How obvious are the things that this world deems “good” and “bad”. Let’s see . . . home and family, cozy fires on snowy days, ice cream cones, cuddly babies and truth; murder, poverty, cheating on exams, cancer, and lies.
How many ways we attempt to enhance or eliminate those things with education, self improvement, community correction, laws and rules and promises and threats. Yet seldom do we grasp the magnitude of the real powers that holds our lives and outcomes in its palm.
There is a song that is often sung at Easter that depicts the real struggle. “On one side the forces of evil on the other the old rugged cross”, its lyrics tell us. (It is finished, Bill and Gloria Gaither). Our bibles tell us in Ephesians chapter six that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood” and we need “the full armor of God to withstand in the evil day” yet we tend to picture devils as cute little guys with mini horns and hordorver forks. We even joke that “the devil made me do it” when we want to misbehave.
How much more effective we would be in our attempts to be holy if we would see the dark forces of this world as God sees them. God calls them “principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places” Ephesians 6:12 (KJV). The Encarta Dictionary gives three definitions of principalities as a country or territory, a position of prince, and an angel of the third-highest order.
God is telling us that we must have his armor not because we fight against little red guys but because the darkness that rules this world is of high rank and power, darkness that seeks to control countries and territories and cause wickedness in places of control and authority throughout our world.
It almost seems more than one could resist. What an excuse! Can we just sit back and go about our merry way because after all there is no hope, no possible way to fight this monster and win. Perhaps so, were it not for a cross and a plan that allows us to enable the very hand of Almighty God.
Christ came, the personified form of God himself. Why? Because man sinned, because man sins, because this world is Satan’s domain. Christ paid sin’s price, and with our acceptance of Him we become pure in the eye of Almighty God.
But it doesn’t end there. Returning to Heaven, Christ sent the Holy Spirit, not just to aid us, but to live inside. Fully God, the Holy Spirit when empowered to do so will fight our battles, resist when we could not.
Why is it then that we feel so often weak? Why do we so frequently crumble in the face of temptation?
God you see designed a plan that gives us as human’s free will. We were made for his pleasure, to be his friend. He loves us and wants us to love him back. Love is an act of choice, however, and we could not do that with out the ability to decide. He knows what would be best for us, yet he allows us to choose the worst.
God loves us, hurts for us, allows us to make mistakes, and, (don’t miss this) intervenes to help us when we ask. It is our prayers that move His mighty hand.
I think of how many times I have wanted to help a toddler put on his shoes, but resisted because he needed to learn. How many times I have allowed my children as they grew to make mistakes and how hard it was to let them hurt, knowing all the while that the hurt would lead to maturity. And how pleased I was when finally, they were willing to ask for needed advice.
How hard it must be for our heavenly Father when He knows we are choosing wrong, suffering the wiles of Satan because we failed to enable his help by asking.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your Almighty Hand and your firm assurance that I can come boldly to your throne for help. Remind me when I struggle that your help is possible only when I ask.
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