Monday, July 28, 2008

Joe Jackson

Sunday the local Assembly of God church had an outdoor service with guest evangelist and former NFL Vikings star Joe Jackson. The music was top notch. It turned out I knew two of the musicians through Boy Scouts. There were also a few friends in the congregation.

Joe preached a few hard topics. Probably the most difficult was based on Zechariah 3. This is where Joshua stands before God and Satan, and Satan is there to accuse Joshua. The message here is that Joshua's defense was left to God. He did not speak, God did. When we rely on ourselves to defend against Satan we will always lose. That's God's job, not ours. If we speak up, it is our own arrogance speaking, and the only thing we serve to do is drown out the voice of the Lord, our One True Advocate.

The point is not that we should never to anything to defend against Satan. We can control our behaviors and our situations to the best of our abilities, and not leave openings for Satan into our hearts and lives. Still though, when the moment arrives - and no matter what we do it will arrive - we are to call on the name of the Lord. His name does more damage to Satan than any defense we could conjure.

Another interesting idea is how Satan attacks. If you have never had a drug or alcohol problem, then Satan will not tempt you with a free bag of pot. If you find it straightforward to maintain a marriage with fidelity, then he will not tempt you with the young and pretty wife of your neighbor. If you have no challenge with gambling, then he will not tempt you with Las Vegas. So what will Satan use to attack you? I surely don't know, but I know who does. That person's face is in your mirror.

Of course, knowing (or hoping to know) where Satan will attack means that you have to be honest enough with yourself to admit you have some shortfalls. If you are so arrogant and blind that you cannot even name a few of your own faults, I'd say you should fall on your knees right now and thank God for your perfection. Whether or not you acknowledge your weaknesses, know that these are the places where Satan has an opening. And he knows it just like you know it. These are the times and situations that we most need the Lord. Just open your heart enough, and invite Him in.


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