What this Year Might Hold
“So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”” (Hebrews 13:6, ESV)
We have an enemy, and he is a liar. Satan fills the world with his lies, for he, “...was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44, ESV) He never tires of his work . . . and he is very clever. He holds certain lies in reserve, waiting for the right time and for the right people to spring them upon. He knows that some of his lies are more persuasive at certain times and particularly effective under certain circumstances.
As we stand now, looking out at the expanse of a new year, the devil knows it’s time to whisper into our hearts the fear of others and even a deep discouragement in walking with the Lord. He’s whispering to those who’ll listen, to be afraid of what trouble might be coming from those who disapprove of your relationship with God. He wants you to fear the opinions of those who don't like the fact that you're a Christian. Perhaps you haven't been to church in awhile and you would like to go back...Even now, he's whispering in your ear of the judgmental-ism and sideways looks that your brothers and sisters will give you when you do return to church. He does this to weaken your resolve and to lull you into apathy, even though the truth is that you would be welcomed with open arms. Lies, lies, lies.
Or maybe he's convincing you that you shouldn't stand up for Christ this next year, because he could bring trouble or... who knows? He’s whispering this lie now because he understands our nature. He knows we like to be in control. He knows we like to know what’s coming next. He knows it’s difficult to feel “in control” when facing uncertainty . . . when anything, really, might happen. And so, he knows it’s time to take advantage and to make sure you don't share the gospel with your friends.
We face a choice, therefore. We can accept his lie, shoulder the fear of others, shrink back from boldness and focus on survival by returning to things that offer us just a little comfort—work, food, alcohol, distraction, pornography, Facebook, Netflix, withdrawal, whatever else there may be. Or, we can reject his lie, spurn his fear mongering, hold tight to the promises of God, and move forward—trusting that no trouble will surpass God’s ability to protect us and care for us.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15 ESV)
My prayer for you at the dawn of 2017 is that you would live as the child of God that you truly are. Happy New Years!