Some of you know something of that which has been called “the dark night of the soul.” Some of you have spiritual desire and deep longing for victory but it seems to you that your efforts to go on with God have only brought you more bumps and more testings and more discouragement. You are tempted to ask, “How long can this go on?”…
Yes, there is a dark night of the soul. There are few Christians willing to go into this dark night and that is why there are so few who enter into the light. It is impossible for them ever to know the morning because they will not endure the night. I Talk Back to the Devil, 80-81. A.W. Tozer
“Now I do not think that Satan much cares to destroy us Christians physically. The soldier dead in battle who died performing some deed of heroism is not a great loss to the army but may rather be an object of pride to his country. On the other hand the soldier who cannot or will not fight but runs away at the sound of the first enemy gun is a shame to his family and a disgrace to his nation. So a Christian who dies in the faith represents no irreparable loss to the forces of righteousness on earth and certainly no victory for the devil. But when whole regiments of professed believers are too timid to fight and too smug to be ashamed, surely it must bring an astringent smile to the face of the enemy;
The devil’s master strategy for us Christians then is not to kill us physically (though there may be some special situations where physical death fits into his plan better), but to destroy our power to wage spiritual warfare. And how well he has succeeded. ” A.W.Tozer
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
The devil is far more powerful and intelligent (as well as subtle and seductive in his malignant purposes) than any combination of human enemies we could ever face, and we would be utterly unable to defeat him with our own human resources. Yet God’s Word makes it plain that we are neither to yield to him nor flee from him. Instead, the admonition is: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
But how can we resist such a mighty foe? As in our text, we must constantly maintain sobriety and vigilance against his enticements, and be careful to remain “steadfast in the faith.” Otherwise, the pseudo-intellectualism and social peer pressure to which we are subjected daily could quickly persuade us to compromise the faith, or even to depart from the faith.
We are commanded not to yield and not to compromise. Instead we must “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” We have “the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the |wicked one|,” and also “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:11, 16-17).
This mighty sword with which we can make Satan flee from us is literally “the saying of God”—that is, an appropriate individual word from the complete Word of God. This was the instrument with which the Lord Jesus Himself resisted the devil, parrying each temptation with an incisive thrust of Scripture. The result then—as it will be now with us also—was that the devil “departed from him for a season” (Luke 4:13). HMM
Personal Life: Let God Alone
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.—James 1:4
God is saying, “I stand ready to pour a little liquid fire into your heart, into your spiritual being!”
We respond: “No, Lord, please excuse me. That sounds like fanaticism—and I would have to give up some things!” So we refuse His desire, even though we want all the benefits of His cross.
There is this thoughtful phrase in The Cloud of Unknowing: “He wills thou do but look on Him and let Him alone.” Let God alone. In other words, let Him work! Don’t stop Him. Don’t prevent Him from kindling your heart, from blessing you and leading you out of a common state into that of special longing after Him. You don’t have to coax God. He is not like a reluctant father waiting for his child to beg. The blessings are His to give and He waits for us to let Him work….
“Look on Him and let Him work, let Him alone.” Get your hands down to your side and stop trying to tell God where to cut. Stop trying to make the diagnosis for God. Stop trying to tell God what to give you. He is the Physician! You are the patient….
“Lord, I know there is a work You want to do in my life today. I’ll try to stay out of the way, take my hands off, and let You work! I’ll put my hands to my side even now as a sign that I’m going to let You alone today to do Your work in me. Amen.” via Bible Gateway
via Samuel at Gilgal
via Samuel at Gilgal
Too often lately we are finding churches that are taking God and the Devil out of the church itself. They are turning faith into a get rich plan. If you give them your money, then God will reward you. But the ones that get rich are often the con men that are running the scam.
I am not saying that there are not a lot of really good churches out there that are big and prosperous, there are. But if that is all they are teaching, they are not teaching God.
Screwtape talks about shopping churches and trying to find those that fit and it is true in our abundance of churches that you have a wide variety to choose from. The trouble is that some people are not really searching for God, they are looking for something that makes them feel good.
They don’t want to live the life that God wants them to, they want the Church to tell them that the life they are living is just fine with God.
The time for choosing is quickly fading away and we cannot be fence straddlers. Our choice will decide our future and if we choose poorly, we lose. Be certain when you shop for a church, that what they are offering is truly God.
via Samuel at Gilgal
- Seek the Lord (ericj2.wordpress.com)
- Lord, Help Me to Lead with Patience – 1 Samuel 13:7-14 (dianneguthmuller.com)