ENDURING TO THE END, THERE ARE ROARING LIONS AMONG US

I have been so blessed lately by reading Charles Spurgeon.  Most of the things on my heart right now, that I am going to write, is actually his words, put into my perspective.

Someone recently said to me, “Sometimes I’m tempted to just walk away from God, so that Satan will give me some rest!”  I was thinking about that, and how it does seem like that sometimes.  But it IS like that.  A devoted follower of Christ WILL be hounded and tormented by Satan.  It’s part of the job description.  And WHY do we want a job like this?  Now THAT’s where it gets harder to explain.  At least I think it does.  As a redeemed soul, we have a life waiting for us that’s beyond our wildest expectations.  It’s hard sometimes to stay focused on that, with the world screamings it’s temptations to us all the time.  And I don’t believe we hear enough of WHAT IT IS we have been saved from.  It’s something very horrible, and THE ONLY WAY we are saved from this horrible, BUT JUST judgement, is through Jesus.  ONE WAY.  There is no doctrine of “ANYTHING-OLOGY” as our world seems to believe.  Jesus is the only way.  But Jesus is the GOOD way.  He tells us it’s going to be really hard here on earth.  Which it is.  But He promises His peace, His joy.  That’s where it gets hard to explain.  Unless you’ve ‘experienced’ His peace and His joy and His other attributes for yourself, you won’t know what it is.  I remember when I first became a Christian, and I thought, “OH!  I’m going to have Jesus’ peace and joy!  I’m not going to have any more of this pain!”  Well, I was wrong,  I went into one of the darkest ‘valley’s of my life, of pain.  I thought Jesus’ peace and joy wasn’t for me, that for some reason, I didn’t get to have it.  But Jesus’ peace and joy is NOTHING like what I expected peace and joy to be.  I was defining it by the world’s definition of peace and joy.  And to this day, I cannot define it.  You will know it if you have it.  If you don’t think you’ve ever experienced it, cry out to Jesus.  Make Him the Lord of you life.  He is good to His promise.  He will give you his peace and joy.

We are told so many times is the Bible to endure, to persevere.  We need to hear that.  We need to be reminded.  We are on a journey with Jesus, through some very hostile and desolate land.  Our journey doesn’t end until Jesus comes back or He calls us to Him, to that place He has prepared for us.  Sometimes I get discouraged, despondent, because I’m looking for ‘something’ HERE.  And God DOES bless us here, His blessings are all over the place, but our journey, our purpose, our calling will never end somewhere here on earth, when we reach some ‘goal’, when we get our retirement portfolio to look as we want, when we obtain some strived after career.  There will always be struggles here.  WHY?  Because of the roaring lion.  The Bible is so clear about our enemy. “Be sober, be vigilant, BECAUSE your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1Peter 5:8

There is no believer in Christ, no follower of that which is true and lovely, and of good repute, WHO WILL NOT FIND HIMSELF AT SOME SEASON OR OTHER, attacked by this foul fiend and the legions enlisted in his service.  Behold him.  Though you cannot see his face, or detect his form, believe that such a foe withstands you.  It is not a myth, nor a dream, nor a superstition.  He is as real a being as ourselves.  Though a spirit, he has as much real power over hearts as we have over the hearts of others, in many cases, far more.  This is, I repeat, no vision of the night, no phantom of a crazy person.  The wicked one is as real this day as the day when Jesus met him in the wilderness.

Oh my!  What an enemy we have!  Are we to be frightened, intimidated?  Oh no, because belong to Christ, and He defeated this evil enemy!  Thank you Jesus!  Oh yes, I belong to Jesus, so Satan is basically wasting his time on me, but it’s what he does.  And he does to you, too.  Because you have a light shining forth from you, that you don’t see, but the world sees.  You have a salty taste emitting from you that you don’t feel, but the world tastes it.  And oh how Satan hates you for that!  Oh how he wants to dim your light and take away your saltiness!  Never forget that!  That’s why it can be so hard sometimes.  Because of our enemy.  Oh, I think if I were to write all the ways Satan tries to discourage a child of God, I think I would write the longest blog in history ever written!

I think of how Satan shouts in my ear, “You are a fool, Sue!  Look at what you’ve given up to follow Jesus!  You had a GREAT job, easy work, earning 4 times what you earn now, with honor and respect.  You had a great retirment plan.  You gave that up for WHAT?  What exactly have you done for Jesus?  I don’t see big revival in Chamberlain, at St. Joe’s, at the Academy, at Cedar Shore, at your church!  Your church,  HA!  That’s a laugh!”  Those are the kinds of things Satan whispers in my ear.  He calls me a fool all the time.

The devil will say to me, “What profit is there in serving God?  Where do you prosper?  Don’t stop in Ninevah.  Be like Jonah and flee to Tarshish!  You’re wasting your time here.  Why do you make yourself different?  Why do you expose yourself to ridicule from those that enjoy the pleasures of the world?  Just give it up, Sue!” 

Or else he’ll say, “What is the good of your being so zealous?  Are you better than others?  Do as the others do.  loiter, sleep, let your lamp go out.  It will be much more comfortable.”

Or he’ll work through my flesh.  “Oh!”, cries my flesh, “I’ve had enough of this!  It is weary work being a follower of Jesus, come on, give it up!”  “You’ve done enough, Sue, just stop and do no more.  Or at least give yourself a vacation from this constant warfare.  C’mon, Sue, indulge yourself, you deserve it.”

So, today, I pray for perseverance for me and for my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I thank God that it is through the power of the Holy Spirit in me, that I am able to persevere.  Even though I don’t always ‘feel’ like I’m persevering, I am a child of God, and He will never lose me.  Jesus will always keep me safe, and Satan will never be victorious over my soul.

Travel on weary traveler!

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