The Heart God Desires
1 Peter 5:5-10
April 2, 2017
All right. It was Jesus who said to Nicodemus there, very famously in John 3, “Unless one is born again, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." Well, if you receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you’re born again into the Kingdom of Heaven. The point is really wanting us to understand, because Peter emphasizes this over and over, is that, “Hey, you’re in the Kingdom of God now." There’s a whole new set of principles that work in the Kingdom of God, and that’s what he really wants us to understand.
See, everyone has some kind of principles. Everyone has some kind of principles that guide their lives. Living in the world, it's very easy to adopt the principles that operate in the world. It’s very, very common, very easy to do that. The problem is that those principles are not of God. They don’t bless, they don’t bring life, and in fact, they result in death. Really what we need to see is that we brought a lot of stuff with us. When we came into the Kingdom, we brought a lot of stuff.
We brought a lot of the old thoughts, the old ways of doing things into the life that we have now in the Kingdom of Heaven. He’s wanting us to see the distinction. He’s wanting us to live now in the Kingdom of God with the same heart that God desires for us to have. The point is, of course, living in the Kingdom is a place of blessing and strength. He wants to help, especially when you think about all the troubles, the difficulties of life that are part of living in this broken down, evil, dark world.
When those who received this letter read it, they would be encouraged because they were going through persecution, they were going through difficulty. You think we have difficulty? You have no idea. They have serious difficulty because there was a persecution empire-wide. The Roman Empire had designated that Christians were a problem. They were actively pursuing Christians. You would think about problems. They certainly understood them.
They needed to understand the character that God desires to see in the heart of those who are living in the Kingdom of God and the blessing that comes when we live His way, right?
I. Clothe Yourselves with Humility
Let’s look at it. We’re going to read it. 1 Peter chapter 5, will begin in verse 5, where He says -- he picks it up in the middle of the start here, but He says, “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders. All of you, everyone, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud but He gives grace to the humble.
Therefore," He says, “humble yourselves, under the Mighty hand of God that He may exalt you at the proper time. Casting all of your cares, casting all of your anxiety, upon Him.” That is a famous verse right there. You might want to underline it and document that page because frankly, we need to grasp for the significance of what it means to cast our anxieties. "Cast our cares upon Him," it says, "because He cares." That’s why you do it because He cares for you.
Therefore, He says in verse 8, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert because--" and you have an adversary,” he says, “your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour, but resist him.” He’s calling us to spiritual victory. He’s calling us to a spiritual battle, "Resist him firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all Grace--" I love that phrase, "the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."
These are really personal great words. These are the verses I want us look at, particularly where it says in verse 5, “Clothe yourselves with humility.” The chapter begins starting in verse 1 where he's talking to elders and leaders, and he says that they should be examples to those that they are leading. He says, “Don’t lord it. If you have authority, don’t lord it over the people that are under you.” He says, “Don’t do that. Be examples to them instead.” Now in order to do that, it requires humility. Jesus spoke to this Himself.
At one point, this is Matthew 20, “ Jesus called His disciples to Himself and He said, "Now you know that the rulers out there and the Gentiles, how they are, they lord it over them," which is to say they’re bossy. They’re all puffed up with self, and they’re bossy about it. He says, “And the great men exercise authority over them.” He says, “It is not this way among you. You are in the Kingdom of God now. There’s a whole different set of principles at work here."
Now if you have authority, don’t be like that. Don’t be bossy. Don’t be filled up with your own self and, therefore, become bossy over other people. It’s not like this. He says, “Whoever wishes to be great shall be your servant.” That’s a whole different thing. That’s a whole different way. That’s a whole different way of living right there. There’s a set of principles that are at work. Then, verse 5, He turns to the younger men, and He told them to be subject to their elders.
Now, this also requires humility because frankly, it’s the nature of youth to resist authority. It’s the nature of the human condition to resist authority, which is why the kids often times find trouble when they’re in their teen years. They’re just getting old enough to sort of start to feel like they can challenge and it’s the human nature that’s doing it. That causes them to resist authority. He says, “Now, listen, you younger people. You submit to those that are over you.” That requires humility.
