“But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God…” Jude 1:20-21 (NRSV)
Jude was writing to believers who were facing serious spiritual opposition. Intruders had secretly slipped in among them and were perverting the grace of God and denying Jesus as Lord.
Our enemy, the devil, is always hard at work. He slips in unnoticed and tells us lies. He exploits our insecurities, casts fear and doubt in us, opens old wounds and pours salt in them. He never runs out of ways to try and rob us of our faith. He hits us when we are at our most vulnerable.
It seems the enemy has been working overtime during the co-vid pandemic and lockdown.
Jude calls us to take action. He offers three ways we can build our defense against the enemy. It should not be seen as a list of things to do, but as our response to the grace of God that is already in our lives as his called, as his beloved.
Build yourself up in your most holy faith. Faith is our shield, our first line of defense. Paul tells us that, “In every battle you will need faith as your shield….” (Eph. 6:16, TLB). Our most holy faith is the faith we have in Jesus Christ. He is the solid rock on which we stand, the foundation on which we build. One way we can build up our faith is to immerse ourselves in God’s word, his truth, his promises and let them sink deep into the soil of our soul and surround our heart as a shield. Charles Spurgeon said, “We need to be continually built up: learning more, loving more, and living more the grand truths of the gospel.”
Pray in the Holy Spirit. Praying in the Holy Spirit is part of our spiritual armor. Paul tells us “Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication” (Eph. 6:18). The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom, guidance, and power. He knows what we need even before we ask. When we struggle to pray, the Holy Spirit even intercedes for us “with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words” (Rom. 8:26, TLB). God is always ready waiting to meet us where we are. In simple prayers. In simple words. And even in the silence.
Keep yourself in the love of God. God’s love is unconditional, unfailing, immeasurable, and everlasting. Nothing, nothing can separate us from God’s love. There is nothing the enemy likes better than to cause us to doubt God’s love. When we have let the truth of God’s love sink into our heart and surround it with the shield of faith, we can stand firm against the enemy and pronounce GOD LOVES ME!
Prayer of response:
Take a few minutes to pray in the Holy Spirit in response to what God is calling you to through Jude’s words.
—Submitted by Dona Diehl
Dona lives in Wheaton, Illinois. She is married, has two children, and four grandchildren. She and her husband were missionaries in Grenoble, France for 10 years where they ministered to international university students and served in two English-speaking churches. She has been with Lifesprings since its beginning in France in 2006 and currently serves on the executive team.
. . . .