Wednesday, June 4, 2008

target that comes with choosing God [+] Wednesday E-Devotion

1 Peter 5:8 (nlt) --- Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
I am re-visiting some close passages in the Bible this morning because I need to be reminded.  Maybe you do as well.  Please pray for one another that we will get closer and closer to Jesus this week!
When we choose to follow God, Satan puts a target on us.  He is after us.  Nothing about God makes Satan happy.  He is out to rob from us whereas God has designs to give us so much life and blessing (see John 10:10).  There is a target that comes with choosing God.
Last week a blog post from Steven Furtick made me stop and think.  Here is his post titled Why does God allow hardship in a leader's life? which is a deep, deep question:
  • To force our need to the surface…

…So we can comfort others with the comfort we have been comforted with.

  • To force the issue to the surface…

…So we can recognize it, and speak into it.

  • To force our faith to the surface…

…And produce a deeper gratitude in our lives.

Plain and simple.  I don't like stress, struggles, pain and troubles or hardship.  Keep those things away from me.  Yet God gives us insight into how to deal with these and how to live in success even when those things come into our lives.
James 1:2-4 (nasb) --- Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Move on a bit further.  In what Furtick said, I am still not happy, but I have noticed in my 22 years of knowing Jesus that these things reveal truth.  Kind of like hitting your thumb with a hammer and what comes out of your mouth, or what pops into your head.  When we have tough stuff happen, we are squeezed and what is really in us comes to the surface. 
My prayer is that we will see God on the surface of our lives and in the lives of others.  The need for God in the people around us, including ourselves.  The need to be real in the people around us, including ourselves.  The fact that God is present in the people around us, including ourselves.  Those moments and that truth will change our perspective.  What can you do to make sure Jesus is present and comes out when we are squeezed?
Colossians 3:2 (nasb) --- Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
You've got to know this.  Satan is not pleased that the ONE PRAYER series beginning this week, and he is doing all he can to distract the almost 1,300 churches and their leaders involved.  By being part of this we have asked for that target to be put on our backs.  Are you ready for hardship?  It is coming.  This target comes with choosing Jesus.  Honestly, I have seen Satan's working and been reminded in the last few days that Christians, we have to be ready and be sharp.
James 4:6-8 (nlt) --- But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, "God opposes the proud but favors the humble."   So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

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