My week started with a glimpse of heaven. I attended a worship service where all the ethnic churches of the Tennessee Baptist Convention were gathered. I listened to the beautiful Korean choir, enjoyed the sways of the Sudanese singers and gloried in my Lord, as we sang “How Great is our God” in multiple languages.
For the privileged few native Americans that were present, I hope they realized this is what heaven will be like! Oh, how beautiful it was…skins of all colors…languages of all kinds…worshiping Jesus, praising God!
Jesus should have come back while we were gathered…but he didn’t.
That’s when the rest of the week started, and I saw the reality of this scripture in 1 Peter 5:8,
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
It wasn’t until this morning, as I was in the Word of God and praying, that I realized just how busy Satan is trying to destroy what I experienced and knew was to come. Let me give you a taste of the unnatural disasters of this week alone:
- It started with news of biblical error being preached from one of our local pulpits, and the destruction it’s causing to the Body of Christ.
- Then I had a visit from a friend who has filed for divorce. I listened as she could see no other solution for her marriage. I have seen the anger, lack of forgiveness and love on both sides destroy and tear down what God had joined together. I see the effect on the children. I grieved as I prayed for her and the family.
- I see Satan working even in the lives of young college students, who have been growing in their faith and serving. He’s using dating relationships to bring them down as lies are told and confidences broken.
- I see Satan working to sow seeds of doubt in the minds of those who chose to do good during a recent event in our town, making them wonder if they are not doing enough or if they are the cause for racial tensions.
- I see the loss of shepherds in several local congregations, as Satan’s attempt to scatter the flock and keep them wandering and ineffective for the Kingdom.
- I see Satan using gossip and unforgiving attitudes within the church to keep us from being a strong witness for Christ.
All of the above was pulling me down. I could think of nothing else yesterday, even as I tried to keep working. For this reason, I’m grateful for the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. I now recognize all of the above for what it is — Satan’s attempts to destroy and keep me as an individual from sharing my faith and loving in the name of Jesus, AND to keep His Church from the same.
I WILL NOT STAND FOR IT!
Peter helps me to see how:
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. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
We are not alone in this battle against the Devil. Our brothers and sisters in the faith are going through so much more than this, and for that reason, we must stand firm — in the faith!
What is that prowling lion trying to do to get your eyes off Jesus? What is he doing that has kept you from giving God glory in your life this week? Don’t let him do it! Stand strong and resist.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
When things happen that make you doubt or fear, recognize the evil one that is behind it, and take a stand for Christ and truth. That prowling lion is really a scaredy-cat, because the victory has already been won, and he knows it!
Remember what we have to look forward to!
Grace and Peace