August 27, 2014
Well, I am proud to say that our dinner devotions continue to develop into an official staple at mealtime. I am even more proud to say that I've managed to read the devotions while throwing in some factoids without hearing, "Daaaadeeee, can we pray so we can just eeaaat?" Think about that for a second. Did you catch it? Did you notice they asked to pray? I am now licking the tip of my finger and raising it in the air and giving myself an air-tally. What-What!! Just kidding...about taking the credit, not the air tally...I should have taken it easy on the hand-sanitizer though (victory isn't tasting so sweet right now). While glad that they know prayer is part of the family mealtime, I take no credit, nor make any admission, to having a perfect devotional time before diving into another yummy dish. The passages from Jesus Calling are short and to the point and that's all you need. It's enough to plant the seed of Christ in their young minds.
Tonight's reading was about that old dirty guy we call the Devil. [Side-note: I just came across a list of names for Satan. There were over forty!] The title was called, Autopilot. It talked about when our minds are enduring a period of boredom or a ho-hum moment, that's when The Enemy lurks. This is what I want to focus on right now.
Some things that people, whether Christians or not, need to understand is that Satan has a mission. If not a Christian, he's already winning (and perhaps giving himself an air-tally). If a Christian...he still gets his tallies. He has a plan, a purpose and is persistent. As Christians, we know our shield. We know what protects us. We also know we are human, but there lies the rub. We know we're humans, so why do we act like we're not? And I don't mean we pretend we're super-human. I mean quite the contrary. Messing up is part of our walk. Being forgiven is part of our faith. So why is it that we so often make a mistake a can't forgive ourselves? Or even worse, can't believe Jesus forgives us!?
Understanding that the Devil is behind all the bad choices, bad habits, bad thoughts is an important concept to understand. Notice I did not say that the Devil made you make bad choices, make you become addicted to drugs. He may have put ideas in your auto-piloted mind, but YOU are the responsible for either believing his lies or pushing them a way while steadying yourself on the Lord. Sorry, but saying "the Devil made me do it," isn't going to cut it. Never has and never will. You...WE have to understand and remember when we yell at our children or give the finger to a driver that cut you off that WE are choosing to do that. Seriously, how many air-tallies are you going to let this dude get?
Do have scars from past mistakes? Whether physical or metaphorical don't use them as a reminder that you messed up. Use them as a reminder that God loves you...AND that You. Are. Forgiven.
I consider it a tragedy when I see people become a Christian and are just on fire for the Lord and then...they stop coming to church. Slowly their faith disintegrates. They may believe, but their blanket of belief in the grace and mercy of God has been torn...ripped by doubt. And where does doubt come from? That's right? Satan himself and he relishes in the fact that people walk away from Jesus because they think they are worthless or that they have messed up so badly that they cannot be forgiven.
I have scars. Satan loves trying to mess with me. But, I recognize it's him. I recognize what I need to do in that moment. Years and years ago on Halloween, our friend/neighbor came by the house in a Philly-Phanatic. Thinking he had the best disguise and that nobody would recognize him, he knocked on the door, I answered and said so casually, "Hi, Scott!" He couldn't believe I had guessed so easily. What Scott didn't realize is that his vest (much like Marty McFly's) gave him away. And since Scott always wore that vest, I knew it was him. Satan wears a "vest" too. And if you recognize it, you recognize him and then you can say, "Hi, Satan!" then "Good-bye, Satan!" If I wanted to say good-bye to Scott (which I didn't) I could have slammed the door. To say good-bye to Satan, all you have to do is keep your eyes on the Lord and profess, daily, that you love Him. Then it's you that gets the air-tally!
These are just my thoughts.
Dream Out Loud