What is He saying? He’s saying humility. Clothe yourself with humility because it is a driving force in the Kingdom of God. It’s one of the most important characteristics of those who live in the Kingdom. Notice how he emphasizes the importance of humility toward one another. This is key because how you treat other people in the Kingdom of God, how you treat other people is very, very important. He tells you why. He tells us it has everything to do with faith and it has everything to do with God’s blessing on it.
A. God resists the proud
Let me show you what He says. Notice what He says in the next phrase, “Because God resists the proud,” or, “God is opposed to the proud.” That is a big statement right there. “God is opposed. God resists. God is against the proud.” Now pride has been the problem from the very beginning. You go all the way back in Genesis, you’re going to find pride is the problem of the human condition, but it’s the principle that’s in the world. Being in the world, we know it’s a principle.
See, those who achieve great things, great status in the world, often have pride as the driving force to their achievements. When they achieve something great, they’re very proud of their achievements. Therefore, they are the center. Pride makes that person the center of his universe, you might say. He says, "But God is opposed to the proud. He resists them." Why? Why would God resist? What is it about pride? What is it about the proud that causes God to resist them?
Here’s the answer. The answer is because pride, and the proud in other words, it is the opposite of living by faith. Now here’s the thing, when it comes into the Kingdom of God, when it comes to living in the Kingdom, faith is everything here. In our relationship to the Lord, it’s really all about faith. Here’s a great verse for you, Habakkuk 2:4, very famous, really right on, “Behold now, as for the proud one, his soul is not right.” That is a great verse.
“Behold now, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him, but the righteous one will live by his faith.” Notice the contrast. He's setting one against the other. He said, "you’re going to be one side of this or the other side of this. Behold that as for the proud one, his soul isn’t right, but the righteous one, he will live according to his faith." Faith is everything. In the Kingdom of Heaven, faith is such an important thing.
It tells us, in fact, in Hebrews 11:6, one of the famous verses from this chapter, "Without faith, it's impossible to please Him." It is not in the realm of possibility, for he who comes to God must believe that He is. Do you believe that there's a God? Wonderful, you do good. More than that, those who come must believe that He is and that He is the rewarder of those who seek after Him because of their faith.
See, now anyone with any kind of faith at all, anybody who has any kind of faith would tell you that having God against you is generally not a good idea. I would much rather have God for me than against me. Here's the thing, if you're in the kingdom of God, you're in the Kingdom of Heaven, clothe yourself with humility because it is the driving characteristic of those who are in the kingdom. He's telling us this tremendous point. God is for you.
You clothe yourself with humility, it means you're trusting in God with all faith, but if you have pride and you're one of the proud ones, God's going to resist that because you're no longer living according to faith. See, when it comes to a wrestling match with God, there's a high probability I'm going to lose. In other words, when it comes to a wrestling match with God, I don't stand a chance. I don't want God resisting me because frankly, He's bigger than I am.
This reminds me of when we adopted our boys from Russia. The eldest one was 14 when we adopted him. The young one was 10. The youngest one was adopted from a home for emotionally disturbed children. He came with a boatload of issues. He had been on our home a couple of weeks. When we had a crisis, which was really a big crisis because he didn't speak any English and my Russian wasn't that good, but it was all about brushing his teeth.
He didn't want to brush his teeth, which is pretty important. He had rickets so his teeth were just little tiny spindles. He's going to have to take care of his teeth. I'm telling him at bedtime, "Did you brush your teeth?" He said, "No." I said, "Well, here's the thing. In our house, it's part of living in the kingdom of the Jones house. You're going to brush your teeth." I said, "I want you to get up out of bed and go brush your teeth." "No," as in, "I'm not doing that".
He says, "You're not my dad," to which I said, "Well, now there's where you're wrong". Off come the covers swooped in my arms. I bring him down and put him on the floor in my room and say, "Now you're going to just sit right there and you're not going anywhere until this thing gets resolved. You're not going to bed, you're not going to eat, you're just going to sit right there until this thing gets worked out." Then he said, "Well, this isn't fair. You're bigger than I am," to which I said, "Now I think you're starting to get it."
