Warning: This post is not to taken casually, this is not something to be taken lightly. Your very life and more importantly your eternal soul are at stake.
For those of you who dare call yourself christian, a child of God, a disciple of Christ, I want you to take this to heart. God did not call you into a life of sin, of compromise, of apathy, of conformity. God did not save you to give you your best life now. This life is not for the faint of heart, and this walk definitely isn’t a frolic through the tulips, or tip toeing and skipping in a garden.
We are in an all out war, and the enemy is out for blood. There are daily casualties, and injuries abound. This world is fallen, and it is under the control of a heinous and deceptive lord. He hates you, he hates what is good, and all that resembles God; so the moment you claim to have flipped jerseys, he’s coming after you with his guns cocked and fully loaded. The more you live for God, the stronger he comes after you. Believe me the devil has hired a hit man to take you out, and the sooner you realize that the greater chance you have to survive.
For those of you who think I am just talking out the side of my mouth I encourage you to read Matthew 4 and Luke 4. Specifically, I want us to look at Luke 4:13, but before that I want to give some brief context.
Jesus was going through his hell week, which literally turned out to be a hell month. The gospel accounts depict Jesus going through this sort of boot camp, where he is being tested and equipped for the battle at hand. For those of you familiar with the X men series he is in a sort of danger room. It is here that the foundations of his public ministry are being established; if Jesus fails here his whole mission would be aborted. The whole 30 years of his earlier life will have been wasted. The devil knows this and chooses to attack; if he succeeds here he will have succeeded in destroying God’s plan for salvation and further securing his grip on this earthly kingdom. He knows that Christ is coming to snatch his kingdom away, he also knows that his time is short, but he is going to fight anyway. He has been studying Jesus and has been looking for the right time to attack waiting for the opportune time.
Jesus is now at one his weakest points; his body has been pushed to its limits, both physically and emotionally. Jesus has been without food or water for 40 days, during this time the devil strikes. Jesus, understands the seriousness of this battle, and understands that no matter how tempting he cannot compromise or give into the devil’s charms; there are greater things at stake. He knows the treasures that Satan offers are fool’s gold, and though Jesus is weak, he has been sustained with the manna from heaven, and defeats the enemy by speaking God’s word. It is here that we come upon verse 13
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time
Christians understand this, just because you have one victory, does not mean you will not be tempted again. The devil is unrelenting in is attack. He is studying you, surveying you; he knows your weaknesses, what you like and what you don’t like. He is just waiting for that opportune time when your weaknesses are exposed and your defenses are down to strike again. As a brief aside, the actual devil is not really assigned to you, but he does have one of his henchmen, his goons. The devil saves his energy going after entire nations, or in special cases the big fish; Jesus.
You see I am writing this because we need to understand that we are at war. Ephesians 6 (Msg) says
This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. 13-18Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own.
Don’t you understand church, this is about the kingdom. This is about gaining ground. Do you understand that in war it is important to recognize what territories are controlled by the enemy and which are controlled by God. Don’t you understand that you yourself are part of the territory. The bible says you are God’s temple, you are God’s house. The devil hates God and all that resembles God. He desires to rob you of your joy, your purpose, your health, your witness, and most of all your faith.
His primary means of attack is to keep our eyes from believing and hearing God. He does that by shifting our focus away from the eternal into the temporary. He has us hooked on movies, sitcoms, music, sports, school, work, alcohol, partying, drugs etc etc. He knows the more we look and listen to God the stronger we get. So even when we start to go to church he gets us to idolize the preachers and leaders and worship team; that way when they fall or stumble; as he attacks them; he can get the church to stumble as well. Its like Jenga, pull out one piece, and the whole tower falls. He gets churches to shift their focus off of the eternal state of our souls.
Churches have stopped giving the gospel message of repentance, and the need for holiness, the reality of hell, the second coming of Christ and have focused on how to become more blessed, more anointed, more happy, more rich. We are taught popular psychology, and from best sellers instead of the eternal Word of truth, which alone can save us. He has inverted the order to where our focus even in worship is on ourselves and what we need, and what we can get,instead of the majesty and wonder of God. We need to get our eyes on him, on eternity. Christ is coming soon, and the devil has us worried about or bills, or what so and so did, or what’s the next album coming out. I know now I’m going on a rant, but in so many cases this is true, and I speak even out of my own life. That’s why I love Jesus’ teachings. They are so simple to understand but so profound. Matthew 6:33 tells us that we should seek his kingdom first. Know that making God’s kingdom a priority is never easy and comes at a price; your life. There are times you will not understand what’s going on, times you are confused, times you are weak, times you fill betrayed by men, let down by leaders, by yourself, but God calls us to put our trust in him.
David understood this in his own life because he had been let down by leaders, and as a leader he had let down his people. So he says this (Psalms 118:8-9)
It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in princes
I know in my own life that even thought I strive to live for God, I would never want anyone to put their trust in me. I am oh to aware of my own problems and weaknesses, so I say place your trust in God. You don’t have to understand everything, you will never understand everything, but you are called to believe and trust in him. The devil knows that if he can get you to question God, his existence, his church, his character, his word, he has you. Remember he comes when you are weak.
My brothers and sisters, my original intent was to write about how we need boundaries in our lives; guard rails to keep us from falling, and God willing that will be my next blog. However I believe that there are many who need to be encouraged and warned. You are at war, and in every war there are injuries and casualties. A casualty only occurs when you lose faith for good. Injuries do occur, but God is a Jehovah Raffa our healer. Let him heal your hearts. If you are living in sin, repent for he is near the broken hearted and the contrite in spirit. God is love, but the wrath of hell does abide on all who refuse to repent, who harbor unforgiveness, and unbelief. If you have any prayer requests or concerns you can email me. I’d like to help you. Keep me in your prayers, as I keep you in mine. He is coming soon, don’t be caught not looking up.