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Avoid The Trap

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1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Satan is a crafty veteran when it comes to setting traps for us. He even tried to set one for Jesus when He was on the earth. Do you remember the time when Jesus had gone into the wilderness for 40-day fasting and praying session? Guess who was the first to greet Jesus as He was coming off of His fast? Yes, you guessed it; Satan.

Satan knew that Jesus was in a weakened physical state so he thought it was a good time to try and spring the trap. He methodically set traps that he was sure Jesus would fall for. His first test was when He tried to get Jesus to turn stones to bread. He knew that Jesus was hungry and Satan thought he’d catch Jesus at a weak moment and make Him fulfill a desire of His flesh. It didn’t work. His second temptation was when Satan tried to get Jesus to throw Himself off a cliff. This temptation was supposed to make Jesus acknowledge whether He really believed that God was God. In other words, Jesus had to decide if He’d let God be His God or if He’d choose to be His own. This one didn’t work either. His final temptation dealt with Satan trying to trick Jesus into living a life where He would acknowledge a desire to please humanity; to live with a fear of what others thought. Again, the temptation didn’t work. What Satan didn’t know is that while Jesus was in a weak physical state of mind; His spiritual state of mind was beyond reproach.

If Satan came after Jesus, it stands to reason that he will also try to come after us. Strangely, the same temptations he used against Jesus will be the same ones he attempts to get us with. Since we have the example of Jesus resisting the enemy, we also know now that we can as well. When Satan rears His ugly head and tries to get us to turn away from God, we need to do exactly what Jesus did. We need to remind Satan of what God’s Word said. We don’t have to fall for the trap. We are free not to. Since we belong to Jesus, we have the same power to resist that He had. Don’t fall for the trap—avoid it at all costs. In doing so, you put yourself in a position to go into deep places with the Father. It will be

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In Right Relationships

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1 John 2:9-11 (NKJV) He who says he is in the light and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Being obedient isn’t always easy, but it is always necessary. 1 John goes to great lengths to challenge us to know the value of living a life of obedience. John spends the first chapter and a half calling us into an obedient life with the Father. Once he feels like he has pounded that point home, he moves straight to a challenge about how we should treat one another. In other words, the fact that he goes straight from addressing our relationship with our Father to addressing our relationships to one another means that he must feel it is a big deal. In fact, he takes it a step further. He basically says that if we can’t get it right with one another, then we will destroy what we have with Him.

As someone who had served in ministry for the past 27 years, I would say it is problem number one for the church. We are often ready at the drop of a hat to kick others to the curb. We see or hear about them doing something we don’t agree with and we decide it’s over. They say or do something that hurts us or our kids, and we throw them out like they were yesterday’s leftovers. While that sounds like a great plan from an earthly point of view, in the economy of heaven; it is never allowed. God never said it would be easy to love as He loved, He just said it was expected. If God treated us like we treat each other, we would all be in big trouble.

I know what I am about to say sounds much easier said than done, but I need to tell you something that I believe is essential if you are going to grow deep in Christ. Whoever you’re mad at, forgive them. I don’t care what they did to you or someone you know. You have no other choice but to forgive them, love them, and pray for them. When you entered into a covenant with Jesus, you forfeited your right to a spiritual opinion where His word is concerned. You no longer live life on your terms. You are now living a life based on His. His call is to love and forgive. By the way, it isn’t optional!

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