Have you ever felt like you were on top of it spiritually, and then before you knew it, blew it completely? Have you ever been driving to or from work, maybe even listening to praise music or Christian radio, and then someone aggravated you in traffic and you completely lost your cool? Have you ever been having a great day, to come home and have a child or spouse push your button the wrong way, and perhaps they had no idea they were even doing it? So many times in life, I thought I was winning in my daily walk and then, in one or two little conflicts, I quickly found myself in sin or distress!
It is easy not to sin when things are going our way. The question is, how much of things not going our way, does it take for the ugly to come out? Most people can be easygoing and happy when things are going their way. The challenge is, can we keep our composure and joy, when things go awry?
King Solomon, in Proverbs, recorded much great wisdom. Here is a great proverb.
Some of the people that I have looked up to, the most in life, are the ones who could keep their peace in the storms, their composure and joy when things went wrong and good attitudes, even in the midst of adversity and trauma. But if we look to the ultimate example, Jesus, we can see how He kept it all together, no matter how the devil tried to tempt, test or befall Him.
Can you imagine, how the devil wanted Jesus to fail in His mission or how bad he wanted Jesus dead? From the time, the prophecy came from the Lord to the devil about conflict that would come from the seed of Eve, the devil was on guard about it.
Have you ever wondered what really happened with Cain and Abel? Cain was the first seed that Eve gave birth to. Don’t you think the devil was after Cain to befall him? A seed that would come from her, would be part of devil’s demise. The devil worked hard to bring the fall of man and next he worked hard to wreck their family, especially with their offspring. I believe he worked hard on Cain to keep him from being on the right path. And perhaps he saw that Abel was good seed and was a serious threat too. By getting Cain to kill Abel, he eliminated “two birds with one stone.”
Eventually the devil realized, that they were not the seed to worry about. But at the time of Christ’s birth, the serpent of old, was waiting for the Messiah. How many children died in Bethlehem, because the devil was directing Herod?
How long do you think it took, for the devil to figure out that Jesus, came through Mary and was being raised by she and Joseph? Can you imagine the opposition and friction, he used to try to frustrate Jesus and get Him to sin?
After Jesus was baptized in water and Spirit, He spent forty days in the wilderness, fasting and praying.
Jesus had brothers who did not believe in Him, He had a religious establishment that opposed change. It had fallen far from the pure relationship God wanted with the Jews. I believe the enemy worked overtime, to try to frustrate Jesus and get Him to sin. I also believe the devil worked overtime, to get people to turn on Jesus, as individuals and in groups, that when he could, the devil would try to turn them into mobs against Jesus. Such as the time in Nazareth, when the people in the synagogue turned on Jesus and wanted to throw Him over the side of a nearby cliff (Luke 4:28-30). The Lord handled all these situations victoriously.
Jesus is the greatest example for us to follow. He has shown us how to keep our peace in betrayal, in being falsely accused, in being turned on by our families, our churches (in His case, synagogues/Temple) and so much more. His strength was not short-lived. He did not faint in the day of adversity.
I think we can all see why if we look. Jesus stayed in one accord with the Father. He never broke that union. He constantly sought the will of the Father and told us, that, that was what He was doing. Every time we sin, we break the union we have with the Lord. His grace helps us get back to where we should be, but when we choose our own will over God’s, then we are choosing to break that union. Doing so hurts God being able to abide in us and us in Him. Jesus never did that. Maybe we cannot be Jesus, but we all can do better!
We can all see that Jesus took time out to replenish. Ministering to others is draining. Going to work is draining. Solving problems is draining. Taking care of children is draining. Hearing the hurts and problems of others, is draining. The only way to overcome being drained, is to be replenished. If this world had its way, it would have us working and staying busy, 7 days a week. The Lord made the Sabbath for man, not man for the Sabbath. That day off is for replenishment. Restoration. We need it daily also, but especially the one day set aside. Anytime we get drained and exhausted, we need to be replenished and restored. And we all know, that when we are in an exhausted state, this is when getting the victory is the hardest.
The world may know about positive thinking and getting rest, but one will never learn in secular schools that we are spirit beings. And these beings inside us, direct the rest of us. Our human bodies must eat, drink and stay fit, but the world will not teach us about the inner man, eating, drinking and staying fit. This spiritual person, needs the Lord. He needs the Holy Spirit and to be able to hear Him. If we are to abide in Jesus and He in us as in John 15, this is spiritual. The trials and challenges of this world are not for weaklings. And choosing the Lord at a single moment in life is not enough. We have to daily follow Him and His leading. We must grow in His Word and direction. If we do not want to faint in the day of adversity or let the enemy trip us up in traffic or heated situations, then we need to be internally strong. Like Jesus. In one accord with the Father, asking for direction from above and then obeying that direction. We must eat, drink and even work-out spiritually unless we want to be weak in our spirits and fail. Our pastors or parents cannot do it for us, our spouses or even the Lord. The choice is always up to us. Let’s stay replenished. Lets’ stay and grow in union with the Lord. Let’s follow Jesus and the examples He set for us.
Eli Cockrell and Carmen Pușcaș share thoughts about the end times and life as a Christian in the world we live in today.