Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand‘ – Isaiah 41:10
For most of us, our Christian walk is inchoate made up of baby steps as we shed the habits and lifestyles that kept us from having the kind of relationship we ought to with have with God. Many times we will fall or veer off course but like a loving parent, God is there to pick us up or guide us back in the right direction. We hear a word behind us, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.
However, we have Satan, our enemy who will thwart our efforts to please God by how we live and will go to any lengths to do so. He bombards us with doubts, fears, insecurities and distractions. He uses the things of the world to draw us away from God. He did it in the Garden of Eden using wisdom as a lure for Eve. He told her that if she were to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, she would be wise like God. He was basically encouraging her to disobey God in order to be like God.
Today, he comes with temptations that seem reasonable, logical and attractive but the bottom line, is that we would be disobeying God if we give in. Eve wanted to be wise like God so she disobeyed Him and the consequences are still with us. Like Eve, he uses our nature to turn us away from God and His Word.
It’s not easy living in a world that is “under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19) and many of us struggle with temptations and addictions. There are many people out there who are living in spiritual darkness, trying to satisfy their the emptiness they feel inside with money, drugs, sex and other things the world offers. Others are tricked into believing that they are too far gone for God to help them. The devil has convinced them that they are too sinful to go to God for forgiveness. Many have planned to commit suicide because they believed that there was no hope for them but then they hear a sermon on the radio or on television which save their lives. God thwarted Satan’s plans for those people and He can do the same for us.
Our Christian walk is not without its rough paths but we have the road map that would help us along the way–God’s Word. It is our light and protection against the forces that would try to lead us astray. The more we read God’s Word, the more we get to know Him and the more we fortify ourselves. Yes, the devil knows the Word too. He quoted Psalm 91 to Jesus but Jesus used the Word to oppose him. God’s Word is our weapon against the devil’s attacks.
However, knowing the Word isn’t enough. James tells us that we must submit ourselves to God (James 4:7). This is the only way we can resist the devil. When he tried to tempt Jesus, Jesus used the Word of God to counter each temptation and after a while the devil had to leave. Jesus was fully submitted to the Father.
Being a Christian is a challenge. We are in the midst of a spiritual war. The forces of good and evil are vying for our allegiance. Daily, we have to make sure that we are on the winning side but there are times when the devil will use situations and people, even our loved ones to get to us and we end up doing or saying something we regret.
There are times when we feel overwhelmed because we have to deal with Satan, our nature and the world but thankfully, we have this assurance, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6)
For now, we are called to walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:12).