If you’re living for Satan, surely he doesn’t have to worry about whether you’re living for God.

If you consider disobedience to God as a viable option for you at this time, please also consider the correlation to your obedience to Satan. God says in His Word that we cannot serve two masters. We will either throw all of our service towards the one and offer the other nothing or we will despise the demands of one and love those of the other (Matt. 6:24). We only have two choices. If we are treating God in a certain manner, we can be sure we are treating Satan in an equally opposite manner. So be careful where your heart is invested!

If you consider God’s ways to be all-inclusive with its greatest stream of blessing not reaching you first, but refreshing the Master earlier, don’t be surprised! Doesn’t Satan offer you the same terms in his own contract? That he will be your god of choice even while he deceives you into thinking that you are truly the only god in the arrangement?

God is not so underhanded. He does not seek to elevate your ego to get you to follow Him. He very simply declares to you that He is God and you are to be His servant. I understand that this is hard for us to swallow with all our high-flung dreams of making and being the big-time all by ourselves, but we must face reality.

If we are giving in to Satan in any way (so that we may avoid giving in to Christ) we are poising ourselves on a very dangerous incline. We must know that this slope was not designed to keep us in the same place for longer than it takes to land there. Satan is all about moving us along; getting us in position for more and more destruction.

His reasoning is that if he can get you to do everything he puts in front of you–things which you call “no big deal” he has won your allegiance for far weightier things he has in mind.

He doesn’t start out trying to get you to commit the big sins outright; he first tries to get you to test your freedom and unwittingly commit yourself to finding it along the avenues he suggests to you. This is not an accident; therefore, we can not live accidentally.

We must live aware of our two prospective masters and choose one with our eyes wide-open. How do you do this? Go directly to God’s Word and get the official debriefing on the two because, believe me, Satan doesn’t have a manual out there detailing his secrets and uncovering God’s. There really is only one place you can go. And I wouldn’t wait too long before you do!

 

God isn’t a manipulator — He wants you to choose Him for yourself

No matter what negative experiences you’ve had with your father or your mother or an older sibling or some other significant person in your life, God is not them. I know this because whatever they contributed to the baggage you have been carrying around from these relationships, is the result of their pitiful inability to love.

God has never had that problem. Therefore, He does not appreciate us treating Him as we would them. They have not done an accurate or serviceable job of representing Him — which is after all their primary life-job. This is not to say that they are worthless, but they should certainly be dismissed as reliable examples of God in our lives.

For this we have to go back to the drawing board. And instead of drafting a picture with figure form, we are going to use letter forms to reconstruct what we believe about God. I don’t know about you, but I realize that I have a lot of things that I have to get straight about Him that has been mangled by human error.

To begin with, God’s ways are not our ways. This is true because we who have been designed to freely function in His marvelous ways have jumped ship and tried to make a life of our own completely displaced from the order and peace that He gives. Thus we are far removed from the ways that would best suit us.

We live like thieves and liars and cheats when we could have all the absolute best in life with the addition of unbroken community with God and others. We could have all that God has just by having Him. We could enjoy everything that He does in the way that He does.

Sin is the only reason that we should not have this — and even that God has provided a way for us to be delivered from. He knows that we chose to rebel against Him and turn away from doing what pleases Him, but He still wants to restore us to what we ought to be if we will allow Him.

He has made us free, but with that freedom comes an awful responsibility; one that Satan constantly uses against us when we are in contempt of God. We destroy ourselves because we will not be submitted to a creative Master rather than a deconstructive master.

The benefits of knowing and being loved by God are endless, but one that I would like to highlight particularly here is that He is clear and to the point. He has no reason to manipulate us; He wants us to know Him for who He truly is — when we do we will love Him and serve Him because He is good.

All marks of deceit and manipulation that we know in our lives are not God’s attempt to keep us in the dark, but Satan’s (our pre-Christ captor) attempt to keep us from the light. He knows that all light is Christ and that His one mission is to deliver us from the deadly dominion of Satan, His own enemy.

Safe and Sound

“O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
there is no salvation for him in
God.”     –     Psalm 3:1-2

As I read these verses this morning I realized that this is not only David’s cry for help, but mine as well. In fact, it is relative to everyone. All humans have a foe. Even so, when I look at a passage like this, I wonder do I have any “foes”?

I have known Satan is my enemy, but for some reason I suppose his terms of communication are so bold that I will easily apprehend his schemes. I feel confident that I’ll recognize the “roaring lion” when I see him and resist him. It will just be natural and automatic. Right?

 Wrong, I discovered. Yesterday I got to know my adversary a little better, and I learned that my understanding of him is deficient. You see, my foe was not the being for which I had prepared. He was a great force, but not in the way that I expected. He didn’t turn up in the form I had been anticipating. His blatant proposal for sin was missing too. Instead, my faulty perceptions of how he worked provided him the perfect accommodation for his purposes.

He offered me a stimulus that appealed to my emotions. An emotional response would divert me from considering who was truly stimulating me. Pointing to my feelings of discontent, he tugged on an inherent value (personal advantage), and incited me to question God’s character. Once I turned from trusting God, I could only turn to him with that same trusting submission.

I did not perceive the destruction he had drawn me into until I had pursued doubt into anxiety and depression. When I cried out to God for peace, He brought me out of the trap of my feelings, and back to the only foundation I can stand on: His steadfast love. This love is salvation from my foes and my own misdeeds.

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him [Jesus Christ], having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he [God] set aside, nailing it to the cross. He [God] disarmed the [demonic] rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him [Christ]. – Colossians 2:13-15