What is Keeping You from Our Father?
by Brook Phelps
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“…From the very beginning [the devil] was a murderer and has never been on the side of truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is only doing what is natural to him, because he is a liar and the father of all lies.” (John 8:44.)
When you or someone you know is asked why you/they do not go to church, pray, read the bible, or are not close with our Father and/or praise Him openly, what answers do you give/get? Is it doubt, disobedience, a lack of desire or need, a lack of understanding (confusion), fear, resentment toward Christians who behave badly (hypocrites), suffering, persecution, anger toward God, or pride? All of which, by the way, are spawn from the devil. He produces all of this to thwart us from drawing near to our loving Father.
“The Lord’s servant must not quarrel. He must be kind toward all, a good and patient teacher, who is gentle as he corrects his opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth. And then they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who had caught them and made them obey his will.” (1 Timothy 2:24-26.)
Is your heart hardened to Christ?
“They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes from the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4.)
“Those who hear the message about the Kingdom but do not understand it are like the seeds that fell along the path. The evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in them.” (Matthew 13:19.)
“I am afraid that your minds will be corrupted and that you will abandon your full and pure devotion to Christ – in the same way that Eve was deceived by the snake’s clever lies.” (2 Corinthians 11:3.)
Do you hold grudges as satan encourages us to do?
“When you forgive someone for what he has done, I forgive him too. For when I forgive – if, indeed, I need to forgive anything – I do it in Christ’s presence because of you, in order to keep satan from getting the upper hand over us; for we know what his plans are.” (2 Corinthians 2:10-11.)
Does pride hold you at arm’s length to our Father?
“He must be mature in the faith, so that he will not swell up with pride and be condemned, as the devil was.” (1 Timothy 3:6.)
Don’t give the devil a chance!!! (Ephesians 4:27.)
Satan is a barrier between us and our Father and he will use every means necessary to keep us from our Father’s loving arms. To keep us in doubt, disobedient, lacking desire, need, and understanding, resentful, angry, and proud instead in our Father’s loving, warm, soft, cozy, safe, satisfying, joyful, and peaceful embrace.
We have the story before us. We know what satan wants, we know how satan gets what he wants, and we know who wins the battle in the end. On which side are you willing to fight because if you are not on the side of our Father, then you fight beside the devil.
“Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Be firm in your faith and resist him, because you know that your fellow believers in all the world are going through the same kind of sufferings. But after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who calls you to share his eternal glory in union with Christ, will himself perfect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure foundation. To Him be the power forever! Amen.” 1 Peter 5:8-11.)
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