Satan is the enemy to those who want to follow Christ, to those who are called according to God’s purpose. Satan is the enemy even to unbelievers. We as Christians know that the devil hates us. He hates us because we love God. I wish unbelievers knew just how much Satan really hates them too. He may “appear” to be happy with them because of their pride, immorality, and material possessions. But he hates them just the same. Satan likes to see people do his work on this planet, whether they are Christian or not.
Satan’s true hatred is toward the Almighty God. He wants to do everything he can to us so that we grieve the Holy Spirit, demean Jesus Christ, whatever it takes.
I think what the devil loves most is stealing and destroying any kind of joy in a Christian’s life. I think he gets his biggest kicks out of doing this to us. Sometimes I feel like I fall so easily to this sneaky trick. Doesn’t it anger you to think he does this? Even worse, we allow him to do it!
One way Satan kills our joy is to doubt ourselves. I’ve been doing this allot lately! And quite frankly, I’m tired of allowing him to steal my confidence and my joy. Today was a very stressful day at work but I find my peace and rest when spending time with the Lord and reading his Word. The Lord has been reminding me that He is there and will take care of me; to not stress and to do the best I can. God will even put people in our presence to give us encouragement and to remind us that He is watching and is with us.
I had a customer tell me that I have a “light” about me. Comes to find out, they were a Christian and we had a quick talk about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It made my day for someone to see me like this. I wasn’t sure I ever really portrayed a difference by my mannerisms. It reaffirmed my love for Christ and that even in the midst of chaos we can still allow Jesus to shine through us for strangers to see. Satan tried to steal my confidence and joy that day but,
“Greater is He that is in me, than he that is the world”.
….take THAT Satan.
BIBLE READING: PHILIPPIANS 3:12-14
Step Six – “We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
Getting entirely ready to have God remove “all” our defects of character sounds impossible. In reality we know that such perfection is out of human reach. This is another way of saying that we are going to do our best work toward a lifelong goal that no none ever reaches until eternity.
The apostle Paul expressed a similar thought: “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be…Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven” (Phil. 3:12-14).
This combination of a positive attitude and energetic effort is part of the mystery of our cooperation with God. Paul said: “Be even more careful to put into action God’s saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, and giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him”.
We will need to practice these steps the rest of our life. We don’t have to demand perfection of ourself; it is enough to keep moving ahead as best we can. We can look forward to our rewards with the hope of becoming all that God intends us to be. God will strengthen and encourage us as we do so.
Bible Reading: Judges 16:1-31
We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction and that our lives had become unmanageable.
When we refuse to admit our powerlessness we are only deceiving ourselves. The lies we tell ourselves and others are familiar: “I can stop any time I want to.” “I’m in control; this one won’t hurt anything.” And all the while, we are inching closer to disaster.
Samson was one of Israel’s judges. As a child, he had been dedicated to God and God had gifted him with supernatural strength. But Samson had a lifelong weakness—the way he related to women. Samson was especially blinded to the dangers he faced in his relationship with Delilah. His enemies were paying her to discover the secret of his strength. Three times she begged Samson to tell her his secret. Each time she set him up and tried to hand him over to the enemy. Three times Samson lied to her and was able to escape. But each time he got closer to telling her the truth. Finally, Samson revealed his secret, was taken captive, and died a slave in enemy hands.
Samson’s real problem can be found in the the lies he told himself. By not admitting his powerlessness, he remained blind to the obvious danger that his pride and desire for beautiful foreign women were leading him into. This caused him to gradually inch his way toward an untimely death.
We need to be careful not to fall into a similar trap. As we learn to acknowledge our powerlessness over our addictive/compulsive tendencies daily, we will become more aware of behaviors that will likely lead us to destruction.