A Framework for Faith/Spiritual Vision
For he is powerful who endeavours every day to turn me from the faith and from the pure teachings of true religion which I hold even to the end of my life for the Lord Christ.
- Patrick, Confession (Irish, 5th century)
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
- 1 Peter 5.8
Patrick was certainly righ on two counts. First, the devil - or his minions - persistently seek to turn us from the pure teachings of Christ. They do this in many ways: by throwing various temptations in our paths, enticing us with false teaching, convincing us that it's not all that important for us to be serious students of God's Word, distracting us with all manner of mundane activities and diversions, and so forth.
So we have to "be watchful" against anything which discourages us from growing in the Lord and pressing on in the fullness of the Christian life.
But Patrick was also correct when he said the the devil is powerful. Mostly because he's subtle. Most of us will not be led astray by heads spinning around or projectile-vomiting demons. Most of us will fall under the devil's powers thinking that we're doing something really noble or good. Just like Peter ("Get behind Me, Satan!").
So we really have to keep our wits about us, our eyes on the risen Christ, and our feet in the paths of righteousness. The devil is powerful, but he is bound (Matt. 12.22-29). Christ controls him, and as long as we submit to Christ and seek consciously to serve Him, the devil will have a hard row to hoe trying to undermine our faith.
But he will never stop trying, not in this life anyway.
So every day be renewed in your vision of the exalted Christ. Get more firmly grounded in His unfailing Word. Pray without ceasing. And keep your eyes open for anything that suggests even the slightest deviation from the Lord's path.
Because that will be where devouring jaws of the devil are concealed.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
ReVision - We're back on immigration again, but not in order to change anything.
Windows on Truth - Here's a little free brochure that can help to give some more definite shape to your growth in the Lord.
The Pastors' Fellowship - Pastors, if we don't exercise vigilance, how can we expect it of anyone else? But how shall we do this? That's the question for discussion this month. Register today.