Read: Hebrews 11:32-12:4
In Heb. 12:4, sin is personified as a feared gladiator with whom we must do battle. We must put on the armour of God and faithfully resist the onslaughts of evil with all the powers at our command. This is a lifelong struggle, and the cost may be very high.
In the 17th century a young girl named Maria Durant lived in the south of France. She was intelligent and attractive, and life was joyful to her. She was also a devout Christian and unashamed to speak out for her Lord. Soon the persecution in that area became so severe that her witness was no longer tolerated. She refused to be silent, however, and as a result was imprisoned. For 38 years, while life with its pleasures passed her by, she maintained a wonderful testimony. Her valiant stand for the truth was costly, but rather than yielding to pressure and renouncing her Lord, she stood firm in her commitment. Although her imprisonment would deny her the joys of marriage and family life, she would not compromise her faith. The years of hardship finally exhausted her strength, and she died a martyr’s death. Maria Durant had not only lived a life of inward holiness but had also “resisted to bloodshed” the outward tide of evil. Tourists still go and look with respect and sadness at the word scratched on that prison wall: Resistez – resist!
Heb. 12:4 says, “You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.” You may or may not be imprisoned for your faith in the Lord, but how courageously do you fight sin in your own life? Are you waging war against the pull of sin in your life with the same seriousness and steadfastness as a soldier in battle not ready to accept defeat? How strong is your commitment to Jesus?