Orlando. Paris. Charlottesville. Barcelona. What do all these places have in common? They were the settings where evil manifested itself in the form of great loss, hatred, and pain. What do you and all these places and terrible events have in common?
The same force that drove those that committed these crimes is also after you and will stop at nothing to see you destroy yourself.
That’s right. God’s enemy, and your enemy, too, is constantly after you, throwing temptation after temptation at you, contorting the truth, and basically doing anything to lure you away from the light, truth, and hope of Jesus Christ.
At The Porch, we’re talking about the spiritual realities that surround us – unseen wars, worlds, and wonders. Last Tuesday we talked about the unseen reason for evil in the world. What does God’s Word tell us about these unseen enemies?
The Bible tells us that our struggle is not of this world, (Ephesians 6:12) Satan is not limited in his travels (Job 2:2), he is powerful (Acts 19:15) and that he can even disguise himself (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Satan twists the truth and is fluent only in the language of lies. He wants nothing more than to steal your joy, ruin your relationships and pull you away from God (John 10:10).
Satan blinds people so they can’t see the truth of Christ or the error of their ways before major damage has been done (2 Cor. 4:4).
He is always on the lookout for someone to ruin (1 Peter 5:8).
Our own evil desires inside of us lead us to temptation, sin, and eventually death if we keep following them (James 1:13-15).
While Satan may not be tempting you to commit mass murder or participate in violence, he is plotting and trying to trip you up in other ways, often with things that don’t seem so harmful. Satan doesn’t care if you worship him; he just doesn’t want you worshipping or following Christ, and he uses your naturally sinful self to try to pull you away from God.
That half a pack a day habit. That occasional (or more than occasional) porn visit. The pride that fills your heart. The love of money and stuff. All of these things shift your focus from God and fill your heart and mind with things that will cause you pain and enslave you.
For those that have accepted Christ’s payment for sins (Romans 5:8, John 3:16), your eternity rests securely in Christ and nothing can ever change that (John 10:28, Romans 8:38-39). But even though your eternity is secure, there can still be very real and damaging consequences for following your sinful nature.
So, how can you stand firm in the midst of temptation from this unseen malicious force?
Get plugged in to a church and community. God tells us that believers are strengthened and thrive in settings with other believers (Hebrews 3:13/Proverbs 17:17).
Read and study God’s word daily. God’s Word renews your mind and reminds you of the truth. Satan is clever in his attacks, but is no match for the living word of God (Hebrews 4:12). If you’d like help in doing this, check out these opportunities to grow in your faith!
Do whatever it takes to get well and fight the evil desires inside of you, like checking out a Christ-centered recovery program such as re:generation on Mondays nights.
Remember, Satan has already been defeated by Christ’s work on the cross, and he is fighting from a position of defeat. The mastery of your own sinful desires has also been broken by the new nature that you received when you trusted Christ. That being said, Satan can still wreak havoc in your life if you aren’t vigilant, and the sinful desires in your own heart will ruin you if they aren’t addressed. Stay alert!
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