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Thoughts to Live By

Be Aware of Satan’s Traps

“Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.” I Thessalonians 2:18

The most powerful enemy we have is Satan. He has many names, such as, adversary, the prince of the devils, the false accuser, and the prince of the fallen angels. Satan is opposing everything we as Christians attempt to do in our service for the Lord. For example, consider the following traps the devil could put in our path to hinder our love and service for Christ.

INCOMPLETE OBEDIENCE – picking and choosing what we will obey in God’s Word is not complete obedience. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Complete obedience on our part is developed by a lifestyle of obedience. This comes through learning to trust God for everything, a commitment to obey Him, and a consistent focus on the Word of God.

INNER PRIDE – once a Christian allows pride to enter the heart, destruction in one’s life will follow and result in a great fall from service. Proverbs 16:18

We must be careful as we serve the Lord not to get puffed up with pride because of the things we are doing for Him. We must humble ourselves before Him and maintain a humble spirit. James 4:10

INFIDELITY – no Christian can live a perfect life, but we can strive daily to be faithful in our calling to serve the Lord. It is a testimony to everyone around us and God honors His faithful servants. Matthew 25:21

We must be careful not to allow Satan to lure us into such traps, which results in our being hindered in our service for our Lord Jesus Christ. We must be vigilant! I Peter 5:8

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Thoughts to Live By

Four Things to Confess and Forsake

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23,24

Suggested Reading: Psalm 139:1-14

This challenging, beautiful prayer found in Psalm 139:23,24 is a prayer that all of us as Christians need to pray more often. Personally asking in prayer for God to search our hearts and know our thoughts and reveal to us any wicked way we may have taken. Anything that we may be holding on to that is displeasing unto the Lord would be considered wicked and dishonoring to Him. Why should we pray this prayer?

Consider how he knows everything about us anyway; Psalm 139:1, even to the point of our standing, sitting, lying down and our thought pattern. Words that come out of our mouths and every single way we take. Psalm 139:2-4. Also consider how having something in our hearts that displeases the Lord can result in taking us down a dangerous road and ruining one’s life.

Look with me at four things that would be displeasing unto the Lord that any person should contemplate confessing and forsaking.

First, we can have a Reckless Tongue. A reckless an untamed tongue, James 3:8, is a fire, a world of iniquity that defiles the whole body. James 3:6. It also can be like a razor working deceitfully, Psalm 52:2. Our tongue needs to be surrendered to God and controlled by the Holy Spirit. It should be used to uplift others and tell the gospel to the lost world.

Second, we could have a Repetitive Heart for sin. Is there some sin giving you a fit, possibly causing you to go back again and again and repeating the same sin over and over in our heart. Oh how we need to confess it to our Lord and forsake it!

Third, we may have a Rebellious Spirit. God considers rebellion a serious sin. I Samuel 15:23. It could be a rebellion against the Bible and the commands of the Lord to us. It may be rebellion against a spouse, a parent, or the Lord Himself. Confess that rebellion to Him and experience a joyful, obedient spirit.

Fourth, it could be a Rejection of Truth. When the Lord speaks to our hearts about the truth of His Word, do we respond in the right way? It may have to do with the truth of living by the Bible, or the truth of coming clean with God in surrender to Him. Do not reject the truth of God’s Word. Accept it and embrace it, and live by it!

Why not pray the psalmist prayer and allow the Lord to show you His way for you?