(Devotions this week based on Sunday’s Message: Pray Like Jesus! Pray for Spiritual Protection! – CLICK HERE)
Comfort or Combat?
Which are you preparing for?
We work so that we can go home and relax. We fix our homes as we want them to support our hobbies, time off and recreation. We work so we have enough money to retire so we can relax and spend time traveling.
Nothing inherently wrong with these things.
However, do we carry the same mindset in our spiritual lives?
Are we engaging in things spiritual so we can find rest and relaxation from any spiritual challenges or conflict?
Is our expectation that the more time we spend with Jesus and his Word that the easier life will be? Do we subconsciously read the Bible or attend a worship service to find out from the Bible how life will be better and easier if we are connected to Jesus?
And then life doesn’t get easier or more comfortable.
How do you react?
Do you get angry at God? Disillusioned that life didn’t get more comfortable because you were connected to Jesus?
Perhaps we were preparing for the wrong thing…in fact, if we are preparing for comfort, we are preparing for the wrong thing.
We must prepare for combat.
As a pastor, I was once challenged with this question as it relates to my preaching, “Are you preparing your listeners for Christian comfort or Christian combat?”
Jesus never focused on preparing his disciples for comfort. In fact just the opposite. Jesus prepared his disciples for combat…not with people, but with the forces of Satan and all those that would want to discourage, dissuade or distract the disciples from their mission of proclaiming Jesus.
Matthew 10:17 Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.
The disciples knew that the life of the Christian was one of spiritual combat. The Apostle Peter knew that well. Even as Jesus prayed for him, he still fell to the temptation of denying Jesus.
Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Peter’s faith did not fail. He fell but he got up to fight again. Knowing that following Jesus was one of spiritual combat instead of spiritual comfort, he taught his readers, including me and you.
1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Jesus knew that the life of the Christian was one of spiritual combat. So he prays for protection for all who are engaging in the battle against Satan and one’s sinful flesh that desire the demise of all of us.
Thankfully the Father hears the prayer of Jesus and protects the hearts of his people from the attacks of Satan.
Apply: Where does Satan attack you? What happens in your spiritual life when you are preparing for comfort over combat?
Prayer: Lord, equip us to engage in spiritual battle against Satan. In your mercy, give us power to fight and strength to win every engagement with the enemies of Satan, my sinful nature, and the world around me. Thank you Lord for every victory you give us through Jesus! AMEN.