Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Tool Master

There was a little song we sang when I was a kid, went something like this...."The devil is a sly old fox, I'd like to take him and put him in a box, lock the box and throw away the key, for all the tricks he's played on me....."

I know there are differing opinions and beliefs on keeping salvation. There are those who believe that once you repent and become a Christian, you can never fall from grace and miss Heaven. Then there are those - like me - who believe that you can fall from grace, and walk away/give up and miss Heaven in the end. As someone said to me once, as long as you live daily doing your best to serve God and please Him, that's all that matters.

I do have to question the other belief. If once saved, you can never fall, then why does Satan spend so much time fighting Christians? And believe me, he does. I have heard the explanation that he wants to render us useless, so we won't be a fruitful Christian. Maybe. I am not out to knock those who believe that way, but I am more convinced that we can fall back into sin and miss Heaven - the devil is a destroyer, and he wants to destroy us. So, what I say following this, is based on my belief that we can fall from grace and miss Heaven.

I heard the following story several years ago: Satan was having a garage sale. On display stood many large, shiny, complicated tools. Each was labeled with a tag such as: MURDER, ADULTERY, HATE, STRIFE, etc. Yet in one corner sat a tiny, dull, simple tool with a very high price attached. When asked why that worn out tool was so expensive, Satan replied smugly, "That one is called DISCOURAGEMENT. I can use that one on everybody."

Now of course Satan isn't going to sell his "tools", but it does illustrate the point that has been on my mind lately. Actually, a couple of points. The first, Satan doesn't always tempt us with the big sins: sexual sins, murder, stealing. Many of us could never be swayed by those. So for many of us, he unleashes the smaller tools. Discouragement, depression, bitterness. That brings me to the main thought I have had lately, and it isn't some major new thought.

Satan doesn't care how he takes people down, as long as they go down. If he can get people to kill, commit sexual sins, steal - the more horrendous the sin, the happier he is. Yet, if it just takes discouragement and a spirit of discontent to cause us to lose sight of God, sit back, and feel sorry for ourselves, he is happy. He knows that can cause us to give up on God and end up as far from where we should be as if we actually took a gun and killed someone.

I have struggled with the big things in life. At times the load has gotten so heavy, that I wished I could die, and all too many times I have fallen under that load, and let the devil have his way. Yet, also many times I have been so discouraged, God seemed to not care, that I lost my focus and gave up. Do you think the devil cared which tactic worked on me? Not at all.

He really does have a large toolbox of tools to use on us. And sometimes all it takes is his getting just a slight foothold. A seed of discontent or bitterness. Just a few bad days of discouragement, and he knows we are on our way down.

I have a friend who is extremely discouraged and down. He knows he needs to get back on board with God, but he is so discouraged, he seems content to just look at the bad in life. I can relate. I have been there, and more often than not, feel like just throwing up my hands, sit back, and let life bowl me over again.

One day we will all stand at the judgment bar. We will face God the Judge, and on that day, it will not matter why we denied Him, gave up on Him - it won't matter if we were an axe murderer here on earth, or if discouragement led us away from serving Him. I for one, want to make it. It isn't always easy - often times it is harder than anyone looking on would have a clue - yet I am tired of standing by and letting the devil try the tools of his trade out on me.

Well, I have kind of rattled on. Hope what I said made sense. :-)


Kim M. said...

Do we believe He can keep us from sin? Is His blood powerful enough? (I reject the philosophy that says we must sin in word, thought, & deed every day)

However we believe His blood can KEEP US saved? Is His blood powerful enough?

I believe both. He can keep us from losing our salvation and He can keep us from living in sin as well.... if we HAVE FAITH.

I think we lose our salvation when we lose our faith.... because grace is given through faith.

I personally think we give Satan too much credit. That's a real shame because he is only the tempter. We make our own decisions and I don't believe the Lord will allow us to blame him when we get to the judgment.

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast