Gathering Together

        Remain Steadfast Against Distractions

 

John 10:10

New Living Translation (NLT)

10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

2 Corinthians 10

New Living Translation (NLT)

3 We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4 [a]We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

 Ephesians 6

New Living Translation (NLT)

10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[c] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

 

Our lives are full of disappointments and mishaps, otherwise known as distractions. Sometimes it seems that everywhere you look there is another obstacle with your name on it, standing in the way of you achieving your goals and desires. But we shouldn’t be surprised by this because the Word of the Lord says that, “everyone who makes the choice to live godly will be persecuted”.

 

Our response to situations often begins with the question, why? But, we must recognize that it is the job of Satan and his minions to steal our joy and our hope. It’s their job to kill our praise, our prayer and our worship. It is the job of the devil to destroy our character, influence our decisions and disrupt our relationship with our Heavenly Father. We shouldn’t be surprised that as we draw closer and closer to God and the things of God that the battle we are in will only get more intense.

 

It is in those moments when the boss is getting on your nerves, the wife, the husband, the kids and even the people you fellowship with seem to be pushing your buttons that we must remain, “steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the works of the Lord”.

 

You see we must first identify who the enemy is. People, no matter their race, creed, color or gender are not the enemy. The behaviors they exhibit are a symptom of the spiritual influence that individual is under. Racism, sexism, prejudice and mistreatment are all symptoms of the same disease.

 

Once we realize this, then we have a choice to make about the type of behavior we will exhibit. Will we choose to respond through physical violence against the person who we feel offended us and/ or give them a piece of the mind we have left by verbally assaulting the individual or will we make the right choice, by exhibiting the character of Christ. The truth is that responding negatively only leads to downfall and an escalation in the battle most of us are not prepared for. The weapons we need to use are “kingdom weapons”; God’s word, prayer, praise and worship.

 

We don’t stand a chance in defeating the enemy if we play on his court by his rules. If you would take the time to observe the herds of antelope that roam the great African plains you would see that as long as they stick together, the lions could be starving, but they won’t attack. They will stalk them and even roar to intimidate the herd, but those lions will not attack.

 

It is at the moment of distraction; in our lives we call is confusion, fear, envy, hate, jealousy and the list goes on; it is at those moments that you will see one of the herd loses his place and finds itself separated from the rest of the herd. It isn’t long before you see the lions surround their prey and they all begin to eat the antelope. They all make sure that they join in on the feast.

 

This is how the enemy does each of us. He throws those distractions, the disappointments and life’s issues in our path to throw us off track. Distractions come in the form of people, places and things. But if we choose to stick together and use the weapons of God, every stronghold must eventually fall.

 

The schools our children attend must fall under subjection to the will of God. Our families and our communities and even our elected officials who feel no accountability to anyone must fall under subjection to the will of God.

 

Our battle is not with men, and it sure isn’t with other believers. Our battle is with the spiritual wickedness in high places that is working against the people of God and his Church.

 

But my brothers and sisters; be strong in the Lord. Be comforted and be bold in the faith knowing this fact, at the end of the book. We Win!

 

Joseph Woodley

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