Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is 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. (1 Peter 5:8-10 NIV)
During this year of moving forward into my SEVENTH DECADE, I think I will take Sundays to reflect on the spiritual journey on which I am still embarked, look briefly in the rear view mirror (You never know whose following you), and share some of the truths I have discovered as a Christian. I can only go on the Word of God, which is unflawed, and my own spiritual journey, which undoubtedly is, so if you are looking for wisdom take what works for you and leave the rest, but I challenge you to keep seeking for ONE sure fire truth is that if we seek, we will find.
In my sixty-nine plus years I have ignored, misrepresented, denied God and my need for Him. I have doubted, questioned, debated, and disgracefully turned down Jesus more than once. I was actually a baptized non-believer; I was not an atheist…I had neatly arranged God, Jesus, really didn’t even consider the Holy Spirit, the Bible, so that they fit with MY mindset, placed them on a shelf to be addressed when I needed them. I was educated, but incredibly stupid. I was in a word LOST! But you know what there were people who thought I was a Christian. Why? Because I was essentially by human standards a good person.
Then a series of events, numerous and painful, people, Christian and Non-Christian, that brought me to the end of myself and the foot of the Cross. During all the time before and after my conversion, which by the way occurred on the road from Bartlesville, OK to Tulsa, OK…did not involve a blinding light but did involve the voice of God in my mind,whispering “Be Still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).
While I was recklessly careening toward Hell, there were numerous times God intervened in my life while I was bad mouthing Him to literally pull me back from death. Sometimes I even managed a thank you. The Devil on the other hand mostly left me alone except for those times I leaned in closer to listen to the Christians God began planting around me or when he saw something that would entice me to sin more gravely than I had before or to remind me that I was so guilty and dirty that God wouldn’t want me anyway.
The Devil is real, but he is no match for God. The Devil pretends to be tough, but he runs from Jesus. The Devil hates people for God made us in His Image. The Devil will do everything he can to keep the unsaved from salvation and don’t think he stops when one accepts Christ and opens up heart, mind, and spirit to receive the Holy Spirit into Temple where self once ruled, turning the throne over to Christ. The Devil tries to make the Christian ineffective, fearful, guilt ridden, arrogant, virtually anyway he can.
That is why he runs around wreaking havoc, inside and outside, the Devil has an agenda…Take as many folks to HELL with him as possible. He knows his fate and if he has to suffer he wants everyone he can get to suffer with him.
He may look like a lion, roar like a lion, seek to devour like a lion, but he is toothless.
I need to be aware of his agenda and Know that HE WHO IS IN ME IS GREATER THAN HE WHO IS IN THE WORLD! (paraphrase from 1 John 4:4) This was true the hour I first believed thirty-five years ago and it is true today as I enter my seventh decade.
So here I am trying to stay ALERT and of SOBER mind. Listening for God even when the Devil roars the loudest. RESISTing him by STANDING firm and KNOWING I am not alone, there are others doing the same and some of them are really suffering for the LORD in ways I cannot even comprehend.
Enough for now…need to clean mental, spiritual, and physical closets so we can travel south next Sunday.