The devil is a bully
By James Washington
Special to the Outlook NNPA
Right now I’m between bible study classes. In the United Methodist Church, of which I’m not a member, the rather rigid curriculum is called Disciple Class. I’ve completed Disciple I, II and III and am looking forward to Disciple IV. To tell you the truth, I miss it. I’m coming to appreciate more and more the value of bible study for my everyday, day to day, existence. I’m one of those people who believes that the more you line yourself up with God’s Word, the more likely you are to come under attack by the enemy. So therefore I think a lot of my current turmoil is caused by a concerted effort on my part to have my every step ordered by the Lord. Now for me, I know if my intent is to have my steps ordered by God, then it is the intent of the devil to be as disruptive in that effort as possible. That translates into a constant 24/7 attempt by satan to get me off my game by any means necessary.
Have you ever started out of your house in the morning or evening prayed up, lifted up and fortified up, (or so you think) only to find yourself immediately confronted with that which would have you so convoluted that your behavior, your language and your emotional integrity as a Christian, would be questioned by anyone who heard, saw or was a target of your emotional outbursts? I mean have you been able to actually see or hear yourself and know in your spirit that you were nowhere close to being the saint you sometimes think of yourself as, or the Christian you’d like to project to others? Trust me when I say, the closer you attempt to get to God, the bigger and brighter the target gets on your back. And it’s not always the devil that comes after you. He sends people and things and situations specifically constructed and designed to steer you in the wrong direction. Friends and family, old and new situations, troubling temptations can be interpreted and should be recognized as “the devil getting busy” specifically, to test and tempt you.
One of the things I’ve learned in bible study is that it’s just not me. It’s you too. The devil is a recruiter and like any good recruiter, he shows you what he knows will make a great impression upon you. He entices you with glitz and glamour while he destroys you with misguided goals, unjustified rationalizations and false conclusions. He confuses you with guile and deceit. Remember his goal is a simple one and that is to keep you out of step, out of sync, out of balance and in opposition to that which you are divinely called to be. I find myself vulnerable when my routine of fellowship is disrupted, when my ability to relate to other believers in the struggle is eroded, when I can’t relate to others being challenged. I guess I need to give and receive testimony. It strengthens me as it should you. When challenged in this fashion, knowledge is power and that power reinforces our resolve to get back up when we do fall down, and we all fall down. That knowledge helps me and missing bible study and knowing why, gives me another form of ammunition in my arsenal of spiritual bullets to use when attacked. It’s all about joy you know. We all have it and it’s up to us to respond appropriately as we acknowledge it, accordingly. Disciple I, II and III! I have to reread my notes. May God bless and keep you always.
May God bless and keep you always,