To begin, let me acknowledge that we live in a world, this physical one, where the devil has some sway. He even shows up at times with a little bit of swag. And if you don’t or can’t accept this, try removing the ‘d’ and think evil in its place. Conceptually, some might find it easier to deal with the fact that we live in a world where evil and temptation are always present; like it or not.
The question is – what is our responsibility as believers in God as we try to model our lives after the one we call Christ? Just to be consistent, add an ‘o’ to God and think of this as a dilemma about good and evil. I am simply using the examples of Jesus and Satan to make my point. The first point of reference is the temptation of Jesus in the desert by Satan. Satan offers Jesus the entire world, all that this physical offers; the things that would cripple a lesser man: power, riches and dominion over everything he saw. As the story goes, Jesus renounces Satan and is then attended to by a multitude of angels who supply all His needs. Secondly, when John wrote to believers in Ephesus, he tells them to not love the world or anything in it. Apparently in order to safely navigate a world stacked against you, help is needed. The help comes from a belief system based in Go(o)d, not (d)evil and the knowledge that this world is temporary. The devil runs some things and we’re just passing through.
It’s sort of like coming upon an accident on the highway. Everything can be viewed through your window without you getting hurt. But if you’re not careful, outside forces can and will wreck your life just as easily. So drive carefully and please, have a nice day. I get it when ministers want to preach that the bible is a road map that if followed, will help you get through some hazardous terrain known as life. Let me try and tie all of this together.
When you get right down to it, as long as we recognize just how treacherous life can be, as long as we acknowledge the ever present evil out here, as long as we put our faith in the accuracy of the map and the map maker, we’ll come out of this life okay. Our obligation as Christians is to try and make sure that we don’t succumb permanently to the temptations that surround us. We cannot love the world more than we love God. Just can’t happen! We cannot be led by our passions and our emotions in this regard. Remember the devil is clever and relentless. He will never let up. Our faith in God must be equally relentless.
If I can just reiterate my journey analogy for a moment, the destination is the only reason to take the journey in the first place. I guess I’m saying, pack well for this trip. Bring along all those things you will need so you don’t have to stop along the way. Faith can’t hurt. Bring some food, remembering man does not live by bread alone. Love is a must and don’t forget the map because without it, you will surely get lost. With this understanding and the One who will supply all your needs, you’re ready to travel. Just be serious about this Christian undertaking. You ain’t Dorothy and this ain’t Kansas and the devil ain’t playing. In secular terms it is all about good vs. evil and you gotta choose. It’s a life and death and eternal life thing. Got it? If you don’t …
May God bless and keep you always.