Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 29, 2011
“I will not speak to you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” John 14:30-31
The prince of this world is alive and well. His methods are fear, intimidation, and deception. He flaunts his pretentious power over a decaying world. He maneuvers around in a spiritual disguise. He wants you to have just enough of Jesus to disappoint you but not too much that you depend on Him. His desire is for partial obedience to the commands of Christ, so that your love for Him is sentimental and shallow. Then when pain and suffering grow in intensity, you will lose confidence in the Lord.
He wants your love for the Lord to be conditional on everything being okay not unconditional regardless of the outcome. Adversity is the adversary’s most intense weapon of distrust. Satan desires to sift your faith through the sands of suffering. He tries to extract your joy in Jesus with jealousy over the good fortune of others and a jaded belief that God is distant and disinterested. He demands you to believe that death is the end and that no good can come out of your grief and loss.
But followers of Jesus do not have to believe his half-truths. You are free to instantly, willingly, and completely obey God’s commands. This is the evidence of your love for the Lord. Love is where joy gestates. Hate is where anger incubates. Obedience to God makes you an overcomer. There is nothing the devil can demand of you without first going through God. He tries to make you think you are eternally exposed, but you are safely strapped in by eternal security. Christ is in His Father, you are in Christ, and Christ is in you (John 14:20). The prince of this world is powerless to pry you from the Prince of Peace.
The Prince of Peace is large and in charge. He has taken the temptations of the tempter and turned them into His purposes. Jesus uses allurement for power, and converts it into servant leadership. Christ stands greed on its head, and transforms it into generosity. The Lord arrests lust, and rehabilitates it into unconditional love. The Holy Spirit harbors discernment and direction during the dregs of distractions and distrust.
The temptation for resentment and bitterness is trumped by everlasting forgiveness. Jesus is all about calm in the middle of confusion; He is light in the middle of darkness; He is peace in the middle of war; He is joy in the middle of sadness; He is acceptance in the middle of rejection; He is love in the middle of hate.
The Prince of Peace has formed an army of the faithful. Hear His voice, learn of Him, and obey His commands. The enemy is no match for the Master. The enemy tries in vain to recruit those gone AWOL or who have drifted behind enemy lines. Nevertheless, fight the good fight. Rescue the perishing and care for the dying. The battle is not yours, but the Lord’s. You cannot sustain yourself in your own strength; instead, rely on your Savior’s. Do not fall for the tempter’s tactics, for his tricks are no treat.
Faithful followers of Jesus trust wholeheartedly, love unconditionally, and obey instantly. Surrender is what we signed up for. The enemy shudders when you surrender to your Savior, and not to him. The unseen war was fought and finished at the cross. The Prince of Peace rules eternally. He is the winner for now and for evermore.
The Bible says, “He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:2).
Taken from the October 31st reading in the 365-day devotional book, Seeking Daily the Heart of God.
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