Monday 17 April 2017

Choose Life (Part Twenty Four)

Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:5-6, NKJV)
We continue this week with the story of the sick man healed at the Pool of Bethesda. [John 5:1-15].

The devil does not corrupt because he wants to. He corrupts because he is corrupt. That is his nature, and hence, that by which he corrupts. [John 8:44] Having been leavened, all he seeks is to leaven (infect). In Genesis 3, we see him in action against Eve. Eve was leavened; she was deceived. She thought she had one on God. She thought she had an aha moment. She thought she had a new revelation, a new insight. Howbeit, she had only been fed a piece of baloney. She had been fed that which was seemingly right, but not accurate, nor whole. The scriptures tell us,
“The woman was convinced [bewitched, hypnotized, carried away]. She saw [presumed] that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom [she presumed] it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.” (Genesis 3:6, NLT – with my emphasis)
Just how many of such baloneys are flying around today? Inaccurate knowledge, sold with the intent to deceive and imprison. We see the same instance in Jesus' temptation. [Matthew 4:1-11, 16:23; Luke 4:1-13] The devil has not changed. He uses the same old trick. We presume him to have changed. We presume ourselves better than Eve, only to our own predicament.

The devil has not changed. He is still the same old cunning serpent. He does not come to us in full regalia. If he did we will not fall. [2 Corinthians 11:3, 14] Rather he comes disguised with and in the things we are used to, live in and with. All he needs do is tweak it a little. All he needs is present in an inaccurate way, and he gets us on the wrong trajectory.
"Listen, child—if you’re at a party with a hundred people and one of them is the devil, he’ll be the last one you’d suspect." (Dean Koontz)
Satan does not care whether or not you go to church. What he cares about is if you are a Christian. What he cares about is if your name is in the "Book of Life." It is if God can look down and declare, "This is my son (or daughter) in whom I am well pleased." He does not care how much activity we get ourselves involved in. He cares what the activities are making of us. Probably one of his most potent weapons is "The Religious Spirit" - people with a form of religion, but lacking in the power thereof. [2 Timothy 3:5] So, Jesus declares,
"Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ [engaged in religious activities in my name] will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father [is accurate] who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21, AMP, with my emphasis) 
"The Devil is a master of disguise and takes on many forms. He comes to conquer you, steal your joy, kill your spirit, and destroy your faith. When you are doing right, he attacks you from the left but know that God is all powerful and God is in you and that no weapon formed against you shall prosper." (C.L. Hall)
"Very few people believe in the devil these days, which suits the devil very well. He is always helping to circulate the news of his own death. The essence of God is existence, and He defines Himself as: 'I am Who am.' The essence of the devil is the lie, and he defines himself as: 'I am who am not.' Satan has very little trouble with those who do not believe in him; they are already on his side." (Fulton J. Sheen)

The Apostle Paul admonishes us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. [Philippians 2:12] That is, we need to take care to order our life according to God's Word - His Truth. The onus is on each of us. Beware lest you become a victim.
© 2017 Akin Akinbodunse

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