Did you know that you have three enemies, and they are working overtime to deceive you about the goodness of God? And these enemies are pretty good at what they do. If you don’t believe me, take a poll of 10 people and ask them:
“Who do you REALLY think God is?”
I suspect that most of the people you ask will NOT describe God as the embodiment of real love. Nor will they describe His Word and His ways as more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey. But what does GOD’s Word say—about Him? Well, here two of many examples.
“God is love.” 1 John 4:8b
“More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalms 19:10
Most people define God in terms of being: judgmental, wrathful, distant, senile, or—on the other side of the scale—one who is not completely holy; and thus, is able to overlook our sin. Even for people who DO define God in positive ways—many times—it is just an intellectual description rather than their own personal experience. How do I know this?
Because if more people really thought God was as good as He describes Himself—we would see a much greater number of Christians overflowing with the fruits of the Holy Spirit!
Let me ask you this: How many bulldozers would you employ to dig up your backyard if you knew there was a mother lode of gold buried there? Exactly. Or, how passionately would you pursue a relationship if you found someone you knew was “the one?” Right. Yet knowing God is FAR better than any gold or any relationship! Thus, while we may INTELLECTUALLY acknowledge that God is good, our enemies have still managed to deter us from hotly pursuing a relationship with Him.
So who ARE these three scoundrels?
“They” are—the devil, the flesh, and the world—and their primary goal is to thwart our vital relationship with God. Here is what God’s Word says about each of them:
The Flesh: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:5-8 NKJV
The world system: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15-16
The devil: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
The enemies seem frightening; indeed, we should have a healthy respect for them. BUT—if you are God’s child, you do NOT have to be afraid of them because…
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
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