Computers are great – when they work. Did you ever have a moment with your computer when it wasn’t doing what you wanted it to do? I’m pretty good with technology, but there are times when I’m in over my head. When I’m busy trying to get some work done on my computer, I have no patience for troubleshooting and learning new tech skills. I just want some remote expert to take over my computer and fix it so I can get back to work. In many ways our lives are as complex as the computers we use. Sometimes, our lives drift off into disrepair and we need some remote expert to take over and fix it. Knowing Jesus isn’t exactly like this, but there are some similarities.
The first thing that happens to those who have trusted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – that means the Spirit of God takes up residency inside you, acting as your guide and protector. For some, this is a profound physical experience that may include anything from tears to vivid visions that seem completely real. For others, there is nothing more than a calm understanding that the work is done. No matter what your experience is, if you have a sincere heart when you pray for salvation, you can be certain the work is done and the Holy Spirit is on board as your direct connection to God. The Bible puts it this way “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14 NIV) That’s some colorful language that simply means once you trust Jesus as your Savior, you become a child of God and are connected to the Spirit of God, as a guarantee that Jesus will return for you one day.
From this point forward, the Holy Spirit will be guiding you with a subtle internal voice that will nudge you in the right direction. Keep in mind, you still have to make all of life’s choices on your own, and God’s enemy the devil will be trying to push you off in the wrong direction. But the Holy Spirit will be with you providing discernment and pointing you toward the light of truth. The Bible tells us, “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19 NIV) Until Jesus returns, we are on a training mission to learn how to identify and deal with evil. Every day of your life in this world will include choices between good and evil. The Bible gives us this warning, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV) As followers of Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit directing us and protecting us from evil; nevertheless, the devil will never stop trying to have his way.
Know this: nothing makes the devil happier than those who say he doesn’t exist. Flying under the radar is what the devil is all about. The devil’s primary method of operation is filled with constant lies and deception. He knows nothing else. We can all identify times in our lives that were clearly the devil’s manipulation. We look back on these moments and wonder why we were so inconsiderate, selfish, or disrespectful. It’s because we fell victim to the devil’s schemes.
The Holy Spirit won’t prevent you from making the wrong choice, but will absolutely provide you with the right way to go. You are still in control. As a child of God you are not a robot. You are an independent follower of Jesus empowered by the Spirit of God to share God’s love with the world. If you don’t let the enemy of God distract you, great things can be accomplished.
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