Saturday, January 25th, 2014
Acting School (Part 25)
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Ephesians 6:13 (NKJV)
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold...
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Matthew 24:11-12, 42-44 (NKJV)
When is the evil day? When will Satan, the thief, killer and destroyer, come to attack us? Or to attack those we love? Or to devour those unaware of his identity? Is it one day? Is it today? Is it every day?
'As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them' (Ecclesiastes 9:12), 'Because the days are evil' (Ephesians 5:16).
Consider Satan's temptations of Jesus in the desert. As a Man, He'd just been baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. As the Son of God, He's just about ready to begin His mission and reveal His true Identity. As an Example to us, He allowed Himself to be tested by the devil. Because we will be tested, and He wants us to know how to fight--and how to win!
When Jesus passed three great temptations, the same temptations His followers will face... When Satan lost rounds one, two and three, the Bible says: 'Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time' (Luke 4:13).
In other words, the devil was coming back to test Jesus again and again... until He walked out of that tomb with a new Body--in absolute victory. But if Satan never stopped His attacks upon the Son of God as a Man, do we think we are beyond the devil's reach? Not yet. Not on this present Earth. That's one reason the Bible is filled with Verses about holding the course, staying strong and not turning back.
Surely in our 21st century Earth, bad is bold. Surely we live in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation--inspired by a subculture of evil. Is our culture more perverse than in the days of Noah? Only God knows, but the magnification of media did not then exist.
In the Old Testament, God said through the prophet Ezekiel: 'Swords at the ready! Thrust right! Set your blade! Thrust left--Wherever your edge is ordered!' (Ezekiel 21:16).
In the New Testament, God said through the Apostle Paul: 'Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand' (Ephesians 6:13).
Today's battle is spiritual. It is far more important than our physical life and death, because this battle is for eternity, and who will spend it where.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Acting School series.