by Pastor Tim Burt
When I was in the fourth grade and nine years old, I was one of the smallest boys in school. The smallest boy in school is typically going to get picked on just because he's an easy target. I worked out some by doing push-ups and lifting weights so that I wasn't a complete pushover, but just my size made me feel like I was wearing a sign that said I'm the smallest guy around, come pick on me.
One of my very best friends in school happened to be the biggest and strongest kid in school in that age group. We were always together at school. Consequently, for anyone to get to me, they had to go through him. I knew that I was safe just because of him. I wasn't stupid. I didn't take advantage of the situation and antagonize guys because I had a big friend. I was simply grateful that I did. I was extremely grateful for his friendship, first just because he was a great friend, but secondly, because by just being with me, he saved me from bullies and a lot of trouble.
That's really the way it is with the Lord. We live in a world defiled by Satan and sin. He is everyone's bully although to call Satan a bully would be to understate his evil. I'd compare him to a deviate, drive-by shooter, sociopath, psychopath, murderer... well you get the picture—the one who indiscriminately hates and works to destroy anyone. Jesus described him as the one who has come "to kill, steal, and destroy." The Lord is our friend who is there to help us!
I recently heard a well-known Bible teacher on television say that God brings and allows adversity to test and grow our strength, character, and faith. I highly respect this person and his ministry but on this one point, he is very wrong. God never brought adversity in the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve, nor would it have come if they hadn't lusted for what they could not have. But they did lust for what was not permissible and consequently death (and everything leading up to death) came to us all because of sin.
We read in Romans 5:12 TLB, "When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned." Sin brought enough adversity for a life-time to each person. Sin has defiled the earth and mankind and created more adversity than any of us could bare to experience. God doesn't have to bring adversity to us. It comes like weeds in a garden or lawn—with no effort or help from anyone. You never plant weeds but they somehow come. And because they do, people expend great effort to remove or kill weeds in the garden and lawn. Likewise, like weeds, we need to resist the trouble from Satan that comes at us in life. It's not people we fight. According to Ephesians 6:12 (TLB), "For we are not
fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without
bodies—the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and
great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of
wicked spirits in the spirit world."
All sin is rooted in lust and self-concern from wrong selfish choices. The ugly consequences of sin have touched all of our lives. It is the source of every evil in the world, and that evil spills over into our lives creating a world of adversity. Like weeds in a garden, it just somehow comes.
Jesus is the big friend we have in life. His Holy Spirit lives within us. He helps us become "…strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!" (Ephesians 6:10) Though sin came to all men and made us weak and Satan's prey to be picked on, Jesus brought us righteousness to help us be as "bold as a lion!"
Romans 5: 15-17 TLB says, "...And what a difference between our sin and God's generous gift of forgiveness. For this one man, Adam, brought death to many through his sin. But this other man, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness to many through God's bountiful gift. And the result of God's gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man's sin. For Adam's sin led to condemnation, but we have the free gift of being accepted by God, even though we are guilty of many sins. The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God's wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour." Satan impersonates a lion, but WE ARE TO BECOME AS BOLD AS A LION! Satan will seek whom he may devour (those that don't know how to resist him.) We are to become the righteous that are as bold as a lion and tell him to flee in Jesus name! Read in your Bibles what demons did when Jesus showed up on the scene. They should cower when they see your boldness! A wicked or slothful man will flee or cave at the first sign of trouble or symptom of sickness. When I feel the attack of the enemy working against me in my life, I remember to roar!
We have a big friend named Jesus! The righteous will lift their head and roar saying, I resist and rebuke you Satan. I reject your efforts to hurt my life. I rebuke you so flee in Jesus name!
Proverbs 28:1 NIV, "The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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