Carey Lewis Devotions
Monday, June 3rd, 2013
Character Development (Part 5)
An Obstacle To Overcome
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the Word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
Philippians 2:14-16 (NKJV)
How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your Face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?...

But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Psalm 13:1-2,5-6 (NKJV)
The enemy, 'The prince of the power of the air' (Ephesians 2:2), currently controls media. He hates God's performers. The last thing he wants to see is your light, because it blinds his troops. The last thing he wants to smell is your success, because it stinks to him (see 2 Corinthians 2:14-17).

He either wants you on his side, or he wants you to stay home and keep it small. He wants your light under a basket (see Matthew 5:14-16). Consider church walls to be that basket.

I declare both of his desires impossible by the Name of Jesus and the Power of His Holy Spirit. That being said, God allows Satan to throw obstacles in your path, because they build your character. Ask God's help to overcome them.

Consider grumbling and complaining: 'Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused' (Numbers 11:1). 'Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord' (Exodus 16:8).

As a former champion in our culture of complaint, I was shocked to learn God hates public complaint. Under no circumstances should we gripe about our condition. He considers your complaint against them (whoever they are) to be a complaint against Him. Because the circumstances you protest are the circumstances God allowed--to build your character.

On the other hand, it's acceptable, and even encouraged, to complain to God in the privacy of prayer. David whined, pleaded, cried and moaned frequently to His Lord. The king-in-waiting expected God to fix every unfair situation. So He did. Casting your cares on God builds your faith. That pleases Him.

But to grumble in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation shows your own bad character--more than theirs. To complain to others is to disrespect your Teacher. Even more, you present a poor testimony on the witness stand of life--and far worse on the grandstands of entertainment.

God will not promote a sour star.

To Be Continued...

2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (NKJV): 'Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the Word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.'

Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV): You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.

P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Character Development series.

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"I labored, yet not I. By the grace of God, I am what I am, and do what I do' (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 15:10). I love God's Word. As a late-in-life committed Christian with no Bible training prior to age 51, some people wonder how I'm qualified to write devotions. I wonder that, too. But God loves children and fools for Him. I am both. Ghost Writer? God.

Carey Lewis

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