THE ENEMY’S NARCOTICS
I sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor should be in vain. I Thess. 3:5
We weren’t created for pain, but for the garden. Adam and Eve loved God and life was absolutely perfect. Their world was utopian! Then, the serpent spoke, they listened, and their first introduction to heartbreak occurred. God judged their sin and they felt shame, remorse, and other emotions that had no fix. Life was never the same again.
We, as Adam and Eve’s children, are sick to our stomach over what’s wrong in our world, globally and personally. The worse it gets, the more frantic we can become for relief. Satan knows this and that’s where temptation starts. He gives us all kinds of options to get out of distress except his ways are not God’s ways. Think of Jesus’ time in the wilderness. When he was hungry, Satan tempted him with bread. When he might have felt powerless, Satan offered him the kingdoms of this world. Temptation always begins with a need.
Paul writes to Christians in distress. They are being persecuted. The pain is acute. The tempter has undoubtedly come and provided a way of escape. “Abandon the faith and your families will be safe. Stop preaching and you can save your lives.” Quite surprisingly, even though they were young in the faith, they were unwavering.
Alleviation of pain should never be our first priority. Many of us are in the fire because we have taken a stand for God. There is no resolution on this earth without God’s miraculous intervention. The tempter visits us often but by God’s grace, we can’t take his shortcuts to escape. We know better. Following him only offers a narcotic with short-term relief. We can know that along with it comes a violation of conscience that numbs us out from the voice of our Comforter. For any who are hanging by a thread today, this devotional comes with fervent prayers for God’s grace to be poured upon you.
You told me that there will be rewards. Just not here. Give me faith to stand. I won’t sell my soul for temporary relief. In Jesus’ name, Amen