Life can be hard, dark and cruel. This world can be hard, dark, and cruel. We can’t rely on ourselves, luck, or hard work. While life around you generally may seem good, try to get out of your normal circles and see how others are living outside of your neighborhood. Think globally about all the people, poverty, hunger, and oppression. Not only is life hard and requires hard work, knowledge, and sometimes a little luck, but there are barriers to success. There are barriers to a fruitful, joyful, and productive life.
First of all, there’s yourself.
We are sinful and selfish by nature. This can lead to some successes if you are strictly talking about one area of life such as business or finances. It won’t lead to true success or a fruitful and flourishing LIFE. A sinful and selfish life also will not lead to eternal life.
“The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable — who can understand it?”
Jeremiah 17:9 HCSB
Our heart is deceitful. Our feelings can deceive us and we can be selfish and look to put ourselves ahead of others. That’s our natural bent.
Secondly, if we learn to master our hearts and our feelings, there is still our enemy, Satan! He is out to destroy us.
“Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.”
1 Peter 5:8 HCSB
Satan wants to devour us.
“For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.”
Ephesians 6:12-17 HCSB
As we can see in this verse from Ephesians, Satan has tactics he uses against us. God tells us about this armor of God! Truth. Righteousness. Readiness for the gospel of peace. Faith. Salvation. Sword of the Spirit, God’s word!
Satan wants to destroy us. He wants to destroy you. He wants to destroy me. He wants to destroy marriage, yours and mine. Satan wants to destroy our unity, our love, our joy, our wealth, our mercy, our forgiveness, our sanity, our success, our momentum, our energy, our fun, our family, our future, and our life. He wants us to think we are good and he wants to trick us so that we don’t trust in Jesus for our eternal life. The result is that we die and get thrown into Hell with him. He wants us to suffer with him where God made for him to suffer.
Let’s not let him destroy us, our life, other’s lives, marriages, families, relationships, and futures.
Satan uses lies as one of his main tactics. He is the father of lies. He’s really good at it! Let’s watch out and be on guard. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Be Serious!” And “Be Alert”.
Your feelings lie to you all the time. Satan lies to you strategically to destroy you ALL the time. Don’t listen to your feelings or to the lies. Seek out truth. Think about the truth. Believe the truth. Seek wisdom.
Don’t let Satan destroy your marriage. Don’t let Satan destroy your family. Don’t let Satan destroy your future. Don’t let Satan destroy your life and take your eternal life. Trust in Jesus!
Don’t trust your feelings. Trust the truth. It’s hard to do. Our feelings lie to us and Satan does too. We must immerse yourself in God’s word.
Church is a huge part of our faith. It’s a community that points us to Truth, to God’s Word, to righteousness, to readiness to the Gospel of peace, faith, and salvation.
At church recently, our Pastor talked about James 3:13-18.
“Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace.”
James 3:13-18 HCSB
The truth Pastor Nick shared is that bitterness, jealousy, and selfish ambition are all earthly (natural), unspiritual, and demonic. They are from your deceitful heart or your destructive enemy. Choose wisdom, Godly Wisdom, which is pure, peaceable (peace loving), gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere. If we choose wisdom from above, we will live fruitful, productive, flourishing lives that bless those around us. This can only be done with Jesus.
Be a blessing to others. Be a blessing to your spouse. Be a blessing to your family. Be a blessing to your employer. Be a blessing to your co-workers. Be a blessing to the world. Be a blessing to your friends. Be a blessing to God. Be a blessing to others.
Choose Jesus Christ. He is The Way, The Truth, The Life.
He loves you and wants you to have an abundant life. Trust Him.
Fight for your life,
Intend to Live