kingdom
- My Lord and my God, uproot everything in me that is not pleasing in your sight.