MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

May 1, 2013

Fort Faith: The devil can be a bit like the weather

By Barrett Vanlandingham

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, spring flowers have been blooming for more than a month and a half now in Fort Gibson and elsewhere. During that time, we’ve experienced sunshine, snow, hail, high winds, clouds, and temperatures in the 80s!  

Probably half the people on my block are either having their roof replaced, or need to because of the pounding we taken this spring.  For those of us who grew up in Oklahoma like I did, we know this is normal.  Others are no doubt quickly learning. We don’t always like this kind of normality, but hey, we just try to stay on top of things best we can and be prepared for the unexpected.

It’s a lot like doing battle with the devil, isn’t it? We never know exactly how he will tempt us, but we know without a doubt that he will strike and constantly changes strategies.

As Christians, we just have to stay ready for whatever is thrown our way. It has been this way since Adam and Eve were banned from the Garden of Eden when the only thing they had to worry about was staying away from the fruit of one particular tree.  You have to wonder how long it would have taken any of us to fall for the same lie Satan told them.  

After all, we too know there are certain things we need to stay away from.  But just like Adam and Eve listened to the devil’s twisted version of God’s instructions, we also can fall for the schemes of darkness if we get too close to the enemy.  That is why God uses the term “flee from” (not flirt with) when instructing us on how to deal with temptations and sin.

Today, preparedness for spiritual disaster begins with the Holy Spirit. He is our insurance policy.  He guides and comforts us.  He provides opportunities for us to grow in the Godly qualities of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).  Scripture tells us that as Christians, we need to not only take on these kinds of qualities, but grow in them to avoid becoming ineffective (2 Peter 1:7).

Keeping our hearts in tune with Jesus not only helps us grow spiritually, but also helps us explain to others about the hope we have because of Christ (1 Peter 3:15).  The Bible encourages Christians to boldly go about the work of the Lord (2 Timothy 1:7-14 and Romans 1:16).  When we use God’s word and his Holy Spirit as our guide, we should never be afraid of the uncertainties of life, or of being inadequate to talk with others about joys of living for Jesus.  It is truly an honor to serve the King.  Have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or barrett@ftgcc.org.

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