Resisting :: By John Lysaught

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:12).

The world is evil – period. Everything about the world is bad, and we live in it with all the distractions and sin opportunities that come with it to take our focus off God. Don’t be fooled by the world. It will do its best to trick you and pull you down to its level and swallow you up, if not whole, then piece by piece.

Satan has been part of this world longer than we have. He has his ways refined to creep up to test and tempt us to leave God in the dust. This will not be blatant sometimes, but like a slow leak that whittles away at us until the next thing we know, we fall and are farther away from God than we should or want to be because of sin.

Satan uses the world as his playground to try to bully and pull the wool over our eyes to take them off God. He will use the world and all the temptations it offers to poke and prod us to get us to stumble. And when we do stumble, the guilt we have will be capitalized upon to have us believe we cannot ever go back to Christ, that we cannot be forgiven. It is a lie!

Jesus Christ defeated Satan and death for us when he became the sacrificial lamb for each believer on the cross. He opened the way to heaven for those who believe He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Satan knows this but will try to sway people from this truth because the world offers so much to satisfy the sinful nature of man.

Temptations abound all around. Sex, money, pride, worshiping false idols- the list goes on and on. Each man has a weakness, and the world will find that crack to exploit.

It doesn’t matter how big or small the weakness is, it will be found, and temptation will find us. How we answer that temptation is what is important.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

The Bible is our road map in life. Do not know what to do in a situation? Turn to the Bible. Sure, the Bible may not have our specific situation listed, but the foundations of sin are clear. When we submit to the Lord, we submit to His will, and His will is written for us in His Word. The guidelines are there, the knowledge is true, and the truth will lead us to do the right thing.

If we submit to the Lord, we can avoid the consequences of sin. Temptation is always in front of us. It is always lingering about. Yet, we can hold strong to our beliefs and the truths we know when faced with this sort of adversity.

Remember that the devil uses the influences of the world to tempt us. His influence in the world will set the conditions for sin, but the commission of sin is our own decision; no one forces us into sin. It doesn’t matter what the sin is — whether adultery, pride, or theft or murder — sin is sin, and it is our choice to follow sin down the rabbit hole or turn away from it.

When we commit sin, it is our failing only, not God’s, not our spouses, no, just us alone. By adhering to the edicts in the Bible, the manifest words of God, we can fight and avoid sin. Will there be failure? Sure, but by living the Word as it is designed for, we can resist and avoid situations that will tempt us as they come along.

When we successfully resist Satan when faced with temptations, confidence in ourselves and our Father leads to the ability to fight temptation and to be better able to fight those temptations. This is completely possible – don’t let the world make you think differently.

Satan is wily in his ways, but God, in His Word, addresses each type of temptation we can face and gives us broad brushing guidance to face those temptations Satan throws at us through the world.

Resistance to the world is possible, and success can be celebrated. The more sin is resisted, the more apt we will be to avoid future temptations.

It seems as if we each have a special temptation or sin we must face that lingers day in and day out. It is our weakness and our cross to bear. I know; I have one too. It hangs over my head, ready to swoop down at any time. It is a daily fight. It is a never-ending battle. I’m at war with myself with that one weakness that seems to raise its ugly head when I am weak.

By resisting, I’m fighting that weakness I have. My problem is I do not always fight with God by my side but by my own self will. When this happens, I succumb to my burden. Only when this happens do I realize my lack of calling out to the Lord to help me resist.

Look, I’m not going to beat this up. We all need to submit to the Lord to resist temptation and sin. Is this hard? Yes. Will it ever be easy? No. The world will do its best to wear us down, but each time we resist and are successful, the easier it becomes.

Satan’s influence will always be in front of us while we are on this earth, and we can either say yes or no to what temptation is laid before our feet. We cannot always avoid it, but we can resist. By submitting to the Lord’s will for us, we will come out on the side of victory!

God bless.

In Peace and Rest :: By John Lysaught

Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

What times we are living in! In the last chapter of this era, we get closer each and every day as we await the rapture of the Church and meet Jesus in the air! While we wait for this joyous event, we must still live in the world. If you are like me, you are getting weary of what is happening in the world. I don’t want to say we are stressed about it because we know who is coming for us and who is in control. I would gander to say that there is anxiety amongst the believers of waiting and wondering when this chapter ends.

