“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT
It is not unusual to hear complaints of how social media is isolating us and destroying our social skills, thereby damaging our ability to create truly meaningful relationships. Even non-Christian sources agree. What non-believers fail to understand is that we all have a powerful spiritual enemy who is out to destroy us, and uses deception, fantasy, and isolation as part of his strategy.
Our relationship with God and other believers is a powerful tool, even a weapon, God uses to bring Christ’s Kingdom to earth. We were created by God to need him and to need each other. He designed us to thrive in relationship with him and others. What is impossible for non-believers is possible for us because we have God, the Holy Spirit, in us to fill us with his love, peace and joy to share with others. The Holy Spirit uses our unity in love in Christ as proof that Jesus was sent by the Father. (John 17:21)
Our prowling, watchful enemy, the devil, knows that. Therefore, he hates it when we succeed, by refusing to be isolated, and choose to commit to relationships with God and others, no matter how difficult they might appear to be. When we choose to allow God to use the scars and wounds of personal relationships with family, church members and others, to purify, strengthen and cause us to become more beautiful, more like Christ, we win spiritual battles and give our God much glory.
Jesus likens us to his little lambs, and himself to our Shepherd. The Shepherd gathers his sheep together to keep them warm and safe. Out of love, Jesus goes after the wanderer to bring her back again to himself.
Are you that wandering lamb? Have you been wounded in relationships and chosen to isolate, believing you don’t need anyone close to you? Watch out! Our enemy is ready to devour you, your dreams and potential in the Lord. BUT GOD is also running after you! Let Jesus pick you up and carry you close to his heart. Choose to let him restore and strengthen you.
Pray with me: Father God, forgive me for allowing difficult relationships to cause me to withdraw and hide from others. I choose to believe that the Holy Spirit in me is able to train and equip me in my relationships with you and others. Jesus, you died so I could enjoy being with you and others who love you. Since it is important to you, I choose to commit to persevering in growing in love, patience, kindness and faithfulness to you and others. In your precious name, Jesus. Amen.
Dear friend, may you awaken each morning filled with hope and anticipation for what God will teach you that day. May you discover the joys of relationships with God and other believers, and may you witness the defeat of the enemy in every part of your life. Amen.
February 22, 2019