After writing about responding well to irritations, don't you just know that I spent too much time yesterday feeling quite irritated and responding poorly!! Oh Lord, help me to apply what I know to be true! Help me to see people and situations with Your eyes! Help these irritations to smooth away whatever in me doesn't look like you. James says, "Consider it joy when you suffer trials..." The Phillips translation of this verse says, "Welcome your trials as friends..." Wow! That's a challenge, but I can welcome trials if I recognize that God is using them to produce Christ-likeness in me. Please, oh please, help me to be swift to respond as You would have me.
I received this email from Ron Hutchcraft ministries. It is so worth sharing! Enjoy!
Whenever we've had a young grandchild come over to our house, it was almost all good news. The reason I say almost is because of the preparations we have to fly into to get ready for the arrival of like a two-year old. Yes, I said two-year old. That's two as in "super inquisitive." See, our little grandchildren have had a way of exploring, experimenting with every object within their reach. There are two kinds of things that need to quickly disappear before a young grandchild starts his little adventure at Grandma and Granddad's house. Things that can damage either the child or that he could damage. So as we joyfully anticipate a little one being with us, we also fly into a frenzied little exercise called baby-proofing our house.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Satan-Proofing."
It's a good idea to remove anything that our grandson can make a mess with. It's a whole lot better than cleaning up the mess or repairing the damage.
There's someone who pays regular visits to your life and mine who is not an angel like our grandson. It's your enemy, the devil himself. He can do a lot of damage unless you anticipate his coming, look around your life, and remove the things that he could use to mess things up. It is called Satan-proofing your life.
In our word for today from the Word of God, Paul talks about playing defense against our enemy's attempts to bring us down. In 2 Corinthians 2:11, he says we take precautions "in order that Satan might not outwit us, for we are not unaware of his schemes." Okay, eyes wide open, looking around our lives for what our enemy might use to sink us, and getting it out of the way - Satan-proofing your day.
In the instance Paul is talking about here in this verse, there is an issue of a man who did a lot of damage in the church; a man Paul says they need to be sure that they have forgiven. Why? Because a grudge, un-forgiveness toward someone is something the devil will grab at his first opportunity and he will use it to poison you and everyone around you. But Paul identifies the area that needs to be dealt with "in order that Satan might not outwit us."
Here's a sentence for you to complete. It will help you defend yourself against the tactics that Satan's used over and over to bring you down. Finish this: "The devil brings me down whenever I ___________." What goes in that blank is what needs to go. In a sense, you're analyzing your past defeats so you can remove what your enemy has used to beat you in the past.
So, Satan-proofing your life today might mean praying for someone you've had hard feelings toward, asking God to remove your bitterness and replace it with His love. It might mean staying away from negative people who make you negative, from friends who lead you where you should never go, or staying away from the music, or the Internet garbage, or the TV shows that wear you down morally, or turning your fears, or your worries totally over to God so the devil can't use them again to discourage or depress you.
When a baby's coming, you baby-proof to avoid damage. When Satan's coming, and he will, you Satan-proof to avoid the damage he wants to do to your life. There have been enough times you've left out the very things that he's used over and over to bring you down. You're not "unaware of his schemes." So start fighting back so that when the devil comes prowling around your life today, he will find that what he usually uses to make a mess, you have put way out of his reach, because you've given it to Jesus.