Following on from my blog on Friday ‘The Craftiness of Satan’ I have spent some more time thinking about this power of ‘Craftiness’ that Satan uses so often in my life and possibly yours too.
As I mentioned last blog, I try my hardest to do things right, I read my bible (most days I study it but sometimes I fall short of ‘study’ so I won’t claim that just yet), I go to church, I do what I can to engage with people where they are at and come alongside them to partner in their walk with God, in fact it possibly my favorite part of my week when I get to do this. I sometimes even get to guide them on a path that they missed for one reason or another.
Although I am not the most genuinely caring, loving, accepting person in the world (as was pointed out to me by my wife here), I do love helping people grow spiritually, helping them step back and evaluate before making a plan to go forward. I really enjoy doing this because it forces me to grow so much more as it exposes to me my many weakness’ that I need to work on in the process of build others up.
If I were to paraphrase Jesus’ words for my self in this situation:
“While you’re helping identify and deal with the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye you should take that God given opportunity to pay attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7 (My paraphrase)
I have had 2 separate occasions of friends calling me in the last week asking for advice, let me just say how much I loved receiving those phone calls, while my heart was breaking for my friends dealing with their issues, my heart also rejoiced in that they had seen me as someone whose advice is useful.
These friends are both dealing with issues that I have dealt with in the past and I remember what it was like, Issues I wouldn’t wish on anyone, kept very private but thankfully I have now taken massive steps forward from where I was in dealing with these two things. These 2 phone calls reminded me, they convicted me; they enlightened me as to where I was at with those things in my life. It bought to my attention the need I still had to completely eradicate these ungodly things from my life. I’m still far from holy.
Now I could take these phone calls, these chats that I feel God has urged me to have with others this week with arrogance and self-righteousness, I could blog about how great I am and how the favor of God is resting on my life and guiding me (I hope that isn’t how this is coming across to you) but that would just lead me down into Satan’s trap again.
Satan is more than happy for me to share the things of God if it is going to lead me to arrogance and self-righteousness. He knows that in the end he wins in that situation, my word become discredited and seen as self glorifying and ‘holier than thou’, the people I speak to will shrug it all off as arrogance and pride, and I will end up further from God than where I started. He’s crafty, but God can help you and I to see all these tricks.
What a “Crafty Devil’ Satan is, but you have to admit his more often than not work on stupid humans like us. Imagine what the kingdom would be if we had that same craftiness and put it into saving souls for God. I’m not talking about being deceptive to the unsaved (others have tried that a few times, it didn’t work out well) but I mean having same level of creativity that Satan uses to win people to his way. Take something worldly and use it to turn other against worldliness and turn souls to Holy. Well guess what, Our God is the creator of creativity; he can definitely help us do that.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen 1
“O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” Ps 104:24
“For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind, and declares to man what is his thought, who makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!” Amos 4:13
“It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.” Jeremiah 10:2
It is this concept that got the salvos out in bars, coming alongside people, befriending others, sharing the news of Jesus only after they had given others the chance to share their story too. It is even as simple as food; you know that if you put on an event with free food, the world will be there. Maybe we need less separation between ‘Church’ and ‘Free Food’ or ‘Friday Night Activities’ and ‘Sunday Activities’; maybe we need to bring Christ to all situations not just the ones we dictate he is welcome in.
This is also the driving force of Christians hanging out with Non-Christian, Influence. There is no doubt that Satan influences, he is there 24/7, he uses others to influence us, he give small ‘tastes’ of sinfulness that we chose to desire more than God. I’m just wondering where is the ‘taste’ of Christian-ness, the influence of Christians on Non-Christians 24/7. If you were to honestly answer this question ‘What is the percentage breakdown of your friends, are they ‘Christian’ or Non- Christian’?” I am more than confident that it would be no better than 80% Christian 20% Non-Christian. We get in our safe little groups, using influence as an excuse, saying ‘We don’t want the world to influence and corrupt us’ but isn’t that the same as saying ‘I’m not strong enough to influence others in the world for Jesus’?
Diamonds are created by the pressure of the earth, in the same way Holiness in Christians is created through pressure from those on Earth.
Look I’m not judging, my stats are 90%/10%. I work in a Christian environment; all my friends (that I am in regular contact with, not just via facebook) are Christians. I do one gig a week that is in a non Christian atmosphere, I work my bum off to not be ‘corrupted’ by their ways but I often fail. So again, please don’t look at this as arrogance because I am the last person that should be judging about ‘Closed circles’, it’s a plank in my eye that may be a speck for you, as I said, as I bring it to light for you, my own convictions well up.
Influence is Great, just make sure you are turning others eyes up instead of them turning yours down.
Be careful that you are the reflection of God above not the reflection of what is below.
Just a Thought.