The Art of Spiritual Stability

by Joanna Pierce on August 24, 2017

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end (Hebrews 3:14, KJV).

The Stable Message

There’s a common misconception about our walk with Christ. We hear more about falling down and getting up again than actually staying up. However, the writer of Hebrews (assumedly Paul) teaches the church that the core of the Christian walk is not so. Our relationship with Christ, through our journey of spiritual maturity, needs to be steadfast—it needs some stability.

All throughout Scripture, we see a stronger message communicated about staying stable and strong rather than “trying again” so-to-speak:

The Lord expects His to church be a spiritually strong unit. His desires His people move forward and become “spiritual aggressors” in the Kingdom. We cannot be distracted and weakened by our continual shortcomings. He wants us to be stable and take on the next challenge and complete another work for Him.

The Emphasis of Getting Up

We must consider why we hear so much about falling down and getting up, rather than just staying up. In reality, it’s because people fall a lot. It’s much easier to recover than it is to remain strong. It takes a lot of spiritual focus to stay up; it’s much more difficult to exercise those spiritual muscles.

Paul knew spiritual stability came from spiritual effort. And, he knew how much of a fight it involved (Romans 7:15). He wanted to do what was right, but he did things that he hated. His flesh fought constantly against his renewed mind in Christ, but he found Jesus Christ to be his answer for spiritual stability and how he could overcome his flesh.

A Way of Living with Stability

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1, KJV).

Paul finally realized he needed to walk after the Spirit. The word after in Greek is kata, which means: in the presence of, the direction toward, according to, etc. Basically, Paul was saying if we are going to have spiritual stability, we must live in a way that’s after, or in the presence of, the Spirit of God. We live and act in the range of, the direction toward, in conformance to, and in the likeness of Jesus Christ. We must abide after the dominance of the Holy Ghost (God’s Spirit) working in our lives, and practice this daily.

Growing Spiritually Stable

Adversity must be present in our spiritual walk for us to grow spiritually stable. We cannot define or measure spiritual stability without adversity. We won’t know how strong or stable we are until we are tested, and God has promised us that we will be tested (Job 14:1). The church must understand living a life that’s spiritually stable is the act of godly living in spite of adversity. We need to stay strong when things are hard!

While the outward life may be difficult, we are renewed day by day through God’s presence. Any trial should be viewed as a blessing because God is working on our spiritual stability (II Corinthians 4:7–9, 16–18).

The Enemies of Spiritual Stability

Enemies are like bullies—they’re strong and exist because they’re untested. However, once they are challenged, they lose their power. If we leave the following enemies in our lives (unidentified and unchallenged), they will disrupt our spiritual stability our entire lives.

Distractions

Distractions are temporary losses of focus in our spiritual walk with God. We are directed in Scripture to always look to Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). While a distraction is a temporary loss of focus, it can also do a whole lot of damage. We must fight distractions intentionally by focusing our spiritual mind by reading God’s Word, fasting, and praying.

Misplaced Priorities

It’s difficult deciding what’s first in our lives. Whatever we’ve made first in our lives—our priority—becomes our foundation from which everything else is built (and/or prioritized). If we decide to make our priority/foundation the weak, shallow, and temporary things of this world, we will set ourselves up for failure. But, if we make Jesus and His kingdom the foundation, everything else in our lives will fall into their proper place (Matthew 6:33).

Impatience

We make decisions and don’t wait on God because we don’t like where we’re at. We must station ourselves and wait for God’s direction in our lives (Habakkuk 2:1). If we want God’s vision for our life or ministry, we must want to hear it, withdrawal to hear it, and wait to hear it. Impatience will get us the next thing, but it’s not necessarily the best or right thing for us. We must exercise restraint and wait on God until He tells us to move. Let’s learn to wait quietly, patiently, and expectantly (Psalms 37:7; 65:5; 130:5).

Adapted from Wednesday Night Bible Study on August 23, 2017 with Pastor Nave