Houston Forward Times

16 October 2013 Written by  James Washington

Spiritually Speaking...

James WashingtonI am reminded of something I learned the hard way early in my walk. One of the biggest mistakes we make is to believe in all things holy and dismiss unholy things as accidents, bad luck, poor decision making or even just happenstance. As they say, the biggest single trick of the devil is to get you to think he doesn’t exist; out of sight, out of mind. The reality of this should become more and more obvious to us as we unsuccessfully try to navigate the nuances of life’s ups and downs. I mean life is tough enough just trying to live as Christ would have you to without the challenges to your virtue and the temptations of sin. If you do so without an understanding of Satan, then you probably also think maybe you’ve done something that merits the hell going on in your life and, given time, you probably think you can figure it all out.

I mean eating is good but gluttony is a sin. The bible I read says nothing in excess, everything in moderation. Marital sex is blessed. All else is adultery. Gossip is a perversion of healthy conversation and will eventually destroy the gossiper as well as the gossiped.  We do live in a world of contradictions don’t we, or do we? If you choose to intellectualize God’s Word, then you can rationalize just about anything, any act or deed you are compelled to do. Rationalization would have you believe, it was, shall we say, necessary. One of the last things we factor into our decision making is the hand Satan may have had in it. That fact only surfaces as you are forced to suffer the consequences of your actions and ask yourself, ‘now why did I do that?’ The consideration of God however, usually gets side stepped as one conveniently rationalizes knowing the right decision and consciously making the wrong one. My point is God can and does often become a focal point of your afterthoughts. The devil’s influence evaporates like a dream you can’t remember in the morning. He becomes a non reason for what seemingly are circumstances beyond your control. The call of the world then becomes more powerful than any drug, thanks to the devil’s trick of nonexistence.

Now upon serious investigation into the raw Word of God, confusion and mystery are clarified by truth. Much like learning how a magician cut a body in two, or how a movie uses special effects, we learn about tricks and optical illusions that can have you believing the impossible just occurred right before your very eyes. There is no mystery regarding the Word of God. You cannot intellectualize the truth. It is what it is. “I tell you the truth. Whoever hears my word and believes in Him who sent me, has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” John 5:24-25. Now that’s pretty simple to understand unless you think your addiction, your vulnerability, your misguided obsessions are just part of life, a part you have no control over. I would rather do my best to respond as Christ did. “Away with you, Satan, for it is written, Worship the Lord your God and serve him only. The devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on Him.” Matthew 4:10-11. That requires recognition that sometimes what the world offers you is an optical illusion that with a little faith, becomes no more than a parlor trick for children’s imagination. Boy the Satan is pretty good. But I’d rather see the Master at work. Pay attention and you will. Pay attention and angels will come and wait on you too.

May God bless and keep you always, James