Is there ever a time in your life when you aren't having to resist the devil? Do you ever have "one of those days"? As everybody knows, Satan is continuously trying to interfere in our lives. For example, what chef of a restaurant hasn't had a day when everything went wrong: food purveyors being late, employees calling in sick, banquets with problems, and everything else that possibly can, is going wrong? Or, if you're a cook in the restaurant you work in, haven't you had a day when your boss is in a bad mood, or your job is made tougher and more stressful because everything seems to be going wrong?
I hate to say it, but it's a fact of life: Christian or not, you're going to have trials and tribulations of all kinds with evil influences trying to enter your life. Just take a look at Job's life. God allowed Satan to do every physical thing he wanted to try to make Job lose his faith. Job starts out in the book of Job being a very wealthy person with two sons and a large farm. Satan causes him to lose both of his sons, his house, his farm, all but a couple of his servants, and even his health. Two friends of his hear about this and travel to see him, wanting to help and cheer him up. When Job's friends arrive, they don't even recognize Job because of how beat up he was. Although Job obviously wasn't too happy about all that had happened to him, he still held onto his faith in God.
There's no question that these things sometimes happen to us (not always as badly as in Job's case), but what's important is how you REACT to your circumstances. Do you, as Job did, trust in God to bring you through everything, or do you just get stressed about it and try working through it on your own? Let's look at the outcomes of two possible reactions: In cases like those mentioned above, do you accomplish more when you get all stressed out? OR do you accomplish more when you remain calm because you trust that God will help you through all the challenges in your life? I'm sure you'll agree that if you do the latter, much more gets done. If you remain calm, you are able to start prioritizing, deciding what's more important, and what can be delegated and to whom. If you're the chef of the kitchen, how do your employees view your reactions? In which situation do you think your employees will have more respect for you? When they see that God is in charge and everything's running as smoothly as possible, or when you allow stress (from Satan's fiery arrows) to start rising in the kitchen and you start running around like a chicken with its head cut off? This works both ways: if you AREN'T the chef of the restaurant, what do your co-workers and your boss think when, by your actions, it looks like you can't trust God to take care of these things? Yes, I'm sure you've seen these things happen plenty of times, for everything can still run smoothly and calmly when God isn't in a person's life, as most of your co-workers probably aren't Christian (excluding camps). Without Him, everything CAN run fine, but inevitably the time comes in every kitchen when things start getting over your head, in some kitchens, more often than in others.
You can look at this just like you would in all the movies where none of the good guys can get too deep in trouble because Superman is always nearby. Well, having God in your life is infinitely better, especially once we're finished with the short 70 years we have on this world and are then allowed to continue our eternal life with God in Heaven. I don't know about you, but the one thought alone of the contrast between eternal damnation and eternal life really assures me that He is the right way to go, NO questions asked.
ONLY God can keep evil from entering into our lives through our faith in Him, yet He still commands us to not resist an evil person. Jesus says in Matthew 5:38 (NIV) "Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." We should also remember the currently popular phrase, "What Would Jesus Do?" and thoughtfully consider the answer. I can't imagine any of the torture that Jesus or Paul endured, happening to me, and yet, do you ever see either of them doing anything contradicting Jesus' above statement as recorded in Matthew? No, they lived this example at all times, and so should we. That's not to say that everybody will always be cheerful and free from sin, for it is human nature not to. Only through fellowship with God and other Christians can we avoid letting Satan into our lives this way.
As talked about last month, all things are possible through Christ Jesus. If, through Him, mountains can be moved and creation can be possible, I'm sure that He can assist you in all ways to prevent Satan from entering into your life. As James says, "Submit to God, resist the Devil and he will flee from you." (4:7, NIV). If you take nothing else from this article, just remember this one thing, that God does answer prayer. Prayer is the way God has provided for us to have a one-on-one conversation with Christ Jesus, bringing us into a close and intimate relationship with Himself, our true God and Savior.
By Ira Krizo
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