A WARNING I CANNOT IGNORE
Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3: 11-13
Not wanting to take full responsibility for my choices is deeply embedded within my sin nature. To be holy is to see my sin as God sees it; to acknowledge that I, and I alone, am responsible for what I do. The tempter is cunning but he can’t make me sin.
On top of that, I am warned all throughout scripture of Satan’s character. I’m told he is a liar. I’m told that he weaves schemes of destruction. I’m told he comes to kill and destroy. I’m told he comes in stealth mode and to be wary. So why in the world would I listen to Satan’s voice?
If a dear friend of mine, someone I trusted with my life, warned me about a certain person, I would listen. I wouldn’t get involved with him on any level. Because of the integrity of the one who warned me, my guard is up.
Yes, it is much more than a friend who warns me about my spiritual enemy. It is God! Is He not credible? How could I flirt with the one He says is out for my demise?
If I discount the warning of a friend and get hurt, I find out quickly how much that friend loves me. If there is disgust and “I told you so!” the relationship will experience a serious fracture. But if I discount God’s warning and suffer the consequences of my choices, He still offers open arms when I come running home. Though I am severely wounded, and I knew better, He is willing to forgive and restore.
A stronghold is formed when I have given ground to the enemy and left it to fester over a long period of time. Satan has legal right to walk into the boundaries of my life and plunder my territory. The reason a stronghold exists is usually for three reasons: 1.) I haven’t had the spiritual instruction to know what a stronghold is. 2.) I’m afraid, or too proud, to acknowledge my sin and risk God’s anger and broken heart. 3.) I am enjoying the pleasure Satan offers even though I know it’s a stronghold.
God is clear. “Don’t believe our enemy. He hates you because you’re mine!” If I trust God’s love, I run from sin and hurry to do personal housecleaning where strongholds are concerned. Otherwise, I am continual prey to a known spiritual felon.
To grow up spiritually is to listen to everything you say and obey for my own good. No questions asked. Help me. Amen