Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17, 2011 … Satan’s Role in Our Trials

Passage of the Day: 1st Peter 5: 8 - 9 … 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

My Journal for Today: Having been in discipleship ministry now for many years, dealing with Satan’s stronghold of habitual sexual sin, I’ve always been drawn to the imagery of this passage. Here Peter gives believers a clear perspective on the devil’s role in the trials and temptations of life. And, I’m afraid, all too often, Christians come to feel that Satan is winning the war as he stalks us, roaring so loudly as to scare believers into thinking that his strength exceeds that of God, Himself.

It’s a lie from hell [!] into which we believers cannot be suckered. If we fall for it, like the stalking cat, the enemy will pounce on us and devour our testimonies and our witness. As Christians, we can take heed from the truths below about our prowling foe and the Lord Whom we follow …

SCRIPTURE: 1st John 4: 4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them [the forces of evil], because the One Who is in you [i.e., the Holy Spirit] is greater than the one [Satan] who is in the world.
SCRIPTURE: James 4: 7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
SCRIPTURE: 1st Cor. 10: 13No 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.

These, and other scripture passages like Is. 41: 10, Phil. 4: 13, 2nd Cor. 12: 9, Rom. 8: 31, and 2nd Tim. 1: 7, which I have embedded into my heart/mind over the years of discipleship, give me ample evidence and encouragement, from God’s own word, that we can, as Christians, always choose God’s way and resist Satan … even with the expectation of victory in this life (and most certainly the glorified victory in the next). An unbeliever or even a discouraged Christian cannot tell me that this is untrue; because I have experienced and walked in this truth for decades now.

We should take heart from the confrontation that Jesus had in the wilderness with the stalking enemy, recounted in Matthew 4 and/or Luke 4. Most certainly Jesus was/is the God-Man. However, as believing, born-again Christians, we can invoke the same power of God’s word from God’s Spirit to do what Paul claimed for believers; and that is to take captive of every thought to the obedience of Christ (see 2nd Cor. 10: 5).

Yes, we are in a spiritual war (see Eph. 6: 10 – 13); … BUT … we need not fear (again Romans 8: 31, 2nd Tim. 1: 7, and/or Isaiah 41: 10). We have the power to overcome and be overcomers like our Savior (see John 16: 33). God has given us access by His grace to his full armor as well as the high ground of prayer in the Spirit (see Eph. 6: 13 – 18). And as long as we stand with these, we will prevail!

I truly hope – and will pray below – that you know – AND BELIEVE – all the scriptures I’ve quoted above for my journal entry today. Because you have a roaring lion, in Satan, stalking you. No, not all of the tough circumstances of life are created by the stalking devil; but many of our trials are either his ploys or the result of our own ill-begotten choices. And we can/will only be overcomers IF we know and believe in those citations from God’s word which I’ve cited above. So, I pray that we all can be victorious against Satan in life as was our Savior in the wilderness (again, go read the first verses of Matt. 4 and/or Luke 4 for that story).

My Prayer Today: Lord, we who know You as Savior, stand with You, as our enemy stalks us. Help us to know and believe and use Your word to do battle with him. Amen

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