The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”
1 Peter 3:12 (NLT)
Note from Kip…
There are good days and there are those really bad days. Then there are those weeks were it seems like we simply can not get away from looming problems.
There is an old saying, “Into every life a little rain must fall.” Like a lot of adages, this one bears a lot of truth.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Matthew 5:44-45 (HCSB)
There indeed are constants that exist in this world. The sun goes up. The sun goes down. The turning of seasons causes a regular pattern of change around the globe. To some degree, the dispersion of good things and bad things are dispersed fairly evenly as the baseline for human experience.
But then there are the other influences that come into play. Our own folly can lead to trauma in our lives. I am also certain of the hand of God, setting things up to teach us lessons and to combat a stubborn heart. But there is yet another influence that can and does bring on those ‘bad days”.
What Brought This Up
Yesterday was Wednesday and our usual Bible study at church in the evening. We have a great group of men that assemble together to study God’s Word and it’s application to our lives.
These men in general as a group are pursuing the Lord’s will for their lives with zeal and focus. Any one of them, can step up and deliver insight in both God’s Word and it’s application.
So last night, as I was listening to what they had been doing on the application side of God’s Word and then the difficulties that they experienced earlier this week that seemed to be a direct result, I realized something and then pastor said it best, “The more we seek God’s presence in our lives, the more the devil is going to attempt to put pitfalls in our path”.
That’s a bit paraphrased, but is accurate to the point.
I realized that a good number these men had been under aggressive attack by the enemy, myself included.
Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.
Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.
1 Peter 5:8-9 (HCSB)
Brothers and Sisters, this foe is real. His attacks on us are not just trivial mishaps that are bound to come into everyones life. They are intentional. They are brought on with a specific purpose. We need to be able to identify when it is happening and be prepared to combat it effectively, so that we are effective in our service to God an are not deterred by the devils diversions.
Diversion is exactly what it is.
Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 (HCSB)
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.
James 4:10 (HCSB)
Now this is fairly simple stuff, but when we are facing the enemy, it is easy enough to loose sight of these truths. That’s precisely what the devil has in mind, distract us from what we know, to focus on that which he’s placed in front of us.
I’ve not gotten this down to a science by any stretch of the imagination. I get snared. I’m not ashamed to admit it. If you are pursuing God’s will in your life and being obedient to Him, the devil has every intent to do what he can to side track your efforts. Because your efforts Glorify God, and he hates that. He will do everything in his power to subvert our faithfulness to God’s Word and God’s plan for us, everything!
Which is a curious observation, as well. If we are not facing resistance from the evil one, then perhaps we are doing exactly what he hopes we will, and therefore are not a threat to him. Think about it.
Waging This War
You know this. The most powerful weapon in our arsonal is God’s Word itself. Careful, because the enemy knows it as well, and will try to turn it around and use it against us. But the closer we draw to the Word, and make it active in our lives, the greater our resolve.
Also incidentally, the greater threat we are to the devil, the more he will scheme to get us off track.
Don’t go for surface knowledge of God’s Word. Dig deep and integrate it into your very life, because it is the Word of Life!
Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.
Philippians 2:16 (NLT)
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life — that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us — what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may have fellowship along with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:1-3 (HCSB)
God’s Word; The Word of Life, becoming a part of us. In us. Through us. Surrounding our being. It is the Sword of Salvation in the armor of God. It is our greatest defense and most powerful weapon against these attacks.
Remembering always this:
You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
1 John 4:4 (HCSB)
We’ve already won the victory. Satan’s lost and he knows it. He just doesn’t want to accept it. But we are the victors in Christ Jesus.
I’ll finish today with another adage that I like to consider.
God will never bring you to something,
that He is not ready to carry you through.
And it is equally as true. We have been given the tools of success; we only need to use them. We have the power of God’s grace and strength to compensate for our shortcomings. He wants us to be victorious over satan. And we can be.