Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Crosfigell

Stand Firm

Resolution is a matter of the conscience, and, hence of the Law of God.

When faced with innumerable battles against many vices, against the devil, or against the body, it is essential that you be resolute.

  - The Rule of Comghall, Irish, 6th century[1]

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.


  - Ephesians 6.13

I like that word, resolute.

The missionary/monks of the Celtic Revival (ca. 430-800 AD) took such words to heart. They were resolute, indeed – even to the point of martyrdom.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines resolute as “Determinate, decided, positive, absolute, final.” Becoming resolute is thus a function of the conscience, the valuing center of the soul, the locus of the will. If we wish to be resolute in matters of faith, we shall have to work on strengthening our consciences.

Resolute in conscience is not a state we can arrive at on our own power. A secular world seeks to distract us, spiritual powers oppose us, and a spiritual law within our own souls inclines us toward self-indulgence, weakness, and irresolution in matters of faith and obedience.

We must cry out to the Lord to purify our minds, bolster our hearts, and direct our bodily members so that we resist the devil and hold fast to the path of righteousness.

And we must continually fortify our consciences that they may remain resolute in the face of every temptation or trial.

Fortifying the conscience is daily work. We pursue this work by reading and studying God’s Law, first of all. The Law is written on the human heart as an aspect of our being made in the image of God (Rom. 2.14, 15). It is being rewritten there by the Holy Spirit in all who believe (Ezek. 36.26, 27). Indeed, this seems to be a primary function of the Holy Spirit, that He may place in our souls that which He needs to convict us of sin and righteousness (Jn. 16.8-11; cf. Rom. 7.7). The Law teaches us the ways of love (Matt. 22.34-30). When we neglect the Law, not only are our prayers hindered, and we give encouragement to lawlessness, but our love for others grows cold (Prov. 28.9; Prov. 28.4; Matt. 24.12)  The more deeply and clearly the Law is inscribed on our hearts, the easier it is for the conscience to “read” the works of the Law in any situation (Rom. 2.15).

By consistent reading and meditation in His Word, reflecting on the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4.6; 3.12-18), and prayer at the precise moment where resolution is needed, we may draw on the life-giving power of the Law to help us remain resolute for Christ at all times (Lev. 18.1-5).

We will never be strong enough in ourselves for the resolution we require. We must look to the Lord, believe and trust in Him, cry out to Him, and take up the armor of the Spirit so that we may, indeed, stand firm in the evil day.

Today more than ever, when the faith has become so diluted and merely personalized, we need resolute men and women who will embody in their decisions and actions the righteousness that comes from Jesus Christ alone. When the world begins to see such resolution in the Church, it will believe that something more than merely human ideas is at work within us, willing and doing of His good pleasure (Phil. 2.13).

These are uncertain times. We need people of resolution, who can say with confidence, in the Name of the Lord, “This is the way; walk ye in it.”

For reflection
1. What role does reading and meditating on the Law of God have in your life at present?

2. Jesus said that learning and teaching the Law of God is the way to greatness in His Kingdom (Matt. 5.17-19). Why do you suppose that’s so?

Psalm 55.16-19 (Bread of Life: Break Thou the Bread of Life)
Lord, I will call on You, answer and save!
Morning and evening, too, my voice I raise.
Grant me Your peace, O Lord; answer my foes!
All who reject God’s Word He overthrows.

O God, grant me resolution and perseverance, that I may…

And concerning the Law of God…

You and I need the Law of God. No, we’re not saved by the Law. We’re saved unto the Law, unto those good works that God before ordained that we should walk in them (Eph. 2.8-10). These are the works Jesus did (Matt. 5.17-19) and which we are commanded to do as His followers (1 Jn. 2.1-6).

But you will not take up the Law unless (1) you truly believe in its value and (2) you begin daily to meditate on and obey it as the Scriptures teach (cf. Ps. 1). We can help. Our book, The Ground for Christian Ethics, offers a concise and readable explanation as to why the Law of God matters, and how we can make the best use of it. And The Law of God is a compilation of all the civil laws of Israel, arranged in order under their appropriate number of the Ten Commandments. Here are two easy and accessible resources to help you grow in the understanding of and obedience to the Law of God. The Ground for Christian Ethics is available by clicking here, and The Law of God by clicking here.

T. M. Moore, Principal
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All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

[1] Ó Maidín, p. 32.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
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