“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:19)
Somehow upon receiving the freedom that comes when we accept Christ into our lives, we come up with a false notion that following Jesus is going to be easy. Because of this false notion, many folks who decide to give their lives to Christ end up returning to the life they were saved from. The enemy plants lies in their heads – that God is not with them or that the freedom they briefly experienced was not meant for them.
All we have to do is look at what Jesus faced and come to terms with the fact that we will face these things too. It is not that God is not with us, nor is His grace unobtainable. These lies are tools used by the enemy to deceive us. There are four things I want to share with you today, that Jesus experienced and we will too.
1. We will be tempted. (Matthew 4:1-11) Jesus was tempted and so will we be. In fact if you notice, immediately following the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus after His baptism He was led by the Spirit, to be tempted. We will face temptations every day of our lives. We need to call on Jesus when we face these temptations, for He knows all too well what we are going through. We will walk away from these temptations deeper in His word, stronger in Him. His word is our protector and our shield.
2. People will try to trick us. (Matthew 22:15, Luke 20:20-26, Matthew 15:1-9) Has someone ever told you a lie or manipulated you? Have they ever walked you down a path so that they may get you to stumble and look foolish? Has someone ever spoken behind your back to get you to slip up publicly? This is called gossip and deceit, and we face it every day. The question is…will you hate the people or the sin?
3. Spiritual forces will attack us. (Ephesians 6:12) All throughout the Gospel we see demons being cast out of people. If the people then were attacked, why would we not be attacked? The good news is that spiritual forces have no power over Jesus. Put the whole armor of God, and be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18a) Pray for the people, hate the sin. Pray against the evil forces that manipulate those around you. Seek refuge in His temple from the enemies that come at you. Read Psalm 27, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
4. The world will not like us, and will try to silence us. (John 15:18-20)This is the kicker of all kickers. This is the game changer the enemy uses to the best of his abilities to get you to walk away from God. This sadly, is where many of us fall as Christians.
Let’s look at verse 19. “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” When we follow Christ we cease to be of the world anymore. The world will not love and accept us as it used to. Many will try to bring you down or hurt you. This is why fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ is so important. We need support from each other so we can love those who hate us. We need to show the same grace that God shows us so the world may truly see God in us. Read James 1:2-4.
Is our walk with our Lord and Savior an easy one? No. Is it worth it? YES! Folks, through all of these things I listed that we will experience as followers of Christ, we must remember that this world is only a temporary home. Let our minds be mindful of the eternity we have been promised by our God to spend with Him. I can’t speak for any of you, but for me, I will gladly face any of these things above to spend eternity with my Father, my God, my Savior. The coolest part is that through all of these things that we experience, we grow closer to God, and our relationship grows deeper and stronger.
God in Heaven, When it feels like the whole world is against me, remind me that You are for me. I have the great privilege on being on Your side. Help me to never discount the miracle of my salvation. When things get hard help me to be quick to run to You. In your name I pray, Amen
Questions: Do any of these things, or something not mentioned, keep you from following Christ; or keep you at a safe distance from God?
By Rev. Daniel Forster
Used by Permission
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