As I write this, the temperatures are starting to drop, at least in this area. Summer has been ferocious, intense heat. There is one heat that never seems to wear off though, and that is the heat of spiritual battle for the Lord. How often we forget that when God starts using us, Satan’s hatred towards us becomes greater and he tries more and more to bring us down.
Let’s look at Luke chapter 10 for a minute. Jesus is about to go out to visit several different towns and sends 72 of His disciples to go ahead of Him. The first part of this chapter, up to chapter 17 is where He is telling the, how to go to these towns to prepare His ministry there. But look at verses 17 - 20 where they return…
17And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
18And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
19Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Here, Jesus gives them a check-up. A true reality check about what has been going on and what they have been experiencing. Imagine what they are going through. They are ecstatic and overjoyed in the fact that even demons submit to them in His name. I can imagine that they were full of adrenaline as you and I both would be. But notice in the last two verses, Jesus points them right back to that power, and authority…Jesus Christ Himself, who is God in the flesh.
Most all of us at some point in our Christian walk have tried to witness to others about Jesus Christ, and lots of awesome things come out of that. So good are these things, we are amazed…but sometimes, something gets right in the middle of that conversation that just blows us out of the water and we are left wondering what in the world happened. Sometimes people simply don’t want to hear it, sometimes they get downright rude and obstinate… even cursing at us or trying to cause physical harm to us. Think about those situations and how, for the most part, that fleshly side of us wants to strike back and say or do whatever, taking it in our own hands and totally mess things up. When we stop letting Christ lead us, we’re lost when we try to do it on our own…exactly the point He made in those last two verses above. It can become one step forward, and two steps back and we can destroy every bit of testimony we have given if we choose to not let “Jesus take the wheel”.
Jet pilots in our armed forces aren’t sent right back in combat if they've been out of training for a couple weeks for whatever reason. There is a lot of intensity and precision in their training, and if their skills are dulled even slightly, if they become numb to it at all, it can mean the difference between life and death. They have to stay in an exact, particular and precise training regimen to do their jobs effectively.
That’s no different than us. We have to be sharp. We have to know where the REAL spiritual authority comes from that enables us to do our work. If we fall out of our training, and become less in tune with Jesus Christ’s guidance for us, His authority over us, and haven’t kept His desires for us in our lives….we’re going out to battle without the full armor of God. Maybe we haven’t been getting spiritually fed at church like we ought to. Maybe we haven’t been in prayer talking to Him and asking for guidance and direction. Maybe we haven’t been in His word, studying it like that pilot studies textbooks. It is then that we won’t be focused enough to do the tasks Christ really intends for us…and that should be our ultimate goal. He laid down His life for us….we use our lives for Him. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that He can use us for, but just not “flying a jet for Christ”. Instead, we might find we are better suited to help the pilot in the plane until we get back on track and put Christ first. All is not lost when we get in this situation, He still loves us and still has plans for us, we just have to submit, and give Him the time in prayer, study of His word, and spiritual feeding through our Christian brother and sisters. Remember these verses…
13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
15The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
If we always remember that He is our strength and that only through Him we are made whole, those difficult tasks won’t be so difficult. Holding your tongue won’t be so hard. Love will come easier that hate. Fear will not have a place in you. As soon as we think we can rely on our own strength and wisdom to figure things out and what He is doing…we set ourselves up for failure. No matter how hard things get, if we keep Him as our only hope, it all falls in to place how HE wants it to, and a lot of times, it’s not how we thought things would end up! Let’s shut our mouths, open our ears, and fill our heart and soul with Jesus. Things won’t come to us on our time if we truly want His will. Part of the waiting period is the WANTING to wait in order that His will is done. Keep Him first, above all other things. Be still and know.
In His Grace,
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