1 Peter 5:8Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.~I had a very "A-ha!" kind of moment this morning as I was spending time with the Lord. Again I woke up discouraged. Rather than being able to focus on all the things that God is ordaining for his glory I found myself again only seeing the devil's handiwork. It appears that he is working overtime in his role as ruler of the kingdom of the air. I don't tend to give the devil any more credit than he is due as I know whom he has to go through to achieve any of his work, I know who really has everything under His control and I know that we as sinful beings do a mighty fine job of messing things up ourselves. But it is still so easy to only see short sighted what is happening around us. He seems to be on overtime around here.
As I was having my little pity party I realized what I was doing. I have responded, finally, to God's prompting to hide his word deep in my heart by taking the challenge to memorize Ephesians this year. For the past 2 1/2 months I have spent time nearly daily in Ephesians focusing on God's word in a very different way~ writing it, memorizing it, reciting it, letting it sink in in a way like never before. No wonder the devil did not like it. No wonder I have been feeling so attacked in my very soul. We as Christians, God's elect, live as strangers here. This world should not be our comfort, nor should we look for our comfort from it. We live in enemy territory, and as Trent has been reading about King Solomon it is easy to get sucked into the lifestyle of a foreign land. King Solomon had 700 wives whom he longed to please by building temples and idols to each of their Gods, little-by-little forsaking his God and losing his soul along the way. (1 Kings 11)
What is Peter's answer? Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:9-11)
Stand firm in the word. Watch for the attacks~ the wedges that cause division, the bitterness that causes years of pain, the discouragement that takes our focus off of Christ and what He did on the cross, the little justifications that lead us astray from the Word of God. Finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13)
And to you, Laura and Maddie my partners in this challenge, and Alexis who has taken on her own challenge, I will remember to keep you in my prayers a bit more as the challenge continues. Now, after all that encouragement....... anybody else want to join us??? Go deep, you only live once, and we have an eternity to look forward to of telling our stories of what Christ did in our lives when we were obedient to the good works which he prepared in advance for us to do.