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Posts Tagged ‘1 Peter 5:8’

Ally or Adversary?

March 29th, 2012

“If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31 NKJV

“God’s intent is that you enjoy supportive company in your journey of faith.”

My thoughts and comments today ask, “ally or adversary?”

Isolation is an unnatural circumstance, even unhealthy to your personality and development. Solomon wrote, “As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17 NLT. You were made for meaningful relationships. You can be better if they are the right kind of friendships, not so good if the wrong kind. The Bible is plain and simple about that; “Don’t be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:35 NIV.

Just as truly as I learned a Law of Physics in high school that, “Nature abhors a vacuum,” I have learned you must choose the right kind of helpful companions, or you will find the lesser kind all too available. You must learn to differentiate between allies and adversaries. God’s intent is that you have and enjoy supportive company in your journey of faith. The reality also is that there are those who will be adversaries to your faith. You will have friends; choose them well and walk with them closely. You will have adversaries; avoid them when possible, and ask for help when you need to do so.

Life can be hard on your own, because God never meant for you to be without the mutual benefit of companions. That truth was established early at Creation when God made Adam, then announced, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18 NIV. Generations later, David declared the same truth when he wrote, “God sets the solitary in families.” Psalm 68:6 NKJV. Though it sometimes feels like it, you do not have to be alone in life.

There are times you may feel as Joshua when facing the obstacle of a fortified Jericho impeding his journey. Read Joshua 5:13-15 NKJV. Standing before him with sword drawn was an imposing figure. Joshua, ever the courageous soldier, asked, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” That’s important to know. May you be certain as Joshua discovered – God will always be for you!

The Apostle Paul recites difficult life experiences and then asks, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31 NKJV. In that truth safety and assurance of soul is found. David recalled his own difficulties and dangers, recounting, “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side . .” Read Psalm 124:1-8 NKJV. I cannot imagine my life without God on my side, and Jesus at my side. When God is on your side, “No weapon turned against you will succeed . . When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” Isaiah 54:17 NLT/Proverbs 16:7 NIV.

The Bible warns, “Be vigilant because your adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NKJV. You have a dangerous, credible adversary but God is your ally, “an ever present help in time of trouble.” Psalm 46:1 NIV. Be persuaded that “God is for you,” and live in such a way that He can be. Do not live in a way that sets you in opposition to God. “You are of God, and have overcome . . because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:5 NKJV. God is greater than any and all who would posture themselves to harm you.

My prayer for you today is that you live with courage and confidence in God’s strength.

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Temptation

May 5th, 2010

“I fear that somehow you will be led astray from . . devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 NLT

Your strategy for success over temptation is very simple; choose to do what’s right.”

My thoughts today are about “temptation.”

No one is exempt from temptation. The area of temptation may vary, but the reality of it is common to all. I have been bit more careful about my diet lately to strengthen my health. Have you noticed how all of the wrong things look and sound so appetizing when you are on a diet? Sometimes when you try the hardest to do right, you still struggle with thoughts that oppose that, in spite of your best efforts. Paul understood that human dilemma, “So I discover this principle, when I would do good, evil is present with me.” Romans 7:21.

So, is that evil around you? Yes, most definitely. The Bible calls that the “world,” a spiritual gravitational pull that draws you down and away from doing right. But isn’t there evil also within you. Yes! The Bible calls that sympathy for sin, the “flesh.” And be aware, evil is also against you. The Bible calls that very real and sinister power, the “devil.”

Jesus warned Peter, “Satan has desired you that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith would not fail.” Luke 22:31. Temptation does not just happen or only occur when you are not being careful. There is a purposeful and evil strategy for your failure and its entry point is your mind. Peter knew well what he was talking about when he later wrote, “Be sober. Be on the alert! Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion. “ 1 Peter 5:8.

As there is a complicated and committed strategy for your failure, you can have a simple strategy for victory over temptation and sin. You may have little choice in the temptation you face, but you have everything to say about whether or not you sin by yielding to temptation!

Your strategy for success is really very simple. Don’t invite temptation by enticing yourself with evil. Read James 1:14,15. Don’t join in others’ evil. Don’t hyperventilate about NOT doing wrong; simply choose to do what’s right. Keep your focus positive, and positively on Jesus. Always depend on Jesus’ victory over sin on your behalf. “But thanks be unto God, Who always causes you to triumph in Christ Jesus.” 2 Corinthians 2:14.

“But God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape that you may be able to be victorious.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.  Yes, temptation is common, but use that very moment to look for God’s “exit sign,” which He has promised as the avenue for your escape. Do everything to maintain “your pure and simple devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 NLT.

My prayer for you today is: remember Jesus said He was praying for you. And so am I.

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