As we enter into a new year let us not be too consumed with planning and strategizing that we forget to look out for the devices of the evil one, Satan. The most dangerous times for a Christian is when we are preoccupied with everything and we are not drawing near to God.
The key for our success is found in James 4:7-8, Submitting ourselves to God, Resisting the devil, drawing near to God and living a clean and purified life.
(James 4:7-8 ESV)
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
I encourage you to be consumed with a desire to insulate yourself from the attack of the enemy by hiding yourself deep in God. We must strive to grow spiritually by allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify us and renew our minds daily as Ephesians 4:23-24 said, “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Let us not give any space to the devil but rather let us make room for God to work freely in our lives. I am convinced that if we desire more of God and less of ourselves we will begin to see our lives reorder with an emphasis on pleasing God.
Here the challenge of Peter as you enter 2015.
(1 Peter 5:8-11 Message)
8 Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. 9 Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. 10 The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ––eternal and glorious plans they are! ––will have you put together and on your feet for good. 11 He gets the last word; yes, he does
Let us take the challenge of the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians:
(Ephesians 4:22-32 KJV)
17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not:let not the sun go down upon your wrath:27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more:but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you
Happy New Year!