Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).
“The verb ginomai,” says W. E. Vine, rendered “be ye” means “become ye”; that is, “prove yourselves to be.” This indicates that up to this time their spiritual state had presented a contrast to what is now enjoined upon them.
The Greek word, hedraics, stedfast, literally means to be firmly seated, and is used to imply a fixed purpose of heart, a fixed purpose against allurements to evil. The Greek word, amelakinetos, unmoveable, suggests adherence to the faith against forces that would turn one aside from it, from allegiance to Christ.
The work of the Lord is to be distinguished from work for the Lord. The Lord’s work is that which He gives us to do. Much may be done for Him which we imagine to be service rendered to Him, but which is not conformed to His will and therefore is not His work in reality. The motive may be sincere, and the activity constant, but we need to be sure that what is done is according to the Scripture of truth for only such work is given by Him.
If the Lord has given you a work to do, Satan will do everything in his power to hinder it. He may present other things more enticing, such as making money and getting rich. He may assault you with slander, torment you with abuse, and set you to work defending your character. (This is the pride we must all watch out for). Remember, of all the prides, such as pride of race, and of face, the pride of grace is the worst. He may employ pious persons to lie about you, editors to assail you, and excellent men to slander you. You will have all the scribes and pharisees combined against you, the Sanhedrin judging you, and Judas standing by ready to sell you to your enemies for thirty pieces of silver. If you are doing the Lord’s work, can you expect anything else? Did He not say: “A man’s foes shall be they of his own household” (Mt. 10:36)? And “Ye shall be hated of all men for My Name’s sake” (Mt. 10:22)? Can you not see that all these things are Satan’s means to hinder your work, that he is really not fighting against you but against God? (Acts 5:39).
Go on about your work. If you stop to kick at every dog that barks at your heels, you will not make much progress. If you are doing the Lord’s work, no one can stop it, but Satan will use every possible means to hinder. He may come as a roaring lion to scare you, or as an angel of light to entice you. Be stedfast, unmoveable. Let us be like the great Apostle who could say, “None of these things move me” (Acts 20:24).
Reputation is what men think of you. Character is what God knows you to be. He never told you to defend either. If you seek to defend yourself, Satan will have accomplished his purpose. Keep on with your work, God will take care of your (His) interests.
You may be assaulted, slandered, wronged, insulted, wounded and rejected. You may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends, despised and rejected of men, as your Lord was, but He set His face stedfastly to go up to Jerusalem. Let the sceptics howl and rage but “Keep on becoming steadfast, unshaken” (A.T.R.). Though all the powers of darkness be arrayed against you; in vain the enemy doth oppose. If you try to appease the wrath of man or to please him, you will be pleasing Satan. “If I yet pleased men, I should not be the bond-servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10, T. New.).
Be sure you are in the will of the Lord as revealed in His Word and then go straight forward, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left, till you finish the work He gave you to do. Then you will hear Him say; “Well done thou good and faithful bond-servant” (Mt. 25:21, T. New). Those who seem to be your best friends may prove to be your worst enemies. (Jer. 17:5). They will often seek to turn you aside from God’s way to their’s. Listen to the voice of God, not man. “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” Let the Lord Jesus Christ be your object, forgetting the things that are behind, —and on both sides (Phil. 3:13,14).
Christians, in your sev’ral stations
Dutiful to all relations,
Give to each his proper due.
Let not their unkind behaviour
Make you disobey your Saviour;
His command’s the rule for you.
Adapted — Henry Palmieri