We are so easily distracted by the cares and pleasures of this world. Knowing he is defeated, Satan has brilliantly crafted a strategy that is making certain that he doesn’t go down alone. His entire purpose is to thwart the plans of God, delay his own inevitable demise, and keep you and me as far away from God as possible. He accomplishes this through altering our focus. As followers of Jesus, our focus should always be on two things: God Himself and serving others in His name. Everything else in life will make sense if we are keeping our focus solely on these two areas.
Archives for August 2014
I love the following quote from A.W. Tozer; he said, “Not death, but sin, should be our great fear”. Every so often, surveys are done asking people what their greatest fears are. Death is always high on the list, and public speaking usually tops it. You’ll also see things like heights, snakes, and being confined in a small space. Not once have I ever seen sin on any poll results. Apparently sin is nothing to be afraid of in the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens. Yet sin is the only thing that can keep us from spending all of eternity with the loving God who breathed life into our very souls.
My wife and I recently had the opportunity to spend some time in the mountains. It was the first time in a very long time I’ve experienced the beauty of God’s creation in that setting. One cannot help but be in awe of the Creator when you stare up at trees that are impossibly tall and marvel at the seemingly infinite number of them congregating together. As my wife noted, it made knowing the number of hairs on your head easy compared to the sheer volume of trees we were witnessing. Perhaps it was all the more impressive for a city dweller like myself, but realizing God knows the number of trees and watches over every creature and critter inhabiting those mountains was nothing short of breath-taking.
Satan is subtle in his attacks. Most often we don’t attribute our struggles to the work of the devil. I don’t know at what point we began to lose the recognition of demonic activity. Everything that is true, good, pure, and peaceful is of God (Philippians 4:8). That means everything else is not of God, which in my system of beliefs, points to the devil. Until you learn to recognize your enemy, you will never be able to defeat him. Instead we live in a state of blissful ignorance, unaware of the attack, and incapable of defending ourselves against it. In other words, we become the victim.
Jesus made it clear that we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). The Bible also states that darkness cannot coincide with light (I John 1:5; John 8:12; John 12:46; 1 Thessalonians 5:5). We can’t fill our lives with darkness and expect the presence of God to be evident within us. We spend too much time pursuing our desires and counting on God to bail us out when things don’t go our way. If you’ve been following Jesus for any amount of time, you realize it doesn’t work that way. As creatures of freewill, we have the ability to limit the power and presence of God in our lives. The more we fill our lives with sin and things not of God, the less room we have for Him.