Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Resisting the Devil’s Schemes

11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil… 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  -Ephesians 6:11, 16 (KJV) 

Anytime I visit a certain grocery store I am tempted.  The temptation comes in the form of boxes of fresh doughnuts sitting on tables right up beside the check-out lanes.  You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I love to eat, and doughnuts are one of weaknesses.  These doughnuts are strategically placed for what retail vendors call “impulse buys.”  These are the items not on your list and you hadn’t planned on purchasing them, yet when you see them you buy them – on impulse.  Oh my, those doughnuts are tasty.  Glazed, chocolate cream-filled, raspberry-filled, strawberry, lemon-filled, and my true favorite, apple fritters, are all there to tempt me away from the strict diet I seek to maintain.  Indeed, it requires great will power to avert my eyes and walk past those delicacies. 

I point this out because the devil works in like manner.  He places temptations in our paths which appear too good to pass by.  However, if we surrender to them we will be quickly brought down.  Any temptation we face, such as adultery, lust, pornography, theft, lying, or envy, begins with a temptation which was lying in our path.  Often times the temptations are subtle, yet other times they are there nearly screaming for our attention.  In either case, God has promised to empower us to resist and to keep walking forward. 

This concept of resisting and walking are interconnected.  The problem comes when we stop long enough to take another look.  If we linger too long we become ensnared.  This is why the Word of God commends the one who doesn’t linger long enough to give into temptation, but chooses instead by the power of God to keep moving.  “1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:1, 2).  

God has promised we are blessed when we do not walk in the manner of the ungodly, nor stand and desire their ways, or sit down and participate in what they are doing.  Instead, we seek the power of God through Jesus Christ to keep walking forward in spiritual victory.  The Lord has provided us with the spiritual strength to live lives of integrity and wisdom whereby we are not taken in by the devil’s schemes.  The Lord will bless us for our faithfulness and we will walk in the riches of His grace. 

Stop today and be sure your spiritual armor is tight and properly adjusted.  Begin each day with prayer and the Word of God.  Seek the Lord’s strength.  We are always blessed for doing so.  

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