Turn on the television and news at any given moment and what do we see. Nothing but sorrow, pain, violence, aggravation, vanity, self-reliance and self-centeredness, and more. There is so much despair that lurks every single day. The news outlets thrive on that stuff. They seek out these stories because they think it’s news and then add fuel to the fire to make the situations worse and worse. We have a serious problem in our society today. The problem is that so many jump into the volatile situations, some in the name of christianity , but their motives seem to be anything but driven by faith. I’m looking from all sides here. It all points to one thing, spiritual warfare. All of these problems we face are a direct result of the prince of this world, Satan and his armies trying to keep us fighting within ourselves.
The problem here lies in the heart. We have a serious heart problem. We have become a society that is so far removed from God’s heart and what has the enemy done, he has taken advantage and setup shop to start chipping away at our own hearts. Yes, the decisions we make are under our own free will, but way to often we choose from the wrong motives, we choose the side of the enemy, even when we don’t realize it. Imagine a life where we would not have to deal with these trials and sorrows. Imagine a life where we did not have to contend with having to choose.
Unfortunately that life does not exist in this world. As Jesus told us, in this life, we will have trials and sorrows, but we can take heart because He overcame this world (John 16:33). Now, what does this really mean, He overcame. First, we all know that Jesus conquered sin and death through His death and resurrection and was given all authority through His ascension to the Father’s right hand. What else does it mean, overcame? Jesus was free just as we are to choose. He faced a number of trials and temptations as well and more suffering than any of us can imagine. Jesus overcame through it all because He was able to choose with full faith in the Father no matter what anyone in this world thought. From eating with the tax collectors and corrupt individuals, to defying the religious Sabbath, to allowing the woman to wipe her tears on His feet with her hair, and so much more. Jesus’s heart was free.
Our problem today is that despite the freedom that is now ours because of Jesus and through God’s grace, we still worry and choose with motives that are mixed-up. We choose to to get caught up in so much of the struggles of this world, rather than living by faith and truly living for the Kingdom. Sometimes we start following those that come in the name of the faith, so they say, but are really wolves in sheeps clothing ready to take us out at any moment.
John Calvin said, “The human heart has so many crannies where vanity hides, so many holes where falsehood lurks, is so decked out with deceiving hypocrisy, that it often dupes itself.” This is part of our problem. We still come into this world fallen. Our heart is covered by so much of the fallen nature of man that we can’t often see past it. Even when we turn to faith, it is so easy for our heart to get twisted because the enemy is always there lurking and looking to take our heart out again and pull us away from Jesus.
We have to armor our hearts every single day. Though we are made new by faith in Christ, we can still so easily be taken out. The enemy will always try to. We have a freedom to choose though. We can choose whether we let our hearts fall for the pain and despair of this life or continue living out for the Kingdom. This does not mean always standing by and doing nothing. We have to stand and fight for the kingdom. Don’t let people hijack our faith with false teaching and keeping us in despair or even preaching their prosperity gospel. Don’t stand by while people use already volatile situations for their own advantage and self-driven passions.
We have to put on the Armor of God every single day (Ephesians 6:10-13). The belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the gospel, helmet of salvation, shield of faith, and sword of the spirit. We need this to guard our hearts and to stand-up for the battles we will continue to face everyday. Choose to live unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and live a life in Truth not full of religious and worldly desires. Our hearts are delicate. They are constantly under attack. Choose to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might every single day so that when the enemy comes, you are ready and can choose with motives fully built on faith. This is not easy for any of. Our own nature compels us not choose by faith. The enemy is always prowling for someone to devour. That can be any of us we are not careful. Guard your hearts.