The battle of good and evil
One of the most fascinating stories in the New Testament comes right after a spotlight moment for Jesus. In the early days of His ministry, Jesus traveled from Galilee to be baptised by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. As Jesus came up out of the water, the Heavens opened, God’s spirit descended like a dove, and a voice proclaimed, “This is my one dear Son; in Him I take delight.” Can you imagine? Wouldn’t you have loved to have been there? Talk about a Kodak moment! Then the very next verse says,
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”
Talk about a downer!
The enemy works that way. If he goes after Jesus, he sure goes after you and me. At some of the highest spiritual points in my life, the enemy has attacked. It seems like when I am doing so well with God that I let my guard down a little and then boom – he attacks! The enemy sneaks in and I don’t even know it. It may be an old sin that I thought I conquered long ago and there it is calling to me again. It could be something as simple as God giving me a chance to serve Him by helping someone out, but I let the moment pass. Maybe it’s letting an opportunity to pray with Lou-Hette go, convincing myself that missing one evening praying together is no big deal. He will hit us at our biggest vulnerabilities and convince us that this one time it won’t matter, but it does. It always matters. And if he keeps sneaking in, stealing from you, your spiritual journey will suffer.
The enemy hit Jesus with three temptations. Jesus was at the end of forty days in the wilderness and was famished. The enemy told Him to turn stones into bread. Then the enemy takes Jesus to the highest point of the temple and tells Him to jump and have the angels catch Him. Finally, the enemy, who is the prince of this earth, offers Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus will simply bow down and worship him. What would you do? If you were famished and could turn stones into bread, would you? If you knew angels would catch you, would you jump from someplace high? If you could have all the kingdoms of this world, would you fall at the feet of the enemy?
My answers are no, no, and no, but have I been deceived by the enemy before. Have I given in to temptations and justified my actions? Have I passed up opportunities to be there for others so I could do something just for me? Have I bowed before the things of this world and put God on the back burner? My answers are yes, yes, and yes.
What about you?
The enemy is out to destroy you and me and every believer in Christ. Don’t fall for his deceitful ways and lies. Do what Jesus did.
Just say no.
Turn to Jesus and embrace His power. Don’t forget that even though we are in the battle every day, Jesus has already won the war!
We have the armour of God at our disposal. If we wear it we are always prepared for the enemies attacks on us.
The Armor of God – Ephesians 6:10-18
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
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