A REAL WAR
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. – Ephesians 6:11
There have been wars almost since time began. They have come and gone, but there is one war that has been and always will be ongoing until the end of time and that is the spiritual war between good and evil. Satan is very real and he is at work everywhere. And his principal aim is against those who have dedicated their life to the Christian faith.
As Christians we are twice born people in a once born world and we are in a real spiritual battle with the forces of evil. Three out of every four people living on the earth reside in a country that is hostile to the Christian faith. As Christians we must wage war.
Our battle is against the forces of evil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) The Bible is not a book for armchair recreational reading. It is our armor to get up, go out and fight for the Gospel. Satan is for real.
The entertainment world and the media try to soften our view of the enemy, but “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
Satan is on a manhunt. If you are unsaved, Satan is working full time to keep you that way. If you are saved, he is tempting you to sin. Being tempted is not sin, but yielding to temptation is. Satan is likely to tempt us more when we have had a great spiritual experience, when we are getting ready for a ministry assignment and when we are spiritually and physically weary. He is relentless and won’t give up.
Satan tempted Jesus and he responded with the Word. Jesus answered, “It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) To become more mature in your faith, spend more time in His Word and look out … you will see the tempter coming. Armed with the Word, you will have the strongest armor to fight back. At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow.
The story of Adam and Eve doesn’t end in the garden, but with life in the real world. The real world resembles Eden, with ground to till, trees to discern, serpents to tame, desires to suppress, judgments to reflect on and God’s image to expand. Fortunately, we have a handbook to follow. If we live by God’s Word, we will be victorious in the battle of good and evil. The more we absorb ourselves in the Word, the better equipped we are to fight. I know we will win, as I have read the final chapter in the book, but the question for us all is which side we will be on when the end draws neigh. Just remember that the battle rages to keep the lost people lost and the people saved to live like they are lost. How then will you live?
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
BROTHER LEO, THE SERVANT LEADER:
A legend tells of a French monastery known throughout Europe for the extraordinary leadership of a man known only as Brother Leo. Several monks began a pilgrimage to visit Brother Leo to learn from him. Almost immediately, they began to bicker about who should do various chores.
On the third day they met another monk going to the monastery, and he joined them. This monk never complained or shirked a duty, and whenever the others would fight over a chore, he would gracefully volunteer and do it himself. By the last day, the others were following his example, and from then on they worked together smoothly.
When they reached the monastery and asked to see Brother Leo, the man who greeted them laughed.
“But our brother is among you!” And he pointed to the fellow who had joined them.
Today, many people seek positions of power, not so much for what they can do for others, but for what the position can do for them: status, connections, perks, advantages. If they do service, it’s as an investment, a way to build an impressive resume.
The parable about Brother Leo teaches another model of leadership, one based on the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This leadership is preoccupied with serving rather than being followed, with giving rather than getting, with doing rather than demanding. It is based on example, not command.
This is called servant leadership.
Adapted from a parable compiled by Michael Josephson.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Success means something very different when your goal is “freedom” than it does when your goal is “power.”
Difficulties are opportunities to launch some changes that will make you stronger in the future.
If you want to be remembered, write something worth reading or live a life worth writing about.
Selected portions of Thoughts on Life can also be read at www.thoughtsaboutgod.com/blog and Powertochange.com.
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