On most Tuesday mornings I gather with a small group of like-minded guys to open the Bible and see what it has to say to us. One of the guys in the group is Steve. He is a tall, skinny southern boy from a town outside Shreveport, Louisiana.
The devil ain’t gonna steal your weedeater
Before retiring Steve was a salesman, selling specialized pipe to oil drillers. He is fond of saying, “What do I know. I’m just a pipe salesman.” His southern insight is often spiced with more than Cajun seasonings. One of his plainly spoken, profound statements, uttered in his native Louisiana drawl, is “The devil ain’t gonna steal your weedeater.”
Does the enemy target the little things in life?
His point is that we have an enemy, and that enemy doesn’t want the little things in our life. He wants the big things. John 10:10 says that “the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy…” and that’s what our enemy does. He wants to steal, kill, or destroy anything in our lives that reminds him of God. Anything that reflects Christ is a target.
The enemy will co-opt our joy and peace, our sense of righteousness in Christ, and our willingness to extend mercy and grace to others. He will try to crush our hope, and convince us that we are not loved, or that we are not worth the immense sacrifice that Jesus made. He puts a magnifying glass on our shame and guilt, attempting to persuade us that we are unredeemable. All this he pursues to blunt our witness, and diminish the work of God in ourselves, others, and this world.
Put on the Whole Armor of God
Paul exhorts his Ephesian friends to “put on the whole armor of God” in order to withstand the attacks of the enemy. He describes many of the works of the Holy Spirit in our lives—truth, righteousness, faith, and salvation, along with the Word of God and the gospel, as effective counters.
Separately, he directs the Philippian church to not be anxious, but in grateful prayer bring their concerns to their Heavenly Father. Hebrews adds that we have the privilege of approaching the Father, even boldly, and that he is always available.
Who accuses us?
My favorite response here also comes from Paul. At the end of Romans 8, he triumphantly lays out several rhetorical questions. In today’s idiom, we would say that he is “talking smack,” or “throwing down.” He asks, one by one: “Who accuses us?” Who condemns us?” and “Who can separate us from the love of Christ?” And one by one he answers.
No accusation can stick because it is God who justifies. We are not condemned because Christ died to take away our condemnation. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, including death, life, today’s craziness, the future, or the “principalities and powers” that he referenced in Ephesians. Christ has come to give us life, and nothing can snatch us from His hand (John 10:28).
But that’s not the end. All this has been done for us, but we are still responsible to “work out our salvation…” (Paul again, in Philippians 2). 1 Peter 5 tells us that our enemy is like a “prowling lion” looking for whom he can devour, and calls us to be alert, well balanced and self-disciplined. Remember, the devil ain’t gonna steal your weedeater!
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Breaking Anxiety’s Grip
Most of us have struggled with worry, fear, or anxiety at some point in life, or we love someone who has. How do you break free from anxiety and reclaim God’s peace as a way of life? Announcing Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How To Reclaim the Peace God Promises. Discover true peace in an age of anxiety.
Sharing her own story of emerging from the battle with anxiety as well as the stories of others, Dr. Michelle Bengtson reminds you of your identity as a follower of Christ and of the peace he promises you in spite of everything.
She provides tools to cope with the crushing emotional burden of anxiety now and, more importantly, shows you how to reclaim God’s peace as a way of life so that you can break anxiety’s grip.
Pre-Orders Are Open
We’re excited to offer a bundle of goods for those who Pre-Order Breaking Anxiety’s Grip, my new book scheduled for release on September 17, 2019.
When you pre-order Breaking Anxiety’s Grip, I’ll send you digital download information for:
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- Original “The Price of Peace” painting by artist Emily Curiak
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