Archive for the ‘devil’ Tag

OVERCOMING THE DEVIL’S WILES

We’re all in this worldly mess together. Evil lurks everywhere. “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

We all, at times, have thoughts critical of others enter our minds. Further, jealous feelings spring up in our hearts over others possessions or achievements. This is human nature. We easily find the thoughts and feelings too difficult to resist. We dwell on them and own them, thereby sinning. The devil tells us these are little sins; they don’t matter.

The word of God supplies a solution to resisting temptation: “Submit yourselves thereby to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:7,8). Develop a relationship with Jesus and abide in Him daily. He will give you His strength, making it possible for you to obey God’s law, as Jesus, Himself, was able to do perfectly while on earth, being tempted in every manner as we are tempted. When we resist the devil through Christ’s power, the devil flees from us because he knows he has no chance of overwhelming us. Then we can turn those initially critical thoughts to an acceptance that none of us is perfect. Also, we’ll transform the germ of jealous feelings over someone’s possessions into happiness for them and we’ll turn jealous urges over someone’s achievements into admiration of them.

Jesus offers us a promise we can internalize: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil 4:13). Many of us underestimate our ability to do what we are called to do by the Lord. That’s because we don’t recognize that the Lord will empower us if we believe in His ability to make marvelous things happen through us. We have to remember that we are His instruments and He is the Provider of success.

To work with the Lord requires a strong prayer life. We need to develop trust in Him to show us the way. He does this one step at a time. This is how God works when He is going to do something great. He doesn’t lay it all out ahead and let us agree or disagree that his plan will work for us, giving us a chance to bail. We need to trust Him one step at a time, in earnest prayer.

To have a relationship with God is imperative if we want to do His will. Only God can enable us to resist temptation. Only He can orchestrate His successes. Also, He is our only Friend who, if we seek Him in earnest prayer, always understands and can comfort.

God loves you. He is longing for you to tap into His strength, wisdom, and unconditional love. He wants you to have a full life. And being so endowed, you’ll be better able to introduce your family, friends, and even enemies to the love of your Lord and Savior.

—Scripture quotations taken from KJV—

HATRED CORRODES

I took a break from writing the other day and plugged in a video cassette, Son of the Morning Star. Yes, I know we have DVDs these days and also Blue Ray — whatever that is — but I am finding more and more that current movies made after the decline in use of the VCR don’t appeal to me anymore. There’s just too much of every vice depicted and gory visuals shown in today’s movies. They all too often also lack a good story line. So I’m revisiting VHS tapes.

Getting back to Son of the Morning Star. It’s the story of the interaction of Crazy Horse’s people, narrated by a young Indian squaw, with the American white man, narrated by General Custer’s wife, Libby. I abhored our ancestors’ hatred directed toward the American Indian and mourned the resulting defensive, survival mode of the Indians leading to the Indian Wars.

Surely, the Indians’ possession of the Plains and lands the white man wanted for himself cannot explain the atrocities perpetuated against the Indian. Could it be the color of their skin, or even a diverse culture that could explain such hatred precipitating the wars, senseless mass killings, and almost complete annihalation of the American Indian culture? How can such hatred exist? Why does the same type of hatred exist today with civil wars and ethnic cleansing? I’m watching this movie and I just don’t get it. All I know is that hatred corrodes our hearts. Any sense of decency we once possessed is replaced with pure evil.

And what is the source of such evil? Could it be the devil, Satan? Or could we be active creators of such evil when we become separated from God? Certainly the devil plays a role in our sin, but can we be protected from assenting to thoughts of hatred and evil behavior by coming to God and abiding in Christ? Is it possible not to sin? It is, in theory. Every morning we need to get up and talk with God, rededicating ourselves to Him, letting Him know we live this day only to serve Him. Then hatred will be left behind, dead in the dust.

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