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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Gift

Romans 6: 20 - 23, For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. NKJV

Hebrews 11: 6, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. NKJV

Satan imprisons and punishes those who choose to pursue him; however, God loves, liberates and rewards those who follow Him. Please note that there is a difference between love and selfishness, and between holiness and evil. By no means am I comparing our great God to Satan. I am, however, pointing out some glaring distinctions between the nature and attributes of each.  

God mustn't be compared with Satan because they are not equaled on any level. Nevertheless, when people have been deceived by the Serpent, they need to see that there is a vast difference between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of darkness. Satan rules over his domain with lies, manipulation, and fear tactics. He exploits the fallout that occurred when man decided to sin against the Lord God. The reason Satan understands how humans react to the rejection caused by the fall of man is because he, too, is a fallen created being.

From the very beginning of the Word of God, we see the conflict between Light and darkness, and Day and night. Satan, as I stated earlier, manipulates us through our most vulnerable areas, such as our emotions and desires. He speaks to us through our humanity during trauma, disappointment, loss, and pleasure. Through these diversions, he preys on our distracted attention. The Bible tells us that Satan is allowed to operate in our lives either under darkness or our own spiritual ignorance.

Once he gains access into our lives through the avenues that I mentioned, he begins to form a web in which to hold us captive. If we should find ourselves bound to a person or a situation and can't find the way to freedom, we will know that Satan has captured us through a point-of-entrance. It doesn't mean that Satan has possession of our souls; it only means that he has gained control over an area of our life. He will begin to utilize fully the ground that has been gained to launch an assault on the parts of our life that remain in freedom.  

Just as infection enters our body through a cut or a virus and begins to spread throughout our entire body, Satan operates in much the same way. As the Apostle Peter said in his epistle, "Satan seeks those whom he may DEVOUR." Once Satan gains access and seeks to take complete control, if he isn't stopped through the power of God, he won't relent until he has his prey under total bondage to his lies. Afterwards, he will begin to punish his prisoner and wear them down in order to destroy their soul completely.

While Satan operates under a cloak of darkness and deception, God operates out in the open. He doesn't manipulate our emotions; He speaks directly to our hearts. From the very moment that a person who has been caught in Satan's web of deception decides to call on the Lord, God begins to free them. In the verses that I shared from Romans 6, Paul tells us that Satan's work in us requires wages. However, God's love is a gift. While Satan preys on our fallen mindset of needing to earn acceptance and love, God requires nothing of our flesh...only faith from our hearts. God has already paid the price for us to be free. All we have to do is accept it.

In order to set us free from the very nature that Satan exploits so that he can continue to hold us in bondage, God has circumvented our soul and requires us to follow Him by faith. As we walk by faith and not by sight, we override our emotions and desires. God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit; together, they guide us on this path called Righteousness. Since our soul isn't charting the course and isn't in control of our decisions, we can come out of the prison where Satan once held us captive. In Romans 8, Paul teaches us that those who are LED by the Spirit of God are the sons and daughters of God.

Did you catch that? In Christ, you are no longer a slave to sin. You won't have to pay the wages of sin with your eternal soul. You are a child of God. Jesus has made us to be kings and priests unto our God. Here is the best part of living a life of faith: God rewards those who diligently seek Him. Instead of coming to the end of your life and losing your soul because you chose to serve Satan, God will reward you with life everlasting... plus an eternal reward that hasn't been revealed to us on this side of heaven. Nevertheless, we still must make the decision to have life. If we fail to make that decision, then we fail to have or inherit life. Once you choose Christ, you must choose each and every day to live His life.

Living the REAL LIFE,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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