Buckle Up

September 8, 2019

We are on a journey and the road ahead is winding and bumpy. It is often likened to a roller coaster ride which goes up and down. We also encounter many bumps that try to derail our journey. Unless we buckle up to secure ourselves, we are in danger of falling or being thrown out. For this reason, the apostle Paul admonished believers, saying, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist” (Eph. 6:14). Our world today is being saturated with all kinds of teachings that deny or contravene our faith. These are some of the major bumps that we encounter in our spiritual walk. As a result, many have actually fallen from grace or wandered from the faith. They willingly surrendered to the devil’s teachings and lies. In his epistle, the apostle Peter warned, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves” (2 Peter 2:1).

While there will be a growing number of these false prophets and teachers, knowing who they are will help us avoid them. However, trying to identify them is a challenge in itself, but Jesus said, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matt. 7:15). We will know who these false teachers are by watching them live their lives. Even the apostle John encouraged believers to be vigilant. He said, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

To ensure that we are not deceived, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32). Indeed, Satan masquerades as an angel of light and will deceive many. The best way to test whether the teachings we hear are from God is to search the scriptures. If these teachings align with the Word of God, then they are from God. Believers today need to follow the pattern set by the believers in Berea. We are told that “the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11).

In the midst of this wild ride that we are in, we can best secure ourselves by buckling up with the belt of truth. There are four truths (BELT) that we need to fully understand to make our journey successful.

B - Be born again. The journey that we are in is heavenward. Therefore, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3). It is when we are born again that we can tackle and understand spiritual things. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12). Only by our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can we have safe passage to heaven, for he said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6).

E - Endure in the faith. The apostle Peter encouraged us to be vigilant so that we can keep the faith. He said, “Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position” (2 Peter 3:17).

L - Learn obedience. Our journey is not always smooth sailing. The bumps that we encounter should teach us what obedience is. The Book of Hebrews tells us that “although he (Jesus) was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered” (Heb. 5:8). By his sufferings, Jesus learned that obedience requires some sacrifice. In his case, he had to die to be able to obey the Father’s will. Similarly, we need to learn obedience through what we suffer. We should be willing to make sacrifices to obey God. Let us also learn a lesson from our sufferings.

T - Trust in the Lord. We need to trust the Lord for our salvation. No one can save themselves from the corruption of this world. King David said, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7). The apostle Paul said that our salvation is only by the grace of God and not by our good works. Praise the Lord for his unfailing love. Let’s buckle up. Hallelujah!