1 Corinthians 16:13 "Ingredients of Faithfulness" (Shield of Faith - Week 3)

1 Corinthians 16:13 "Ingredients of Faithfulness" (Shield of Faith - Week 3)

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. (ESV)

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. (NIV)

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. (NLT)

Dive Deeper:

Inspiration Without Ingredients

About a year ago, I randomly got into making homemade bread. I wanted to know how to make that fresh, doughy, buttery goodness that store-bought bread doesn’t have. The problem was that I was a train wreck in the kitchen. I’m certainly not a talented chef. Although I had this great desire to make bread, without the proper instruction, it didn’t translate practically. I first had to find the right ingredients and know how to use them effectively.

Many of us desire to have a strong faith. We hope to do great things because of our faith, but many of us struggle to find the right ingredients that form a life of faith. If fresh homemade bread is like a life of faith, then 1 Corinthians 16:13 points to the ingredients we must take hold of to make it. Guard your ground, stand firm, be courageous, and be strong.

Watch Closely and Go From There

So, what does it mean to be watchful? It starts with our attention. Are we aware of the enemy's tactics to steer us away from a deep life of faith? Often, we can be aware of the apparent sins to avoid: lust, greed, and outbursts of anger, but are we paying attention to the small, sneaky ways the enemy attacks? Peter reminds us, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8). Are we watchful over our lives in the ways the enemy is trying to shape us further away from the image of Jesus? We must be watchful of those slow ways we can move away from Christ-likeness; otherwise, we will wake up one day and realize just how far we have drifted. 

Watchfulness is like the flour, the base ingredient in a deep life of faith because, without it, the enemy will inevitably overtake us time and time again. From a place of watchfulness, we can add the other ingredients: being aware enough to stand firm in the truth, having courage in the face of adversity, and being strong when the enemy presses us to compromise. This is all done in partnership as we desperately rely on God.

Faith As Partnership

Biblical faith is not us moving through life on our own carelessly, wavering in fear and weakness. Faith is trusting in Jesus and partnering with Him through the work of the Spirit in our lives. Any partnership requires participation. We are built up in our faith as we consistently hold ourselves before God, allowing His grace to transform us. Part of holding ourselves before God is watching over our life, standing firm, being courageous and strong. This is slow, long work, but they are the ingredients to a deep life of faith we all long for. As Jon Tyson says, “The joy and satisfaction that come from being faithful to Christ will always be richer than the mere ease that comes from drifting along the cultural currents.” So, if you want good bread, you must first know the good ingredients.

Written by Ben Hesch



Consider how the enemy has won battles in your life. Are you watchful over those areas? How could you grow in being watchful and staying awake to his lies and temptations? Put those steps in place.


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