Thursday, September 29, 2016

Who Hinders Us?

7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
(Galatians 5:7-8)

Here Paul talks to the Galatians to try to get them to recognize they have been diverted from the true gospel, but I think it is applicable in all cases when we find ourselves suddenly stopped in our efforts to press forward.

If we’ve been diligent and careful and obedient in the past, who is it that is trying to prevent us from continuing that path? Of course it is Satan.

Satan uses a variety of arguments to try to convince us we shouldn’t continue. If we resist one type of argument, he will switch to another type, even if it is opposite to the first type.  (For instance, once I noticed an argument of “Oh, you don’t need to do that until your husband gets home. You’ll work better when he’s around” which, when my husband came home turned into “Oh, you don’t need to do that. You want to enjoy time with your husband now that he’s home.”)  Satan doesn’t care about logical consistency; he just wants to get us to stop our good works.

If we listen to one of his arguments (which are have some kernel of lie in them), he will use that as much as possible and try to apply it to other aspects of our faithfulness to stop that too. If there are cracks in our obedience, Satan will use his arguments like a chisel to widen the crack.

And as I said before, if we resist, he will switch arguments and keep trying anything he can think of.  He will also use feelings of low energy, apathy, depression, irritation, disappointment, and so on to try to divert us and make us think that now is not the time. Those feelings lie to us.

The Lord wants us to continue our diligent obedience. Anything that tries to persuade us otherwise is not of God.

How does this help us? It is like turning on the lights in a dark room where a fight is occurring. When the lights go on, suddenly you can see who is fighting whom, and then you know which combatant needs to be hand-cuffed.   Satan would like us to think we are fighting ourselves instead of him. So recognizing the real source of those persuasions is the important first stop to learning to resist and ignore them.