The DEEP

Defense

Don't get tossed.

Ephesians 4:14–16 (NKJV)

that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

And what was the purpose of Jesus giving some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry?

That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine!

Yes, this is another purpose construct in the Greek. Here we see God’s careful planning in how He grows His church.

But notice something else that’s disturbing. This time God’s playing defense. He’s anticipating the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, and He’s readying His church for the attacks.

OK, so why doesn’t He just smack these “cunning, crafty, deceitful, plotting” men halfway across the galaxy? He’s all powerful, right? Why, does God let His enemies have free reign to make their mischief, and require His church to play defense?

That is the question. Somehow, that’s His glorious plan. We’re not going to understand it (in this life anyway).

Just be in awe. He knows what he’s doing, even if we don’t.


God definitely allows these struggles. Let that sink in for a minute. Lots of bad stuff happens. We’d like to think that an all-powerful God was not looking or something when those bad things happened.

But that’s not it.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
– Isaiah 55:8 (NKJV)

This verse gets quoted all the time. You might be sick of hearing it; it’s not satisfying. We want to understand what’s going on and God’s response to our complaint it to say, “You don’t understand what’s going on.” Grrrr.

Yeah, well, tough. That’s His story and He’s sticking to it.

The Bible’s supposed to humble us, remember?


The weekly study guides, which include all five devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.