How we react and respond to our tests either casts a broader light of Jesus or a darker shadow of the enemy. Our choices are an opportunity to prove faithful and bring followers to know Jesus, experience His abundance and live a life with Him in Eternity, OR we feed fleshly desires and bring followers into a turbulent wake of destruction, unforgiveness, hurt, division and sin making an 11 day journey toward freedom into a 40 year desperate and futile struggle in a barren wilderness.
Know Your Enemy
The devil promises to deal us a dirty hand in this life. He knows his time is coming to an end and he is not winning. He will use our children, our family, our coworkers, anyone and every opportunity. Why is it so hard for some of us to remember who is really responsible? Trust me, I ask this question of myself as well when I hit a snag and want to blame “him” or “her”.
When you are working your purpose for God the enemy will claw, scratch and gnash his ugly teeth to destroy you. He will make every attempt to destroy important relationships around you, inject jealousy, bitterness and unforgiveness, cast doubt, attempt to derail ministries, invoke fear, and create huge ripples that will reach those watching it unfold through you.
You see, it is not “if” we are tested, but “when” we are. The enemy will try to use any one, any circumstance, any insecurity, any stronghold any hurt, any lie, and so on, to “steal, kill and destroy”.
Two Promises, One Verse
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NASB)
We stand on the numerous promises of God, however, it is equally important to know and stand guard against enemy tactics. There is a greater promise at the end of this verse reads, “. . I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV)
The Message version reads, “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” (John 10:10 MSG) I think it is safe to say that this is the picture of life that we all dream of. We have a choice.
We can choose to be a victim or walk in victory inherited to us by the power of the cross.
We can choose to focus on the mess or receive the Lord’s powerful message for us.
We can choose misery or allow God to reveal His ministry.
We can choose to curse the test or become stronger through it proclaiming the testimony that gives God all the glory.
Our Heavenly Father knows we will fall short of the glory of God. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know I do. That is why He sent His one and only Son Jesus. Make no mistake, it is no excuse for complacency or justification for behaving badly. He will hold us accountable for our actions.
I pray we boldly stand united and say “NO devil, I REFUSE to allow you to use me.”, because if we don’t that is exactly what he will do, use each one of us WITH our permission. By not saying NO you are saying YES. Choose to direct your anger at the one responsible not the one he used to hurt you. Choose to trust in our God who is far greater than anyone or any circumstance.
It is all or nothing. We can’t claim to believe in certain scriptures and not ALL of them. Trust God in all things because the truth is written, “. . And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NASB)
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
Give God the victory each day by loving and forgiving the one(s) who you believe have hurt you. Trust in Him and Him alone to rehydrate, rebuild and restore the relationships. He totally can and will if you believe.
So today, what will you choose?
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