Thursday, January 30, 2014

Be Alert!

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you. Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. 1 Peter 6-9
This short passage of scripture, like so many, has such richness in it, it would be impossible to unpack it in a few hundred words. But I didn't have the heart to break it up. It all is important to the battles we face on a regular basis.
I'm not sure what your battle is. I could spend this whole space sharing what my battles are. Instead, however, I'd rather focus on the tools and answers to our battles.
The first is humbleness. While some people seem to come with humility, not thinking more of themselves than others, this scripture tells us that being humble is a choice. That when we purposefully recognize who God is and don't strive to exalt ourselves, we become humble and God can do more with us. This goes completely against our nature! And our culture, which tells us constantly to focus on ourselves, build ourselves up, and shout our accomplishments from the nearest mountaintop. Humbleness allows us to see ourselves as we are, which helps us to remember to rely on, trust in, and depend on God. We (at least I) will always let ourselves down. God never tires and never wears out. He always has our good in mind and the power to bring about what is best. And this, to me, is a release of responsibility of making things go the right way that I never should have had to begin with and allows me to cast my cares on Him, instead of carrying them and trying to work them out on my own.
Why is this important? Because it allows me to be in the place I'm meant to be. It also allows me to be alert to the devil's schemes. He is cunning and, unfortunately, knows me well. I allow him to. I announce my weaknesses and failings - if not with my words, then with my actions. He knows when I give in, give up, and give out. And that means he knows just where to attack. So that when I fail, I think less of myself than I ought. This is just as dangerous as thinking too highly of myself. If God loved me enough to send His one and only son to die for my sins - my failings, mistakes, and selfishness - then I must recognize myself as loved and valued by the Lord and Creator of the universe. And He has given me what I need to be successful in my battles. He's done His part, and I'm to do mine. This verse is just part of it, but a vital part. I must stay aware of my adversary, actively resist him, and stay strong in my relationship with the Lord. 
Then I will be #victorious - in, for, and through Him!