You have been the topic of many posts since The Seed of Hope was launched in 2008. Oh, don’t get the wrong idea…I’m certainly no fan of yours. I’ve written about you, not because I like you, but because I detest you. It’s just that simple.
There’s so much that I want to say to you, so many things that I’ve wanted to tell you, but haven’t because of fear of what you may try to do me. No more. My faith in my Father is stronger than any feelings that I may have about you. It is on this day, Good Friday, the day that Jesus died for me, that I have decided to unload on you.
You see, you stand for everything that I’m not. I’ve spent the last couple of minutes searching even the darkest corners of my mind; those forbidden places where we like to hide the traits that we’re not very proud of. Things like hatred, greed, envy, lust, and prejudice. Gratefully, thankfully, my relationship with God has allowed me to distance myself from all of those tools that are in your arsenal of self-destructive weapons.
As best I can tell, the only thing that you and I have in common is that our names start with an “S”, and from where I’m standin’, even that is too much. I want to separate myself from you as far as I possibly can.
You’re like a bird of prey, only worse. When it comes to your victims, you have no favorites; all are subjected to being exposed to your evil ways. Your easiest victims are those who are weak. Children, teens, and adults are all fair game for you. You show favor only to those who are under your spell. The sad thing is that at some point in the lives of everyone, non-believers and believers alike, your evil seeds are planted.
I know that you have been hard at work this past week, the week leading up to Easter Sunday. You’ve done everything in your power to distract those that have their eyes on Jesus. More people attend church at Easter than at Christmas; people seeking the face of God, seeking to know Him. The prospects of people being saved cannot make you happy. Every soul that is born again into God’s family signifies yet another death in yours. You don’t like having your ranks thinned, do you?
I wonder; are your primary targets the easier ones? The weak? The hurt? The impoverished? The sick? Do you go after them first, or do you just save them for dessert? Do you take more pleasure in wreaking havoc in the lives of the everyday Christians, the ones that walk with God each day? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make one of them stray?
I know that you’ve picked on me; pounded on me, every day this week. You did everything in your power to make me lose my temper, or have doubts about the path that I’m traveling, or make me question if my efforts to make a difference in the world are, well, worth the effort. As is so often the case, you used others around me to turn my day upside down. On Wednesday your attacks were so frequent that I found myself not only turning to prayer throughout the day, but enlisting some of my friends to pray for me. Jackie and I practically ran to church on Wednesday night seeking the comfort of fellowship with other Christians praising God.
Well, here it is, Good Friday, and I’m still standin’, and smilin’ and praising God!
I wonder, Satan, if you were smiling when they nailed Jesus to the cross? Did you consider his crucifixion to be your greatest victory since you convinced Eve to take a bite of the apple?
Did you have any idea that Jesus’ death at the hands of man, the fruit of your evil work, would open the gates of heaven, making it possible for all to enter? Were you aware of the fact that if you had just left things alone, not one soul would have been able to receive God’s grace? I bet that you’re still having a hard time swallowing that one.
It’s been a long day. I’ll be back.
It’s Sunday morning, and I’m in between services at Church of the Highlands Greystone Campus, where I serve as leader of the Hospitality Team. It’s gonna be a long day. We’re holding five services today. Five! But that gives us five opportunities to reach new visitors that either don’t know God at all, or are seeking to know more about Him.
What an amazing day! We celebrate the Risen King!
On a personal note, this is a very humbling day for me. I am one of three members at Highlands that were chosen to share our testimonies about what God has done in our lives. A video capturing our thoughts is being shown at every service this weekend. I get to share what’s in my mind and on my heart about God…the love that I have for Jesus…with thousands of people. What an honor. What a blessing.
But you already knew that, didn’t you? That’s why you have been after me all week long. In fact, you’ve been wreaking havoc in my life since the video was shot two weeks ago. It’s been one thing, after another, after another. You have been relentless in your efforts.
But I knew that you were coming. I braced myself for your attempts to dim God’s light that shines in me. You wanted to rob me of the joy of serving God and His people. I prepared myself for you as best I could.
And you learned something about me, didn’t you? I too, am relentless. I’m gonna love God, and serve Him, and seek more of Him every day. You’re strong enough to knock me down from time to time, I’ll give you that. But He is gonna give me the strength to get back up again. Every time.
You see, your attempts to weaken me this week have only served to make me stronger. I am more dedicated to God now than I was seven days ago. Nothing that you use against me is greater than that what God has put in me.
I sit here this morning reflecting on my life with God in it. I am so humbled by His presence in me, and so thankful that I’ve come to know Jesus.
Yesterday was an amazing day for Jackie and me. We have grown so much since we made God a true part of our marriage. I believe that, in some strange way, both of us recognized that this weekend.
Something else happened this weekend that, well, kind of snuck up on me.
When I began writing this letter to you I was, well, I was mad as hell. At you. I mean, I was absolutely fed up with you and your scheming ways, and I was ready to tell you to go burn in hell. But then I realized that by doing so, I would have allowed you to win. You want me to have hatred in my heart don’t you? You want me to be so blinded by rage that I take my focus off of God.
Guess what? It’s not gonna happen.
Instead, I’m going to say “Thank You.”
Thank you for convincing Eve to take a bite of the apple.
Thank you for convincing man to crucify Jesus.
You see, without Eve, God wouldn’t have found it necessary to send His Son. And I might never have known what it’s like to walk with Jesus every day.
Without Christ dying on the cross, I could never have been saved.
That’s it for now. I’m sure that you’ll be in touch.
So will I.