Spiritually Speaking… Belief is Freedom, Believe it or Not

I went to a metaphysical church on Sunday and it compelled me to remember the moment of my own salvation. I remembered the Sunday I was moved to accept the truth about Christ but couldn’t seem to pull the trigger on my public declaration of faith. Hindsight suggests there were three simple questions that should have been answered immediately and affirmatively — that I believed in Jesus’ deity and His life, His death and His life again. But it wasn’t that simple for me and I’ll save that for another day. My point here is that salvation is really very simple and we tend to complicate matters by ignoring the fact that we live in a world dominated by satan. As my former bible classmates would always remind me, he is as slick as they come and relishes his work 24/7. And why not? We keep him highly motivated. My favorite part of the bible is Matthew 4:1-11 and I would ask you to read and reread it often. This is it for me; the ultimate confrontation between Jesus and the devil, good vs. evil. I could talk about this for more time and space than I have here, but know this. When push came to shove and the devil tried to persuade Jesus to do everything but accept and respond based on Jesus’ deity, Christ simply replied, “It is written…” Go back and check. The fall back position for Christ at this critical moment for us was to rely on scripture to put the devil in his place.

Now Jesus could look the devil and his temptation in the face and stare him down enough to make satan back down. I don’t claim that kind of strength. I know I need help. Maybe you do too. But it would seem to me that the ammunition you need to fight your own battle of life and death and (eternal) life is contained in God’s Word. If you take nothing else from what I’m saying, take this. Don’t go into battle with an unloaded gun. If Jesus used the Word to win His battle, shouldn’t you at least try to do the same thing? The answer to the devil’s attempt to rob you and God of your soul, your eternal life, is contained in scripture. You just need to find it. Read the book please. And remember all you have to do is to acknowledge Christ’s position in the universe and try to follow His example.

This rather short piece of text in Matthew provides a blueprint for everything that follows. I have always found it ironic that once the devil is defeated, “…angels came and attended to Him (Jesus).” Everything, and I do mean everything, the devil offered God granted. So on Sunday I kept thinking about a simple affirmation of faith. Yes, I believe in Jesus. Yes, I believe He is the son of God and yes, I believe he died for my sins and rose from the dead. That’s it. Now go back and reread His greatest challenge on the battlefield of life. Recognize that He won and when He did, we did. That means you. Now arm yourself with His Word and go fight your battles of today. Just remember this. You’ll lose some and you’ll win some. But the war is already won. Arm yourselves and may God bless and keep you always.

James, jaws@dallasweekly.com