Moving Ahead – August 5th, 2018

Moving Ahead…

There is a constant deluge of things to distract us on our journey. It seems more so today than ever before. Perhaps that is just because we are more aware today than we might have been yesterday. Or perhaps, there is another reason these diversions are in our path.

Note from Kip…

It’s easy enough to do.  We have numerous opportunities to become distracted which ultimately delay us from moving ahead.

Are these opportunities or are they really distractions that have been placed in front of us to do exactly that, delay?

The Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you will only move upward and never downward if you listen to the Lord your God’s commands I am giving you today and are careful to follow them. Do not turn aside to the right or the left from all the things I am commanding you today, and do not go after other gods to worship them.

Deuteronomy 28:13-14 (HCSB)

God has a direction in our lives and the less time our focus is diverted to those goals the more at peace we are with ourselves, and the more progress we make. What appears to be an opportunity to take in something of interest can be just something to keep us from our purpose.

A theory

I’m not going to cite scripture on this segment because this is just my thought on why we have so many of these opportunities today than ever before. I may inject a passage or two after I’ve laid this out for us, but for now I just want to plant a concept in our minds to consider.

What if these distractions are more than happenstance?  What if there is an intent and purpose for them being there? What if the perception of increased numbers of these ‘opportunities’ were nothing more than an attempt to prevent us from moving ahead?

My simple theory here is that this is precisely the case.

The enemy is aware that his time is growing short. He knows what God’s word says about his demise and he has no intent on going down that way. The less we are aware fo this struggle the better off he feels he is.

Because if we are not pressing on, then that means that our contribution to the progress of God’s kingdom is diminished and that may buy him a little time.

Time he is becoming more and more desperate to hold onto be cause he’s well aware that God’s plan is coming to fruition and while he’s already in constant battle with the heavenly powers, that final battle is laying ahead and that is exactly where he doesn’t want this to go.  Not at least, until he has figured out something else to attempt to thwart God’s master plan.

Back to the Devotional

Maybe you didn’t think you were all that important in this struggle. You might have felt like you were along for the ride and what you did or didn’t do really had no impact on what God has planned. That’s where we you would be wrong.

Like it or not. When we surrender our life to Christ Jesus, we are trust into a battle that continues until the moment Jesus brings us home. Regardless of that homecoming being the end of our physical existence here on this earth or being raptured into the clouds to meet Him at His glorious return.

For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (HCSB)

I contend that those distractions are nothing more than diversionary tactics being laid down by the enemy to if not stop us on our forward progress, at least delay us.

The battle is raging and if we are out of the fight that places one less warrior at the front for satan to contend with.

We should be suspicious whenever everything is going great from our perspective because there is a good chance that we’ve been averted from the battle and are not any longer a threat to him. Satan is not all powerful like our Lord. He has limitations and  doesn’t possess the attributes of God.

In a head to head assault, he loses every time.  His only means of gaining any advantage is when we give him that advantage by allowing him to cause us to shift our eyes off of Jesus.

It is the oldest most used trick in his bag.

Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Genesis 3:6 (HCSB)

Just a distraction. That’s all it was. The original sin, predicated on a diversion.  She saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at.

I have to check this out!
Have you seen the new gear?
It’s my hobby, what I do to relax.

Just as Adam and Eve’s sin was not so much eating as it was disobedience. Why were they disobedient? They had everything God had placed in the garden and there was but one thing God had told them to stay clear of.

Surely you’re not going to die if you eat!
It looks wonderful
It would be good for me

The devil lies. We take the bait. Soon we find we are not doing what we should be doing in the service of our Lord and Master.

It can be very suttle. It can appear very innocent. But if it takes us away from what we are intended to do for Jesus, you can be sure that the enemy has had something to do with it and we’ve been duped.

How do we know?

Perhaps the simplest way to validate what we are doing or what we are considering involving ourselves in is to check our heart. What is our intent? Is it glorifying God?

An easy way to do that is to use this passage as. a check list.

Rejoice always!
Pray constantly.
Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (HCSB)

Yeah, I can cheer at a football game! Who might you be cheering for? Not saying football is  wrong but are you in constant prayer and is your praise of God higher than your cheers for your team?

Give thanks for everything. Is this something that I can honestly be thankful to God for or would this be something that I might  be ashamed to know that God even knew I was doing it?

News flash Christian: He knows.

His Spirit lives in us and there isn’t anywhere we can go, or any way we can block Him from knowing first hand what we are doing constantly.  Just saying here, that we deceive ourselves if we think God isn’t going to know the intent of our heart and if that intent is in line with His will for us or not.

He’s not subject to the filters and excuses that we tell ourselves to justify our position. He’s immediately aware.

As Deuteronomy said keep moving upward. Don’t look side to side. We have a mission. God’s got a plan for us plotted. The enemy would do all that he can to slow us down, divert us and take us out of the battle. But the victory is won!

You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

They are from the world. Therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God.

Anyone who knows God listens to us; anyone who is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.

1 John 4:4-6 (HCSB)

Blessings,
kip…

 

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