On Friday, November 11, 2011 (11.11.11), LTi is hosting an event at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary entitled “Re-Ignited: Kindling Your Inner Fire for God” with special guest speaker Chris Webb (and yours truly). In anticipation of that event I will be taking the next 8 weeks of blogs to cover the topic, “What are the winds that blow toward your soul and seek to extinguish your inner flame for God?”
Part one: Our enemy, the devil, who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8) and “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).
Yes, the devil hates God and all who are God lovers. He is the author of lies, the purveyor of hatred, and the greatest contributor to strife in our world today. He is keenly aware of our areas of weakness and vulnerability, and is seeking daily to trip us up wherever, whenever possible. He lurks like a snake, sneaks around in the dark like a vicious bat, and sticks his proverbial leg out often in his vile attempts to bring us down with tremendous doubt, self-hatred and shame.
I’m generally not one to look for the devil under every rock, but over the years have come to discern with growing clarity his trickery, sorcery, slippery ways, and cunning lies. The last thing on earth the enemy of your soul wants is for you to grow close to God. Anything that looks like righteousness is his first line of attack. Believers in Jesus Christ are some of his favorite targets.
To combat spiritual warfare, we need to lean fully on the spiritual weapons provided to us for battling against the principalities of darkness. Those weapons are the full armor of God Almighty…the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6: 10-20).
Don’t underestimate the power of the devil and don’t assume you can fight this battle alone. Trust in God and co-labor with him in the Spirit and with spiritual friends and mentors in community who want to join you in living fully for Jesus.
The enemy wants to extinguish your inner flame of intimate love for God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore, in prayerful perseverance and joyful thanksgiving, press on, lean in, stay alert, hold fast, and trust deep. And, never forget, “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).