Posted by Gabe Brennan

There are no shortcuts to Christian maturity.  It involves an all out, head to toe, lifelong pursuit of becoming like Jesus by the power of Jesus. And it’s not for the faint of heart.  There will be some serious setbacks on this journey, some self-inflicted, some thrown at us by our adversary the devil but ultimately every bump, bruise and scrape will be used by God to deepen our faith and reset our vision of Jesus.  He Himself was bruised, scraped, banged up and even wrapped up in dead man’s clothes all while doing His Father’s will. So we should expect a bit of turbulence as well.

no-shortcutsThe past 9 months have been really special for East Balsam.  God has blessed and multiplied our little efforts to love Him and love people.  The boys’ loaves and fish were sufficient to feed thousands. And it seems that our small offerings are feeding more and more hungry hearts every Sunday. This is a really good thing. And also, a reason to be all the more vigilant. Because we as Christ followers do have an adversary and Peter says he prowls like a lion. And if you know anything about lions, you know that they are not nice little kitties – they are predatory animals with large teeth and immense appetites.  If it’s you against a lion in the Serengeti, you’re gonna lose every time.

This is what the Apostle tells us Satan is like.  And I think it would be good to listen the warning. It would be easy to assume that when the sun is shining and people are smiling and the offering plate is heavy with generosity that we can let our guard down a bit.  But there is no such time for the Christian or for the church. Every single day we are vulnerable to an attack, whether from within or without. And the devil is a sneaky and often inconspicuous enemy with a golden tongue. He whispers things like, “Boy, isn’t life good” and “Do you really need to pray for God’s leading? Clearly you have this figured out,” and “You can ignore that relational wound…. it will go away on its own” and many more lies that subtly push God to the margins of our minds.

dsc_02221These small little lies will take down churches and families and individual Christians  more than any government policy or bad news at work; So we have to be skilled in detecting them quickly. The great battle for the Christian is to resist these lies and to reaffirm total trust and dependence on the promises of God in Christ. This is the rhythm of the Christ follower – resist the devil and all his lies that elevate self over Jesus and trust in the leading of the Spirit with a humble and teachable heart.  We are never so helpless as when we think we can help ourselves and never so vulnerable than when we think we have no need of protection. Our safety and security comes from Jesus and Him alone. Any other form of confidence is imaginary.

So this is my plea for East Balsam and every family it represents.  Together, let’s resist the lies of the devil that would tempt us to be self-confident. And let’s, together elevate the greatness of Jesus day after day and set at His feet every decision we make from the smallest to the biggest. God is our Confidence (Proverbs 3:26) and we have no other.

Striving with you to trust and become like Jesus,
Pastor Gabe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *