Last Sunday I heard from the pulpit one of the most important questions that I could really ever ask myself…
This is something that I truly haven’t given much thought to. It’s much easier to focus on what it takes to love God, to serve God, and to be faithful to Him. But how much I really think about what it would take to leave him is… zero-to-none.
But, why is this such an important question?
If I don’t know what it will take for me to leave God…I can be certain that Satan DOES.
The bible is overflowing with scripture about being aware of the spiritual battle:
1 Peter 5:8 // “Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up.” (MSG)
Hebrews 2:1-3 // “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?” (NIV)
Ephesians 6:10-18 // “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (NIV)
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 // “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV)
2 Corinthians 11:14 // “Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light. So it shouldn’t surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God. But they’re not getting by with anything. They’ll pay for it in the end.” (MSG)
James 4:7-8 // “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (NIV)
So then if Satan is so intimately involved in our spiritual lives, how much more important is it for us to be aware of how he’s trying to take us out?
The preacher focused on Hebrews 2 & 3 and how slowly we can d r i f t away from God without really realizing that we are. He used the illustration of a boat that is anchored in at a harbor. If the anchor isn’t firmly fastened, then the boat will slowly but surely drift away. Before anyone realizes it the boat can be off to sea, later to be tossed by the waves, and finally completely DESTROYED by the storms of the sea. So the question remains, where is your anchor? Are you firmly tied in or are you slowly drifting off? If you are slowly drifting, then don’t be surprised that when the storms come (and they most undoubtedly will) that you are completely spiritually destroyed. Because after all, that’s how Satan usually works. Some slow drifts that he causes are…tiny lies that he fills your head with, insecurities and doubts that he circulates in your heart, which then leads to actions of deception that pull you away wave by wave…
John 8:44 // “He [satan] was a killer from the very start. He couldn’t stand the truth because there wasn’t a shred of truth in him. When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies.” (MSG)
So how aware are you of this spiritual battle? Because Satan knows what it will take for you to leave God, and he will do whatever it takes to make that happen. Therefore I challenge you to examine your heart and be on your guard because Satan is always schemeing. Figure out what it will take for you to leave, and you will be one step ahead of Satan’s mission.
These are the questions and scriptures that I have been challenged and convicted to the core about. So I hope and pray that you are able to join me in becoming more readily aware of the spiritual battle that is going on beyond our realm of reality.
I want to end with this scripture because after all, even the power of Satan can’t keep us from God.
Romans 8:31- 39 // “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The truth of the matter is that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love. But because he’s given us freedom to choose him and his love back, there is room for our hearts to wander. I want to do whatever it takes to keep myself focused solely on him and to be anchored solidly in the word, while also being aware of my adversary’s schemes to pull me from God’s all consuming love.
After all, God deserves to have my whole and undivided heart.