Car broke down- the devil.
Electrical appliances die- the devil.
A disagreement- the devil.
A traffic jam- definitely the devil.
Sure, if the toaster stops working and that causes you to take your eyes of Jesus then I wouldn’t put it past the devil to do something like that however, I think he is at work in our lives in much more subtle ways.
While we are blaming him for trivial conflicts in our life his work goes unnoticed as we watch depression overcome those close to us, marriages fall apart, and addictions take root. Some of his work is so crafty that it can even come in the form of success. A new job, a new opportunity, a new path of perceived promise that could take us of the path God has set for us.
Over the years it has amazed me how many times I speak to someone who seems to have a moment of clarity, I would even go as far as to say they hear from God:
“I feel like I need to study to equip myself.”
“I want to give God a year without dating”
“I feel like I need to draw back from that relationship”
“I want to get more involved in church etc etc.”
Two weeks later I am shocked to discover the enlightenment has been replaced by something completely left field.
“I wanted to study but then I got offered a promotion.”
“I was going to give God a year but then ‘Bozo’ came along and we want to get married- It’s God.”
“I know I said I wanted to draw back from that relationship but maybe God wants to use me to help them, to get them saved…”
“I am too busy for church, small group, etc- I need to be faithful with my time
The enemy bids for the attention of our soul. If circumstance (whether good or bad) can distract you then he will use that to take your eyes off God.
Without Jesus at the centre of our life we can be taken off course. A focus on getting fit and healthy can quickly turn to self obsession. A desire to be financially secure can turn to a pursuit of wealth and possessions.
We can be held captive by overwhelming thoughts of fear, insecurity, stress, people pleasing- really anything that causes us to live below God’s best for us.
It’s not about perceived good or bad circumstance- if the devil can get us to take our eyes of Jesus and refocus them onto ourselves or something else then he has won. In that sense it is up to us. We know he is defeated we just need to live like he is.
Our worship of God restores our focus. When we put God on the throne and remind ourselves that He is good, He is kind, King, Saviour, Provider, Deliverer, Healer, The Way, The Truth, our Salvation etc etc we give Him space in our life. We allow His light into places that perhaps we have allowed to grow dim since the last time we truely surrendered and gave Him our worship.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21 NKJV)
Evil lurks but God’s light is brighter, His name is greater. We overcome evil by lifting His name higher and by choosing to walk out His truth. We are encouraged to worship in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23). The spirit part, I believe, is the posture of our soul; how much of our heart have we truely given over to His Lordship, and the truth part- how much of our lives match our declaration? It’s a journey for sure- none of us are there get but we get stronger in His presence.
Our worship pushes back the darkness, overcomes evil and it is expressed our day to day decisions. Any decision that reveals Him as our Lord- a decision to praise, a decision to swallow pride and be humble, to be unified, to prefer others, to get over offence to make Jesus the centre of all that we do.
I believe in you.
Thanks for meandering with me,
This post is the conclusion of the worship devotional ‘A Meander through Romans 12.’ If you have enjoyed the series I would love to hear from you. You can contact me by visiting the ‘About Carly‘ page or by commenting below.
My musings as a result of this devotional have caused me to contemplate our obedience in relation to our worship- be prepared for future posts along this train of thought. I will also resume my reflections on Darlene’s book ‘Worship Changes Everything and continue my posts on A Pilgrimage of Worship.
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