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Monday, April 23, 2012

His Cross Was Enough

Luke 23:33-34, And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." NKJV

Do you sometimes struggle with feelings of unworthiness? Are there occasions when you feel like there's no hope? If you answered yes to either or both questions, then you can know that Satan is seeking a way into your heart so that he might rob you. In the Bible, you can read that there are many times when Satan goes to people and tests their faith: He went into the garden and spoke to Eve; He went into the wilderness and tempted Jesus; and He went before God in the Old and New Testaments with accusations against the people of God.

Satan is always looking for an open door to our hearts so that he might gain entrance through a lie. He first approaches a person to get them to believe something that doesn't agree with God's Word. If they should fall prey to his deceptive ways, then he gains access to wreck havoc in their lives. This is why God requires His children to live by faith in Him and His promises. We must stand by faith in God if we are to have the power to resist the lies of Satan.  

Even if Satan says something that seems to be true in the earthly realm, don't listen! Let me explain. You have been given a free will from your divine Creator. Therefore, God has to have your consent in order to bring change and blessing into your life. In Hebrews 11, we're told that, without faith, we can't please God. Another meaning for the word "please," is to come into agreement. The Lord addresses the subject of agreement throughout the Word of God. If we should believe something that doesn't line up with God's will or His Word, then we aren't walking in faith.

Even so, when Satan shows up in your life and tries to convince you to agree with his suggestions, opinions, or deceptive lies, know that he is seeking agreement from you. Once Satan had convinced Eve in the garden to agree with his lies, he caused her to sin against the Lord. Likewise, in the wilderness, Satan tried to move Jesus to come into agreement with his plan. However, Jesus refused to align Himself with Satan's lies. As a result, Jesus overcame the Devil, and God released great power and authority into Jesus' life.

As Jesus was dying on the cross, He asked the Father to forgive mankind for the sins they had committed. Even though His own people rejected Him as their Messiah, this didn't prevent Jesus from dying for their sins, as well as ours. We know that God loved the world enough to give His only- begotten Son for our sin. God valued us, even though we, sometimes, see no value in ourselves. Through the cross of Christ, God offered us an eternal hope and future that sin wasn't able to rob from us.

All that you and I have to do to inherit the promise of eternal life and all the other promises of God is to believe or agree with Him first. Just because we go through times and seasons where it seems as though God has forgotten or forsaken us, we must never allow ourselves to become a victim and believe those thoughts. Even though we experience hardships and disappointments that can cause us to feel unworthy or hopeless, we must not give into the subtleties of the wicked one and allow unbelief to rob us.

We must guard our hearts at all times from Satan and his lies. Nevertheless, if you struggle with unworthiness or hopelessness, you can be certain that Satan is speaking to you. God cannot leave you, one of His own; neither will He forsake you. The only reason we would ever believe that He would is because we have found ourselves in a place that is dark and lonely. Always remember this: God loved you while you were still a sinner; He demonstrated this love by offering Jesus as payment for our sin debt. If He loved us that much when we were His enemy, how much more is the blood of Jesus going to save us from the wrath to come (Romans 5)?

Anytime we allow feelings that are the result of a setback or hardship to control us and to dictate our decisions, then we are certain to fall into one of Satan's pits. Just because we have thoughts and feelings that reflect the reality of our life at a particular moment in time doesn't mean we have to own them. It doesn't mean that you're being a hypocrite or living in a fantasy if you decide to believe God's Word in spite of your situation. Satan loves to condemn Christians who refuse to succumb to his suggestions and lies...in the hope that we will cave into his pressure.

The cross of Jesus was enough to cover both the sins of our past and the trials of today. Just as we had to take a stand of faith for our salvation, we must also continue to stand against the Devil anytime he tries to regain territory that now belongs to the Lord (our hearts). When you feel like giving up, go to the Lord; and He will deliver you from all your distresses.

Complete in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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