The only way to relieve this angst of the times is to find peace and rest in Christ. I mean, most believers’ sixth sense is telling them that something big is coming (rapture) any time now, and with each passing day, the anxiety of waiting continues. It may ebb and flow from our minds, but it is still there, and it needs to be dealt with. One way is to find rest in our Savior for what He did on the cross for us.

Matthew 11:28 tells us Jesus will give us rest. He doesn’t give us anxiety but takes it away. He won’t turn us away, nor will He ignore our calling out to Him for rest. We can… no, we will find rest in Jesus if we seek Him out and worship Him as our Captain, our Leader, and our Savior.

Each day that comes brings with it new ills to worry about relating to our world and faith. Apostasy is rampant. People and church leadership are getting soft on today’s obvious issues and coming rapture. As believers, we can get frustrated and anxious about all of this.

Feel-good messages. Watered down sermons. Reality avoidance. These are all happening in churches and circles of believers. I feel alone most of the time because of the lack of like-minded folks around me, and I want to scream and yell at my fellow believers that can’t see what is going on.

Argg! It drives me crazy to see them not see the obvious. It causes me to become frustrated and, yes, anxious. But that’s not all.

There is the world we live in and the society we are surrounded by. I won’t even begin to describe what the world is or how society is twisting out of control with evil, other than saying it is bad today and will be worse tomorrow or next week, etc., until the Church Age concludes.

Though there is no hope for the world, there is hope for believers. Not hope of a miraculous change of heart by the world, but a hope of rest and peace until the rapture. There is no need to be stressed, anxious, or scared of the world. Jesus overcame the world with His death and resurrection. We don’t need to worry at all because the rest and peace we can have if we want is found in Christ.

Even though things are amiss and disintegrating around us, we can gain strength and peace and rest through the knowledge that there is a God in Heaven who is in control of the present and the future. He oversees everything. He made everything and directs everything. Nothing happens without His permission, and He has been guiding us to this time and to the yet future to be for the moment of the rapture and so on.

John 14:27 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Jesus leaves us peace and gives us His peace. Notice this? Notice that He gives us His peace. Not the world’s peace, but His peace. Do you think His peace is greater and more than the world or our idea of what peace is? Surely it is. If it weren’t, the Word would not have expressed it this way.

When everything is going well in our lives and there are no troubles, we feel at peace. Yet, when something goes amiss and throws a wrench into our lives, our peace is disturbed and taken away. The peace Jesus offers to those who partake in Him and His peace is above the worldly peace that we have. It is greater than our circumstances and our problems. It surpasses anything; any type of offered peace by the world or others is nothing compared to His offered peace.

It is one thing for Him to offer it to us, and it is another thing for us to partake in it. We have to want this peace and have to be willing to do what is necessary to have it. What is the necessity? To surrender to Jesus!

The peace and rest of Christ is not for the unbeliever.

It is only for those who believe and surrender to the faith in His deity, His death, and resurrection. Only through this belief and faith can we have peace and rest in Him.

I want you to think for a moment. Think for a moment of the peace and the rest that the world has compared to that of Christ. It is quite different.

Think for a moment of your interactions with unbelievers when you are held by the peace and rest of Christ. They act differently than us. They have a different disposition and reaction to the things going wrong in the world than believers do. We have the disposition of a peace they don’t understand.

I’ve been asked before why I don’t worry about things going on in the world with the downward spiral and all its troubles.

I’ve been asked if I care or not because of my lack of perceived concern. I’ve been asked why I’m not all spun up about what is happening. My response is that God is in control. That I need not worry because I have the peace of Christ in me. And yup, I mostly get that “look” we all get from unbelievers, and they move on.

Though we may have anxiety about the world, we can be at rest. We can have peace knowing that history happening now and not yet complete is under the authorship of God. No person nor evil entity can take that peace and rest of Jesus away from us believers.

How do you attain and maintain the peace and rest of Christ? Simple; studying the Word and through prayer. By doing both, you will remain and grow stronger in your faith.

God bless.