If you’ve been successful in life, you may feel fairly comfortable in this world. If you have a perfect job, a perfect relationship, and live in a perfect place, you probably are quite content with this world. However, I’ve never encountered anyone with a perfect life. Everyone I know goes through periods of joy and periods of despair. Some experience joy more than others. Some experience despair more than others. The world we live in is uneven and full of the unexpected. Those who are triumphant today may find themselves tragically challenged tomorrow. In this world, we often see good people caught in bad situations. At the same time, we also see bad people living in opulent luxury. Those who work hard may still find themselves struggling to survive; those who hardly work at all may be rich beyond measure. I think it’s safe to say the world we live in has no true sense of fairness. In many ways, the world we live in is somewhat of a gamble that can go either way on any given day
Most people don’t realize that God has allowed the devil to take control of this world. If you know Jesus, you are a child of God and protected from the devil – if not, you are on your own. The Bible says this about followers of Jesus, “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19 NASB) That’s right, God is real and the devil is an evil force in this world trying to upset the work of God. We see this play out every day in our lives. Evil forces trying to disrupt the forces of good.
You don’t have to go far to find evil in this world. It’s all around us. This is part of God’s design. The time we spend in this world is designed to develop our ability to identify and confront evil. This world is an ongoing battle between good and evil. We engage in this battle every day. The only way to ultimately win this battle is to join forces with God. Those who have connected with God through a relationship with Jesus Christ, will win.
If you are going through life without knowing Jesus, there’s a good chance you’ve felt the empty and lost feeling of being disconnected from God. If you’re going through life without knowing Jesus, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced the devil’s manipulation. Without the help of the Spirit of God, the devil can pull and push you in any direction he wants. Without a connection to the power of God, the devil can have his way with you. You may not even know he has taken control over your life. The devil is a master of deception. Money, power, and lust are his favorite tools to work with. Take a moment right now and evaluate your life. Is it possible the devil is at work in your life? Can you identify an event or circumstance that has the fingerprints of evil?
Before I go, I want to make one thing perfectly clear. There is a common myth that once you become a Christian and begin following the teachings of Jesus, your life will suddenly be greatly blessed with every good thing. This is not the case. In some ways your life may become harder once you become a Christian. Keep in mind, our life here in this world has a purpose. That purpose is not to simply have a good time. Our life here is a training period that teaches us how to identify evil and how to deal with evil. You can’t learn these lessons without some difficulty in your life. If you’ve ever trained for any kind of athletic endeavor, you know that hard work is the key to success. If you want to compete and win, a good coach will challenge you to the maximum of your potential. There is no better coach than God. God is going to make sure we are trained to our highest capability. God is going to develop our abilities so that we can win.
Finally, while life as a Christian will not be easy, there is one enormous advantage. Followers of Jesus Christ are empowered by the Spirit of God. Unbelievers do not have access to this awesome power. For this reason, unbelievers are far more vulnerable to the trickery of the devil. That doesn’t mean Christians can’t be manipulated by evil – they can be – but the Spirit of God is with all believers to help them overcome all the forces of evil found in this world.
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