Here's the thing, we worked it out. It was a long process but it worked out at the end of that night. He said, "I love you, dad. I'm sorry." He's crying and I said, "You know what? It's okay. I love you and nothing's going to change my love for you," because he humbled himself and he owned it. He humbled himself and he owned it. See, God resists the proud but when we humble ourselves, His favor is all over it. See, here's the thing, God is bigger than we are. With a wrestling match with God, we're pretty much going to lose.
When I was in junior high, I was on the junior high wrestling team. At the very end of the year, we had our big tournament, the big final thing. The opposing team, the best player they had was this -- just a massive specimen of humanity named Fred Nordgren. When he stood there, he stood there like this because his arms couldn't rest next to his body, because he had so many muscles. He walked like this. He later became a football player in the NFL. He played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They have to find someone to wrestle Fred Nordgren. Who do they select? Rich Jones.
They selected Rich Jones to wrestle the best player on the opposing team. How about that? Would you like to know why they chose me to wrestle him? Because I was on the JV team and they knew that nobody could beat him so we might as well -- don't waste somebody good.
I know. I had been in counseling ever since.
They brought me up from JV to wrestle Fred Nordgren. This is a true story. I'm just looking at this monster of a man and I'm thinking, "What in the world am I going to do," but I'm over there, I'm trying. I'm for over there practicing and I'm practicing my takedowns. I'm practicing my takedowns [chuckles]. I'm getting ready. I get in there and they said go. I swooped in on Fred Nordgren and I did a takedown on Fred Nordgren. The crowd went wild.
Then he turned me over and pinned me just like that.
It reminds me of wrestling with God. You don't have a chance. The whole point is, don't do it. See, God resists the proud. Notice this, Isaiah 2:12, great verse. "For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning." Now that's a great verse. Listen to that verse. "The Lord of host will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and lofty, and against everyone who is lifted up, that he may be brought low." Then does he say next?
B. God gives grace to the humble
Back to 1 Peter 5, he says, "God resists the proud," but he says, "God gives grace to the humble." Verse 6, "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you or lift you up at the proper time. In other words, it's really about faith. You trust him. You're in the kingdom of God, you're in the Kingdom of Heaven now, and having God lift you up and exalt you is His outpouring of favor, outpouring of blessing that we need on your life. Now he says, "I want you to clothe yourself with humility."
It's the driving characteristic of those who work in the Kingdom of Heaven. Now having said that, I think it's important that we do define humility because I think that it is commonly misunderstood. I think a lot of times, people think that humility is actually thinking poorly of themselves. The thing is, thinking poorly of one's self is not humility, that's actually frustrated pride. Here's the point.
If a person is thinking poorly, if a person feels sorry for themselves or thinking down about themselves, they are not thinking the way God thinks about them. There's still a distinct lack of faith because God doesn't see you the way you see you. If you could see you the way God sees you, you would be blessed. He would heal your soul. He wants you to have His thoughts towards you. "My thoughts are not your thoughts. My thoughts are higher," and His thoughts toward you and me are higher than our own thoughts towards us.
There's still a distinct lack of faith in that condition until we trust God's ways and God's thoughts. I love C.S. Lewis on his quote on this. He says, "Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It's thinking of yourself less." Do you get the distinction? It's not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less. The other extreme, of course, it seems like the human condition is such that we are either on one extreme or the other.
If you notice this, either we think very poorly of ourselves or we think very highly of ourselves. To quote the famous American philosopher Mac Davis -- How many people remember Mac Davis? Come on. He was very popular in the '60s or '70s. I remember reading about this in the history books.
I know Mac Davis had his song. He would sing this at his concerts and everybody and the whole of the place would sing it with him. "Oh Lord, it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way. I can't wait to look in the mirror, I get better looking each day." See, there's the problem. Either someone thinks poorly or they think too highly. See, if pride is the foundation of all that is sinful, then humility is the foundation of all that's Godly and honorable.
He tells us in Philippians 2 what it looks like. He says, "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit." That is pride defying right there. "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind, regard one another as more important than yourselves." Do not merely look out for your own personal interest but also for the interest of others,
having this attitude in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Jesus said something similar, Matthew 23.
