This is a pretty simple message. Everyone knows it, I know we’ve all heard it more than a few dozen times. But I think its really important we keep mindful of it.
John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Like I said, we all know this one. But humor me, and read this with an understanding of its relevance and prevalence to us today.
The devil is jealous of our likeness and relationship with God. He can’t have it. He was made a fool when he was thrown out of heaven. He is the most bitter creation in all heaven and earth: he is the origin of wickedness (Ezekiel 28:15). Who carries a greater grudge against anyone than the devil against God?
And where do we come in all of this? We are God’s prize. We are His children, adopted in his family. What better way for the devil to try to get back at God than by causing His precious children to go astray?
Now consider this, who of God’s children is the devil to go after? Consider it. We could make the argument that he goes for the easiest to prey upon; that his objective is to take as many as he can before the end. This is a valid argument.
But, if the devil’s objective is to really get back at God, don’t you think he would go for more than just numbers? Don’t you think he would go for those who aspire utmost to be pleasing to God? Those who pursue God every day, and have that concrete relationship with God; for is that not what makes the devil jealous? … that relationship we have with God. It seems to me that the devil’s focus would be on these people: you, me, and the active and anointed church.
I say all this not as if to make some newly profound realization. This is mostly common knowledge. But take hold of it. Make it really real to you. You are on the top 10 wanted list of the devil. When you pursue God, the devil pursues you. Be careful. Guard your heart. He’ll try to do anything he can to deviate you just a little bit from your walk with God. He thinks he knows you, he’ll try to use your past against you. He’ll work against your finances, your work, your relationships, and even your health. Pray for consecration in the things of God. When things go bad, laugh at the devil, and thank God for the relationship you have with Him.
But don’t give in to whatever pathetic schemes the devil’s made for you. Don’t make him happy. This is so relevant to us today. Why do you think Paul wrote so much about guarding your heart, standing firm, being righteous, unspotted by the world, and the likes?
So when you feel temptation, when you feel brought down, when you feel like giving in: pray and absorb yourself in scripture. That is where you’ll find your peace and resolve.