Posts Tagged ‘Satan’

Comfortable Christianity

The devil is an interesting character. Many Christians believe that the devil is constantly out to get us, to show us things that will shake our faith in Christ. While it’s true that those kinds of things do happen, we often forget that Satan is a master of deceit. His best weapons against those who have already accepted Christ as Lord and Savior are not shocking things. No, as C.S. Lewis so eloquently captured in “The Screwtape Letters,” the easiest weapon to use against Christians is COMPLACENCY.

Think about it for a minute. The devil’s already lost the war for your soul. What does he have left? The truth is that the best thing he can do with you is keep you from leading others to the truth. This is a victory that the devil has had over me personally for a really long time. I was immersed in “comfortable Christianity,” where I know I’m saved and everything’s peachy. I go to church, pray to Him, read my Bible occasionally, and generally understand what it means to be a Christian. He’s doing the “sanctifying work” in my heart, so I’m on the straight and narrow path to an eternity in heaven. Sounds great, right?

Until recently. Things have been happening that have moved me at the core of who I thought I was. Scripture doesn’t call us to complacency; we’re to act on our knowledge! James 1:22 says, “But don’t just listen to God’s Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise you are only fooling yourselves.” Jesus Himself made an allusion to it when He said in Luke 8:16, “No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.” While His direct reference is to the idea that everything we’ve done will be brought to light, it also is telling of what we will do with the light that we have found. Will we keep it under our bed, safe and secure but helping no one? Or will we let it shine? Will we go out and give it away so that others can see?

Jesus goes one step further. In Luke 14:34-35, He tells us what our faith is like if we don’t act on it: “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.” Faith without works is dead; it’s not even worth using on manure!

Doesn’t it feel like “comfortable Christianity” is losing its saltiness? Are we really any good when we’re reactive and not proactive? How often does the phrase, “Let me know what I can do,” escape from your lips? Too often from mine, that’s for sure. Imagine how we could change the world if instead of asking what we could do to help, we were the ones suggesting help or just picking up a shovel and doing the work without any mention.

The time has long passed in each of our lives to keep our Light hidden. He is out there working, and He’s leaving us in the dust. If we really want to emulate Christ, then lets be doers of the Word, and not just hearers. Let’s let go of our complacency, and not let Satan win any battles just because he lost the war. Let’s change our aim from “Well done, good and faithful believer” to “Well done, good and faithful servant.” The reward is infinitely great; give that reward to someone else today.

I Know God Cares. Does the Devil?

You ever have one of those weeks where it seems like you are under significant spiritual attack? I’m having one of those this weeks.

It started at work. Last Friday my computer basically blew up on me. It turns out that the hard drive was massively corrupted and they had to replace it. I was without all of my stuff for 3 1/2 business days, including information on a project I’m being paid for outside of work. I thought I had lost all of that information and was going to have to start over. What a drag.

Then on Monday night/Tuesday morning, I couldn’t fall asleep because I had some tremendous back pain. In fact, it was so bad that I ended up vomiting twice from the pain. WIFE seriously thought I might be having a heart attack, though I’m pretty sure it was just ridiculous back spasms. Ended up losing a lot of sleep and still having some residual pain, though it’s been much better since.

Then Tuesday morning, heading out to the driveway to leave for work, I found the passenger-side window to my car bashed in. It looks like someone tried to steal the car, because the ignition cap was popped off. I can’t believe they didn’t get it, because the car doesn’t have an alarm. But now we are sans one car until the window can get replaced.

I told WIFE after the car incident something to the effect of, “I must be doing something to tick off the devil, because he’s working me really hard right now.” Even as I thought of that, it gave me comfort to know that I am in God’s arms through all of this. 1 Corinthians 10:13 feels applicable right now: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” It would be super easy for me to just get angry and depressed about everything. Yet as WIFE took me to work on Tuesday, we both just had peace about the whole situation, because we knew God would work it out.

And it seems He is doing that. He is blessing us with opportunities at church. I got my computer back at work yesterday, and from when they initially told me they weren’t going to be able to recover anything, they recovered ALL of my files, including the paid job ones. The thieves didn’t steal the car, probably because our motion lights scared them off, or maybe it was something else, we don’t know. I just get the feeling like God protected that car for us. We’re able to manage fine on one car, and this gives us a chance to see how it’s going to work when we return our leased car in November and are down to one car for a couple of months.

So Satan, if you’re reading this, nice shots. You almost had me down. But I’ve got someone in my corner who’s tougher than you, and He’s taken over the fight for me. You lose; He wins. Thanks God for caring enough about me to fight my battles. I love you.

Hate To Say It, Guys, But It’s the Man’s Fault

I was doing my study yesterday morning when I came across something that both discouraged and encouraged me. For reference sake, I am currently reading through “Four Pillars of a Man’s Heart” by Stu Weber, and I’m really enjoying it without even having gotten to the first pillar. I’m sure I’m being set up for some rewarding and convicting stuff, if the first few introductory chapters are any indication.

In his third chapter, titled “The Four Pillars in Eden,” he outlines that God gave commands to Adam before He even created Eve, and that these commands could be construed as part of each of the pillars in the book. These pillars are: 1) Servant-King, 2) Tender Warrior, 3) Wise Mentor and 4) Faithful Friend. The book further illustrates that though Eve may have committed the first sin, the responsibility for this fell on Adam, for when Adam and Eve were hiding to due to their shame, the Bible says “God said to the man (emphasis mine), ‘Where are you?'” This can easily be thought of as God saying “Where were you?”

Adam was either not around or not strong enough to step between Eve and the serpent, failing as Tender Warrior, he did not give her enough counsel on God’s command regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thus failing as Wise Mentor, and was aloof enough to not stop Eve from eating of the tree, thus failing as Faithful Friend. These were the responsibilities of Adam as the man in the relationship, and this failure is why in both the Old and New Testaments, the authors of the Bible refer to sin entering the world as “the sin of Adam,” for he was charged with these commands and failed to live up to the task.

For all male readers, pretty convicting stuff, no? Isn’t it wild to think that the sins of your spouse, girlfriend, etc. can be attributed to you as well, because it is your responsibility to care for her? This is why it says in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, (exactly) as Christ loved the church,” because if we wholly devote ourselves to loving and caring for the women in our lives, we can help to fulfill and uphold God’s commands for us and our families.

Whew! I’m excited to learn more, and as I do, I’ll post it on here for any readers, so hopefully you can glean something from this too.