Saturday, January 27, 2018
Life of LAB: Oh to be.... Devoted.
Welcome back to The Road2Wholeness Blog! Thank you for taking the read today. We’re in day five of our Life of LAB quick lab series. Today’s lab is “Oh to be… Devoted.”
I begin with a question. In a modern world, what does it mean to be devoted to the ways of God? It’s easy to turn to rituals, but I’ll like to suggest or submit another way to live a devoted life. First, let’s consider the opposition. In the quick lab “Always Fed” we looked at some of the ways to overcome the temptations of the tempter. Today, we’ll look at the tempter when he becomes animated, and we’ll look at a few scriptures to help us to remain devoted.
Before we continue, I should clarify what I mean by animated. In the example from Luke 4:1-4, where the Lord is being tempted, or tested by the tempter (the devil), we see the tempter in an in-animated form. These are the times when we are tried one-on-one. These one-on-one trials usually take place in the mind, soul, or heart. On the other hand, when the tempter is animated, we recognize him operating in others. This is why the scripture says, in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
When the tempter shows up in animated form, how do we recognize him and how do we remain devoted?
Let’s look at Mark 7:15. It reads, “Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” This is an interesting word spoken by Jesus. He was referring to a question from the Pharisees and the teachers of the law in regards to the washing of hands. But, if truth is truth, and wisdom is wisdom, we will find that it functions in more than one context. Therefore let’s look at this word spoken by Jesus more closely.
Can we agree that our portion of God is carried within us? If you can, then let’s look at the tempter and his petitions to make use of us. Using the scripture from above, let’s consider what happens when he approaches us. If in fact we are “Fed” and full of Word we know that we can withstand, but what if we are not? If we are not, then we run the risk of being use by him. Many believers and well-intentioned people are used every day against the Word and even their own beliefs. Yet, we are responsible for what we produce. Therefore even when we absorb toxic thoughts and energies, it is our duty to filter it and decide what will come out of us.
The second part of this is being able to recognize him, and deal with him without falling into hatred. This is why we continue to acknowledge that this is spiritual. If we do not make the separation between the tempter and the person, we are filled with hate, grudge, and can also become filled with malice. If we allow this to happen, we can no longer be of use to God, because we become a part of the darkness.
Let’s look at Mark 8:31-33. Here we see that Jesus is trying to prepare His disciples for His death. He tells them that He must be killed, and Peter begins to rebuke Him. In verse 33, Jesus says, “Get behind me Satan! You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Here Jesus is quickly able to discern that Peter was being used simply out of ignorance not malice, but still however, being used by the devil. If a person does not know God’s purpose for their life, there is no way they can make such a discernment. Therefore purpose remains at the forefront of any attempt we can make to remain devoted. It then becomes the foundation for all the decisions we will need to make. I personally like this scripture because it shows that even the people who attempt to protect us, without knowledge of God’s plans, cannot really do so. In fact, they can become a hindrance to us and our desire to be devoted to God’s plan.
So, as we begin to find our rhythm as devoted believers in Christ, it’s important to equip ourselves with this awareness. My hope is that we will keep the Word of God, which is the sword of the Lord, in our hand, and the purpose of God on our hearts. I know that if we can do these two things, we will not only be able to overcome the opposition in mind, heart, and soul, but in a modern reality as well.
Thank you for taking the walk with The Road2Wholeness Blog. Coming up next in this series, "Show Up".
Remember to go within that you may never go without. The God within you awaits you. Until our paths collide again, I wish you...
NaTisha R. Williams