«Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work» (2 Thessalonians 2: 15—17).
PASTOR MARK FINLEY RECOUNTS the story of certain researchers in the United States who were studying the central nervous system, wanting to discover how much pressure an individual was able to withstand. In the experiment they placed a lamb in a corral with twelve feeding spots. There was an electrical stimulus in all of them. When the lamb ate, the scientists gave it an electric shock. The lamb recoiled, ran away, and never came back to the place where it had been hurt. They continued the experiment, giving electrical shocks in all the feeding stations until the trembling lamb fell dead as a result of nervous tension.
The researchers then put this lamb’s twin in the same corral, but alongside its mother. When it was eating, the scientists gave it an electric shock. Immediately the lamb ran and snuggled up to its mother. To the astonishment of the scientists, after a few minutes, the lamb returned to the feeding spot, where it had been given the electric shock. The researchers did the same thing again. At that moment, the lamb simply looked at its mother and kept eating.
How can we permanently take refuge in «our Lamb» in order to face the electric shocks of the enemy, seeking our exhaustion and death? These are the ways:
Believe in the Word. God loves everyone, but that love becomes valid in those who believe. God chooses, but we need to accept. God knocks, but we need to open. The enemy seduces and imposes, while God offers and pleads.
Retain the Word. Paul anticipated a future rebellion against the truth. It should be retained, stored, and guarded. The lies of the enemy stand in contrast with the truth of the Word. Martin Luther said, «Peace if possible, truth at all costs,» because «truth is of more importance to a church than peace» (J. C. Ryle).
Live the Word. It is not enough to believe and hold. We must live the Word and apply it daily. If we say we believe the Word, and hold the Word, but do not live the Word we are hypocrites. It is as someone once said, «I’d rather live with an honest atheist than with a hypocritical Christian.»
Only by «taking refuge in the Lamb» can we believe, hold, and live the truth,and only by believing holding and living the truth will we soon be able to move from the holding pen of sin into the Lord’s ultimate fold.