You have heard it said that “the good is the enemy of the best.” There are many ways that
Satan can keep your walk with God from being vital to the lives of others. Just as he got Adam to take his eyes off of the prize of sustained dependence upon and fellowship with God, so too he has a myriad of ways to do that with us. Anything that we want more than God in our lives, anything that we transfer our dependency for life or happiness on, anything that shifts our focus off of God can become an idol in our life and break our fellowship with God rendering us useless to his work. If it is true what God said in Jn 17:3 “This is eternal life that they know you and Jesus Christ…” then Satan’s objective is to prevent you from really knowing God personally –thus he wants you to die. When you don’t know him, then you cannot trust him nor can you teach others what you know about him. When you don’t know that he has your back, you won’t even be able to step out by faith to serve him. Simple, all he has to do is distract you enough to never spend time with God and then he has you where he wants you – dormant, asleep, and utterly useless. Picture credit: http://www.compassionheart.com –
Submit Yourselves to God
4 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. 11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who sees in secret what your heart wants most. Your heart is desperately wicked so that you do not even know it. But I do. I know your plans, wants, longings. I know the secret motives because I know why you want what you want before you do. You may say your motives are pure, but you cannot fool me. I reward those who I see as truly humble and who do not have an agenda for personal gain. This is why I am not interested in your promises of future service, in making any deals or your hollow vows, because I know your future as to whether you would fulfill them. Until you change your laughter to morning in humility and contriteness now and live genuinely for MY interests and glory, you cannot expect me to lift you up in the future.
I know when I am not wanted
I AM the Lord and there is no other. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” “Thou shalt love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” Your sinful nature desires anything and everything for personal gain other than me. But you must remember who I AM. Only when you see me as high and lifted up like Isaiah did, will you repent of your sinfulness and become useful to my work. Only when you see My Glory like Moses did, will you realize your rightful place before me and become the most humble person on earth like he was. Only when you see me shining like the sun as did Peter, James and John did on the mount of transfiguration will you be in a place to properly serve me as the king of kings. Only when you recognize me like Saul of Tarsus did while laying in the dust will you be at a place where I will also answer your question – “Who are you Lord?” and then will you be able to know me and make me known to others. What do you want most in this life? You can’t have it both ways because I AM a jealous God. I know when I am not wanted. You will either love me or hate the other or the other way around.
“What is it that you want most”
If you know that I want you to live justly, love mercy and to walk humbly before me, then know too that the devil, your sinful nature as well as the world wants you to do just the opposite. The choice is yours. “Choose this day who you will serve.” I want you to want what I want. Since you have been raised with Christ, set your affections on things above. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Until you have a proper understanding of who I AM, you will always just compare yourself against other fallible humans. If you want a supernatural lifestyle, you have to compare yourself against me and in humility let me do what is necessary in you to live my life through you.
Satan is out to kill you
Beware the devil is your enemy as well as God’s enemy but he cannot make you do wrong. He cannot kill you outright. But how hurtful would it be to God for Satan get you to kill yourself? Satan does this by distracting you from the purpose that God created you and saved you for and gets you to choose to disobey and forsake God, sayings like the following point this objective clearly to us. “And I did it my way”, “Be all that you can be”, “At Burger King you can have it your way”, “to chase the American dream”, “to grab all the gusto you can get”, “to fight for your rights”. He says that since “it is a jungle out there, only the fittest will survive.” He wants you to want to buy into any philosophy other than recognizing the Lord and humbling yourself before him. This truly makes Satan our great murderer. Even though he knows he cannot change our eternal standing in Christ, every day he tries to kill our relationship with God so that we live as walking, talking dead men.
Adam lost the wonder of God’s presence as “familiarity breeds contempt.” It is beyond me how that could have happened. How can the eternally wise God become old hat enough for him, or us for that matter, to choose disobedience when his mercies are new every morning if we would desired to see them? Yet we face these same choices every day. Do we want to walk humbly with our God and creator or do we want all the things in this world that we think will make us happy?
Everything in this world can become an idol in our lives making us spiritual adulterers and idol worshipers and leads to craving more and more the thing that is taking us away from God. When we seek the gift rather than the giver, we place undo emphasis on those particular objects or activities and are in danger of leaving our one true love – God, for idols which can never satisfy. Then in order for us to acquire them we covet, scheme and fight against our brothers in the power of the flesh regardless of God’s desires for us; wondering the whole time why God doesn’t answer our prayers. It behooves us to seek him as hidden treasure, a pearl of great price, and as pure gold. “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” No wonder David says “As a deer pants for the water so my soul longs after you.” “For where your heart is, there will your treasure be also.” Look at what you spend your money on, and you will answer the question of what you truly love most. Look at how you try to attain them, and you will see whether your agenda is God’s or yours.
More to come,