FROM THE HEART
Relevant blogs about living as a Christian in the world today.
VICTORY OR DEFEAT?
The troubles that happen in our lives are used by the Lord to show us what is in our hearts and needs to be corrected. The Lord loves us fully, with pure and perfect love, and does not enjoy our suffering, but only in hard times are our weaknesses revealed. The Lord never forces us to do what is right, because He has given us free will. We ourselves, must choose to renounce whatever is wrong and ask Him to help us change.
Have you ever wondered, why God allows the devil to attack us? There are several biblical scenarios that answer this question.
Whenever we sin, we do the will of the evil one (Romans 6:16), giving him the legal right to hurt us, until we ask God to forgive us. Sin opens the "spiritual door" for the enemy, and it seems he never misses the chance to use it.
Let's see how Jesus characterizes Satan:
Satan is the master of twisting the truth with lies and cunning deception. The thoughts he brings into our minds are not usually obvious sins, because we would not accept them. There are often grains of truth in the enemy’s temptation, so that we may fall into its trap. He uses things from our past, old worldly patterns of thinking, the opinions or actions of others, etc.
The devil has no power over us as born-again Christians because Jesus paid for our redemption and set us free from the power of sin. When we believe the enemy’s lies, we empower him to do to us what we believed. Job said, "For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me." (Job 3:25). We need to pay close attention to the thoughts that go through our minds, to identify what is coming from the evil one, and to oppose it.
The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, while the devil condemns us. When we lose our peace that comes from the presence of the Holy Spirit, we may have sinned. That is why we pray to the Lord to show us what we have done wrong, repent and ask for His forgiveness. If we continue to feel condemned after sincerely repenting, it is certain that the devil is the source of those accusations and not the Holy Spirit. And it is time to use the spiritual authority we have in the Name of Jesus Christ to resist the devil, as we read in James 4:7, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
But what do we do when the free will of another person causes us aggravation or suffering? For as long as we live on this earth, we are in relationships with our relatives, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and others. It is sad that the devil has access to some of them, as they have rejected Jesus and are not living by God's laws. There are also those who have chosen to obey the evil one and find pleasure in what is evil. We can handle the wickedness of those around us better, if we know that Jesus Christ, who is in our hearts, is greater than the devil who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Through the Lord we are already victorious. Even if we go through trials, we are not defeated. We pray for those who want to harm us to renounce their evil ways and be reconciled with God, and for us to keep our hearts pure without hatred and wickedness. By doing so we can keep our peace and trust in the Lord's protection during hard times. No matter how hard the season we are in is, it will end at some point, and the Lord certainly will not allow us to be hurt beyond our ability to endure. Our heavenly Father loves us to the fullest and wants us to make heaven. He will never, ever leave or forsake us. Praise God!
If we wholeheartedly desire to do God's will, nothing, not even physical death, can rob us of our salvation. Paul said in Philippians 1:21 that for him, "to live is Christ, and to die is gain." The life lived for Christ is a victorious life. When we see everything with a heavenly perspective, we can stop loving the world and the material things as we did before we were born-again. The more we seek to know God and have a heavenly focus, the better we handle the wickedness of men, and whatever goes wrong. If we know that physical death means just leaving this body and that our spirit will be instantly in the presence of Jesus, we do not fear death. On the contrary, in heaven there will be no suffering, sorrow, torment, or pain, only true eternal happiness.
No matter what we have to endure, let us stand firm knowing that God is on our side, wants the best for us, and will help us overcome anything and everything. The Lord "... heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." (Psalms 147:3) and it is worth it to praise Him and live for Him, no matter what happens in this world.