You want to have greatness? He says, "The greatest among you shall be your servant." See, in the Kingdom of God, there's a whole different set of principles. You want to be great in the Kingdom of God? Then be a servant. Now if you want to be great in the world, it's a whole different formula. If you want to be great in the Kingdom of God, He says, "Then the greatest shall be the servant." Whoever exalts himself is going to be humbled because God will see to it, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted because God will see to it.
One day, Jesus noticed people who are sitting down at a table to eat. Now in the Jewish custom, every single place had an order of distinction, from the greatest seat of honor to the second seat of honor, the third seat of honor. Every seat had an order. It's not like that in our dining eating arrangements. We typically have only maybe the end seats, but in Jewish culture, everyone, every seat had a distinction. Jesus noticed people picking out the places of honor to eat at the table.
He said to them, "Now when you are invited by someone to come to a feast, do not take the place of honor, unless someone more distinguished than you is invited and the one who invited you says make way for this other fellow and you're humiliated as you walk to the lowest place." He said, "Take the lowest place. Take the lowest place." Then the one who invited you will say, "Friend, come up here and sit, and you will receive honor." He said, "This is the way that it works in the Kingdom of Heaven."
C. Cast all your cares upon Him
Then He adds something interesting. In 1 Peter 5, He says, God opposes to the proud. He gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore." Then He says, "Casting your cares upon him," casting your cares. The better word in the Greek is anxieties. Godly humility is so important because it's very vital to faith. It's having confidence that God cares, that God is for you.
You have confidence in the hand of God and you believe with all faith that He cares. Therefore, you can cast your anxieties, your fears, your worries, and you will believe that He will accomplish what concerns you. Psalm 138, great Psalm, I put together some key parts of Psalm 138 where it says, "You made me bold with strength in my soul." Right there, man, that is what we should desire, a strength in the soul.
"You made me bold with strength in the soul for the Lord regards the lowly. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me, and Your right hand will save me, and the Lord will accomplish what concerns me today for your loving kindness, oh Lord, is everlasting." He cares for you. You can cast your worries, your anxieties, your fears because he cares. Faith trusts that he cares, that he's for you. This is important because a lot of people are convinced that God is against them because there’s no one who is perfect among us.
Everybody's got some kind of mess going on in their lives. Therefore, there's enough mess that it's very easy to be convinced that God doesn't really like you very much and that God is really against you. The truth is, God very much cares for you. He very much wants to take your concerns upon Himself. "Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and you will find rest for your soul for My burden is easy, My yoke is light."
See, the point of faith is trusting that He's going to accomplish. Psalm 32:7, "You are my hiding place, You preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs of deliverance." I love that verse right there. "You surround me." Do you believe that it's a part of faith? "You surround me with songs. You go before and behind, you surround me with songs of deliverance."
It reminded of the time when the Assyrian army -- this was back in the days when the Assyrian army was the greatest force on the earth and they had surrounded Jerusalem, already destroyed the northern kingdom -- surrounded Jerusalem, and the Assyrian king had sent a letter to the Jewish King in Jerusalem, taunting him and insulting Jehovah. Hezekiah, the king of Israel, took this letter, this taunting, insulting letter, he took it to the temple and he laid it out before the Lord. I love this picture.
It was a scroll and he laid it out before the Lord. He said, "Lord, read this. Read this letter. Look what they're saying about you. Look at how they insult you, but you're the God of all the earth. You alone are the one who has created all things in power." He's got this prayer. "God, you take our concerns and you accomplish that which is glorious. Defend us today, Lord." As he's making this prayer, as he's making this prayer, the prophet Isaiah is given a word of the Lord.
This is 2 Kings 19. Isaiah, the son of Amoz, sent to Hezekiah, and he says, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, because you have prayed, because you have prayed to me about Sennacherib, King of Assyria, I have heard you." Then he goes on to say, "He will not destroy you. In fact, I will put a hook in his nose and I will bring him back to the land from which he came, and you will be saved. You will be rescued.
