Tricks of the Devil

1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.


I started my online journal back in the end of February and it has now been active for 9 months. I share some of what I am studying and learning each day. I’m sure than many thought that my primary reason would have been to reach out to the lost with the Gospel, but you’d be wrong – my foremost reason was for others who are wiser than me to examine what I’m studying and to provide feedback and correction and guidance in case I headed off into error. My primary reason was to have other believers hold me accountable and come alongside me to grow and learn and sharpen one another. I really thought that maybe my parents and a few other pastor friends would be the only ones occasionally checking in on me and giving me gentle correction and guidance. But God had other plans.

My daily journal has gone from something that a handful of people that I knew in real life looked at a few times a month, to something that has opened up friendships with other believers across the globe. It has turned into something that is reaching 7-8 people each day with the Word of God. That might not sound like a lot, but when I consider that I have lived many days of my life without ever speaking about God a single time to other people around me, it is encouraging to know that every day people are interested in hearing about God, and that I get to be a part of that conversation. When I realize that those few people consistently each day add up to 1058 different times that I was able to share the Word of God with others in a 9 month period – it takes on a whole different meaning. That’s 1058 times that someone was interested in knowing more about Jesus Christ and I was able to help them through something that is the start of my day each morning.

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But here is the rub. If I look at that and I’m proud, I’m not being watchful, I’m not being sober-minded. You see, the devil prowls around looking for someone to devour, and if I think that I can claim credit for any of this, as little as it is, I’m mistaken. In fact, if it is my own work, it isn’t anything worth claiming anyway, as it is filthy rags in the sight of God. So my hope and my confidence lies in the fact that it isn’t mine at all – that I’m just the messenger, that I’m just the vessel, that I’m just a conduit for the Good News of Jesus Christ to reach out to the world. And if He uses me for little, I’m grateful and thankful for the opportunity even to be used. And if He uses me for much, I’m humbled that he might use even me.


Yes, learning to be content… not insisting on being a world changer myself… not insisting on doing great and visible things for God… but being thankful for how He is already using me… and pressing on to find new ways to open my life up for Him to use me – that is the safe place to lay my head and rest, in His will, in His arms. And I say this because each day I’m learning things that need to be corrected and expanded in my life and especially in my knowledge and closeness to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


You see, I don’t think that I’ve got it nailed. I don’t claim to have it all right. But I am seeking Him sober-minded and being watchful to the best of my ability. And I’m not relying only upon my own ability. See, He gave me this gift of the Holy Spirit who lives in me and teaches me, and convicts me, and guides me, and over time changes me. So my goal is to do my best to get out of the way and let Him shine through. Yes, Jesus Christ lives in me and in you who are believers and followers of Christ. We together are the body of Christ and He manifests himself into this world, He brings His Kingdom Come through our lives – not just our words, but through our actions and our decisions, and yes even through our innermost desires that affect our thoughts and decisions.


So I don’t ask myself what did I do yesterday for Christ. Nor do I ask myself did I once upon a time say a prayer to Him. Nor do I ask myself if I will one day be able to walk with Him in heaven. I ask myself, am I walking with Him today, even now? I ask myself what am I going to do right NOW to bring Him honor and glory? What am I doing right NOW to cling to Him and to deny myself? What am I doing right NOW to remember the sacrifice that He made for me upon the cross? What am I doing right NOW to show His mercy and love to others? What am I doing right NOW to share Hope, Faith, Love and Truth from the Word of God with others?


So right NOW, I’m sharing with you, in hopes that we might find unity and purpose together in serving the Lord with our lives. And tonight, I’ll be attending classes and training so that I might one day be ordained and be able to expand my territory. And this week, I’ll be sharing the Good News in the jail, and in my home, and in the streets, and in church, and yes, even on the Internet so that it might through YOU reach the ends of the earth. And it won’t just be with talking about it, but doing it. Loving and caring about the people that are hurting and in need of help.


So my hope is that it doesn’t stop here, but that you take this Word of God and spread it. My hope is that this light will be multiplied and spread through you to others. That’s how it works, unless it stops. So today, I hope you will choose to shine your light and share. Don’t let the light stop. Go, shine, carry the flame forth today, NOW.

And while you’re at it, be a good Berean and examine what I share closely, and be sure to hold me accountable and correct me with gentleness in anything that you might believe is in error – so that we both might be sharpened together and find unity upon this narrow path. May God bless you and  quicken you and draw you even closer into His arms as you go forth, Child of God, Servant of Man.

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