Sunday, August 07, 2011
I preached on 1 Peter 5.7-9 today.
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him,
standing firm in the faith, because you know that your fellow believers
throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Message went well. Hopefully we were all challenged. But here's how it was confirmed to me that it was from God...
Five minutes after the meeting, a man came into the building asking to see the minister. We went in to the office where he proceeded to tell me that he needed money to go to the Isle of Wight to I.D. his father who had just passed away. When I told him that we couldn't give him CASH there are then, he lambasted me with all sorts of colourful words about how rubbish we are etc. Inwardly I was mad, but thankfully I didn't tell him where to get off and encouraged him to "go in peace" (!)
Now is this me or is this a perfect example of that above text? "The devil prowls around... looking for someone to devour..."
why is it things like this happen? Why is it that you come away from a great time of worship and service, and the Enemy attempts to stick an oar in? Why is it you can have a great with the Lord at a summer camp, for example, or a service, which can rapidly turn into a feud between people who disagree over carpets?
Because the Enemy doesn't like it. He prowls, he looks for something to chew on...
Thankfully on this occasion I did stand firm, but there have been many other times when I haven't. It makes me realise that a) we disciples of Christ are always in the firing line of the enemies of Jesus b) We need to cultivate a spiritual radar that realises these attacks for what they are and by God's Spirit, resist and stand firm. The devil might want to devour you, but it doesn't have to get to that point.
Resist Him. He Will Flee. Get yourself into a small group of people whom you can speak to, pray with and encourage.
Most importantly, Cast all your anxieties upon Jesus. Come to Him FIRST. Not last resort, but first thought. Give him your time, like the Psalmists did so long ago when they were oppressed and crushed. Tell him what you think, how you feel and claim his promises over your life.
You don't have to twist his arm. He is the God of all comfort and he cares for YOU.
It's as simple as that.