II. Be Spiritually Alert
Not only Biblical text but history tells us that Israel woke up and mysteriously, 185,000 soldiers of the enemy had died during the night without any explanation. It's in the history books outside of the Bible. The hand of the Lord saved. Now back to 1 Peter chapter 5, He then goes on to say, "Casting your concerns, your anxiety upon him because He cares." Then he talks about the condition of your spirit where He says, "Be spiritually alert."
A. Be of sober spirit
Verse 8, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour." The point is, you're in the Kingdom of God, and yet while living in the Kingdom of God, we're still in this world. Therefore, there is spiritual battle. There is spiritual warfare. Do you believe that we are in a place of spiritual warfare? I mean you look at what's happening in the world, I tell you there are spiritual forces of wickedness behind much of what we are seeing in the world scene unfolding before our eyes.
He tells us something very important in verse 8. He says, "Be of sober spirit." Now, myself, when I read that, I think that's an unfortunate translation and here's why. When you hear be of sober spirit, it makes you think He's talking about alcohol, don't imbibe in alcohol. That's not actually His point here. He makes that point elsewhere. The point here He is making is that He wants us to be spiritually on the alert. He says, "Listen, you have an adversary. We are in a spiritual battle. You have an adversary. We must stay alert.
Now Peter knows something about this. He has experience with this. You might remember the night Jesus was betrayed, He took His three closest disciples. That would be Peter, James, and John. He took them with Him that they might watch and pray while He went off a little ways farther to be by Himself and to pray to His Father. This very famous agonizing prayer as you remember the scripture in the Garden of Gethsemane, "But He came back and He found them sleeping."
This is Matthew 26, "And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter--" He singled peter out there. "You men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep watching, keep praying that you may not enter into temptation because--" very famous, "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." Therefore, Peter knows. Peter understands. He understands the weakness of the flesh, and so he writes for us staying spiritually on the alert.
B. You have an adversary seeking to devour
Be aware we have a conflict. We are in spiritual battle. He says there's even a conflict within us between our flesh and our spirit because our spirit is willing, flesh is weak. Therefore, you must stay spiritually alert. Then he adds to this, very importantly, "You have an adversary, and your adversary is seeking to devour. He prowls around like a roaring lion," and says, "seeking someone to devour."
When lions are on the hunt -- and in preparation for this message, I did a lot of reading. I got kind of fascinated into it, actually, and started reading about lions and how they hunt, and the process of how they worked together, and all that sort of thing. They prowl around looking for those who are weak. That's their target right there. They want to find those who are weak, those who are separated from the group. They prefer to attack those who are vulnerable.
Now, he's using an analogy and it's a good analogy. It's encouraging us to stay spiritually alert, to stay spiritually fresh, to stay spiritually alive, to seek revival. It also shows the strength of being together as a church. We need the encouragement that comes of gathering together, worshipping together, fellowshipping together, being together, be a family together, encourage one another, lift up each other in prayer, carry one another's burdens. It's the enemy who would very much want you to separate from the group.
See, if he can draw you off, then you get alone, lonely and discouraged, he's found someone to devour. We need each other. Here's one of the most important things I want to tell you. This is so important. You make sure that you stay in the group because what will happens sometimes is that a person will feel poorly and feel down upon themselves, and they'll start to wander off. They'll start to wander off to test the group.
You with me on this? They’ll wander off and they’ll say, "I wonder who misses me. I wonder why they aren’t calling me. I wonder why they aren't saying 'why aren’t you here? Where did you go?' Why aren’t they calling me like that?" They're testing the group. Here's what I want to say to you, "Don't test the group." You be in the group, you be an encouragement, you be one who blesses, and I’ll tell you what, you will receive huge blessings in return.
This is important for us because it's the enemy who wants to draw you away. It's the enemy who wants to make you alone and discouraged. Now some have wondered why satan bothers? He's a defeated foe. His destruction is certain. Why is he doing this? Why is he seeking someone to devour? I'll give you two reasons. First, because it's his nature. It's his nature to destroy. John 10:10, Jesus said, "The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy."
That's his intent. That's his nature. "I came that they may have life," because that's His nature. "I've come that you'll have life and have it abundantly." Second, because he knows that his destruction is certain, and therefore, he's going to take as many with him as he can. It reminds me an illustration of this. When I was in Bible college, Jordi and I managed the apartments in those years, and they had a pool at this apartment.
