Devotional from Life Church:
When the devil knocks, you don’t always hear it. Right? He’d rather sneak in an open door. He’s the deceiver who targets your mind with lies, trying to cover up God’s love and truth. Other times, he blows situations way out of proportion as the accuser who targets your heart with accusations. Today, let’s talk about a word Jesus used when He talked about the devil: destroy. He’s the destroyer who targets your will with pride.
In John 10:10, Jesus utilized one of the simplest forms of human thinking to show the difference between real good and real evil. He put them next to each other. What happens when you look in a dark room? You see the dark. What happens when you look at light? You see the light. What happens when you put the light next to a dark room? You see the light. Light wins. In this one sentence, Jesus showed the whole world the light.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 NIV
In other words, the devil takes away. Jesus gives. But what do we do with this? How does Satan destroy? He targets your will with pride. Pride happens when you look past God to fulfill your desire to do good, to matter, to get your needs met, and to be loved. Pride is what convinces you to act without God, or worse, to use Him to accomplish your purposes. Pride comes before the fall because pride is trying to walk without God, in the dark. Your destroyer wants you prideful, in the dark.
How do we destroy pride then? With its opposite. Humbly surrender to the other side of John 10:10. Jesus gives life, and life to the full. Humility happens when you realize full life comes only when you receive (there’s that word again) what you don’t deserve from Jesus. Light, salvation, freedom, grace, power to fight your daily battles. It’s all a gift. It can’t be earned. Humble submission to Jesus defeats pride.
What do you have that you think you earned? You didn’t earn it. Humbly thank God for giving it you. Tell Him He can do whatever He wants with it. Then, obey.
Here’s what else. We receive freely, so we give freely. Pride says, “I earned this, so I’ll give God and others a little.” Humility says, “This was a gift, so have it all.” When we respond to God and others with this kind of humility-fueled, open-handed living, the thief can try to steal, but there’s always enough. He can try to take life, but it’s an unending gift. He can try to destroy, but we’re forsaking pride to humbly receive life to the full. Because when you put darkness next to light, you see the light.
Pray: God, thank You for everything I have. I don’t deserve any of this. I repent for the ways I’ve tried to work around You to do my will. You can have it all, Lord. Amen.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 10:10 KJV
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18 KJV
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1 John 2:15-16 KJV
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
James 4:1-10 KJV
Here are my thoughts:
There is actually a lot of them to this but let’s just do this…
Turn off all the lights in your house. Sit there for a moment and allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness. Now turn on a light, preferably your phone so you don’t trip. What do you see?
Oh wait, you can’t see. You had to divert or close your eyes from the light because it blinded you.
That’s sort of what happens to us when we are constantly living in sin and light of God shines on us. We have to turn away for a sec.
But the longer the light of God shines on us the more we desire. The light of God is warm and loving. The darkness of the devil is cold and unloving.
God wants to shed his light in every room of your heart but the devil wants to smash that light. He can’t smash God. He tried that before and lost.
But he can smash you. If you let him.
The devil tried smashing me as my faith grew. I may not have read my Bible everyday but I prayed everyday. Those prayers for others and myself kept that light lit. And with each day that light grew brighter and brighter to the point it radiated from within me.
I know I’m prideful at times. But I also know how strong pride can be so I try to not take credit for gifts I have. They are a gift from God. Not anything I did.
I try not to be the “look what I did” person but rather the “thank you God for allowing me to do that” person.
The devil can’t stand the light. So draw close to the warmth, love and radiance of God’s light. Commit your days to the Lord asking Him to shine His light before you each and everyday.
Be humble not prideful
Be loving not hateful
Be kind not hurtful.