Spiritually Speaking… Show or Substance (and) You are?

I am told there is one sure way to absolutely get the devil’s attention and that is to begin to turn one’s life to Christ. You’ve probably heard many a pastor refer to a person’s lifestyle as an open invitation for Satan to gain access to their world. Supposedly, as long as you engage in the things and happenings of this world, Lucifer has no need to spend any energy dealing with the struggle for your soul. You see, life’s trials and temptations alone are enough to sentence any one of us to an afterlife void of the Lord, which, if you didn’t know it, is the quintessential definition of hell itself. A life without spiritual purpose, a life without spiritual guidance, a life without faith is a life wandering aimlessly on a toll way headed straight to hell. The devil does not need to work to gain access to this life. It is a conformed life. He can merely wait at the toll booth gate and collect unsuspecting souls on their way by. You remember when you partied so hard that even the next day didn’t completely clear up the stupor from the night before? I’m just humbly suggesting that maybe some of us could at least make the devil sweat just a little bit while he tries to manipulate your life’s circumstances.

On the other hand, a life grounded in spiritual purpose, imbued with integrity and anchored in faith instantly becomes a target for satanic bullets. Hopefully, if not consistently, we should be trying to make Satan’s work harder by appealing to the Lord everyday to allow us to do His Will instead of our own. Satan is coming for anyone who tries to hear and respond to God’s Word. Again, one of my favorites…”Some people are like seed along the path where the Word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the Word sown in them.” Mark 4:15. If we know this, then what are we doing to arm ourselves against the inevitable onslaught of the evil one? “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of the light.” Corinthians 11:14. The point of all this is to let you know that as a believer, you have a neon sign that shines brightly in all the kingdoms of this world and the next. It identifies you and alerts everyone around you about your soul’s true mission, which is to honor God. And for the record, Satan cannot stand the thought that your love for God supercedes his ability to wreck your world. I’m told that at one time he, too, loved God dearly. He came, however, to love himself more. Now if the devil has his way, he wants us to love ourselves and our things, our addictions more than we love God. And then, like Lucifer, try to get your light to shine brighter on you. Just know if that ever happens, feel for that toll booth token, because you’ve just bought your ticket straight to hell. “For as I have often told you before and now (I) say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their God is their stomach and their glory is their shame. But our citizenship is in heaven…” Philippians 3:18-20.

I can only hope, sincerely hope, that you recognize the next trial or temptation headed your way is but a speck on a windshield, a splattered piece of nothing standing in your way on your way to the Promised Land. Any other consideration would be a mistake and an insult to God. His highway is free. It doesn’t cost you anything to get on it. As a matter of fact, just stay on the service road and you’re sure to find your way. May God bless and keep you always.

James, jaws@dallasweekly.com