One day, I was out there working next to the pool dressed in my work clothes. My wife, mischievous wife that she is, came sneaking up on me with the intent of shoving me into the pool fully dressed. Can you believe someone -- You will actually support her? I see, but don't meet me at a pool.
Anyway, so here’s a deal. She's sneaking up on me. I am working. I am being responsible.
I'm out there by the pool and she sneaks up on me with the intent of shoving me in. She sneaks up from behind and she gives me the shove. I'm going in. My destruction is certain but I did what I think anybody in this room would've done. I swooped around and grabbed her. If I'm going in, you're going in with me. We both went flying into the pool. My point being is, I think that's the same thing the enemy would do, frankly.
He knows he's a defeated foe, he's going to take as many with him as he can. Thirdly, the more that he can defeat, the less there are to speak of the Gospel. It's important that we understand that we are called to be victorious. Be spiritually alert. Don't be afraid. God has given us authority and he's given us the armament of spiritual battle. See, James 4, similarly, he says, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God--" That's the key right there. Right there. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
See, this is the key. It's a spiritual battle and it's a battle for your soul. If the enemy can drive a wedge between you and God, that's his whole intent because then your faith is weakened. You draw near to God, draw near to God. Resist the devil and draw near to God. This is the key. You resist the devil and he'll flee. Then you draw near. Matthew 16, He's speaking to Peter, "I say to you, Peter, on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." Now gates are defensive. No one takes gates out to a war.
Gates are defensive. It suggests that God wants us to be on the offense. When you pray, you have spiritual authority. When we recognize this, it does transform our thinking. When you pray and you're in the Kingdom, you have spiritual authority. Notice also in this, "In the armor of spiritual battle," listed in Ephesians 6, but you notice that there's no mention of armor to protect the back. All the armor is sort of front-facing, which suggests something of spiritual assertion, spiritual offense. Don't run.
The enemy is most successful when you run, but when you're on the offense, when you pray in the name of Jesus, you have authority. He's speaking to us to understand that there is where you're spiritually alert you're drawing nearer to the Lord. In my preparation, I was studying how lions attack. I was reading about the story of this buffalo who got separated from the group. He was eating or whatever and the group wandered off, and he became alerted to it. To be separated from the group is sure death.
Now, this is important. To be separated from the group is sure death. When he looked up and he became aware of it, he immediately, of course, started to move back to the group, the right thing to do. As he’s moving back to the group, he happened upon a pride of lions sleeping. Those who were watching him were very intrigued on what would he do. He lowered his head with his horns, which represent authority by the way.
C. Resist him be firm in your faith
He lowered his head and took his horns, and he drove right straight into the pride of lions, and they scattered like dust, and he continued right back to the group. I love that analogy right there because there's a spiritual strength of authority that we have. He says the gates of hell will not prevail against it. That's why He says, notice in verse 9, "Resist him, being firm in your faith. Resist him firm in your faith." The most important thing you can do to be spiritually victorious is to be firm in your faith.
The battle is for your soul and the enemy very much would like to shipwreck your faith, to weaken your faith, to draw a wedge between you and God. He says, "Resist him by being firm," and the best way to do that is draw near to God. It’s the nearness of God that strengthens. It’s the nearness of God that He pours out His life. At one point, someone came to Jesus and asked, What is the highest, the first, the foremost of things that God has ever told us to do?"
Notice something. Would you notice that Jesus did not respond by saying, "Here is the highest, here is the foremost. You shall hate the enemy with all your heart." He did not say that. What He said was, The highest, the first, the foremost is to love the Lord your God." That is the beginning of spiritual victory right there. Be spiritually on the alert. Ephesians chapter 6, "Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might, take up the full armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day. And having done everything to stand firm, stand firm."
Take your stand. Be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might. This is important because if you're drawn off, you're feeling separated, feeling lonely and discouraged, you need to come nearer to the Lord. You need to draw nearer and have the healing words of the Lord spoken over you, that you would hear those words and be healed in your soul, and that you would come to Him who brings life to your soul. Let's pray.