The Roaring Lion

A month ago, I was convinced that our church was on the cusp of a great movement of God. To be certain, I still am. But in the last three weeks or so, it has become clear that Satan is, too. It never ceases to amaze me what our enemy will do to defeat the plans and purposes of God, and so this morning, I wanted to write briefly to challenge you to three things.

  • Pray. When God’s church is on the brink of great things, Satan will attack. It is essential that we stay in constant contact with the Lord of hosts, our commander in this battle. We must pray specifically for protection from Satan’s favorite angles of attack. Satan will use our natural resistance to change against us. He will tempt us to compromise in all areas of life, including especially finances and sex. And he will challenge our growth in grace so that we question the value of godliness. And he will attack us where it hurts the very most: our families. We must pray against complacency and divisions. We must pray for strength to stand firm against temptation of all kinds. We must pray for faith resolute enough to pursue holiness, even when it hurts. And we must pray fervently for the families in our congregation. Pray.
  • Worship. When Satan is on the prowl right before God does amazing things, he doesn’t have to completely destroy. He has only to discourage us from recognizing that God is worthy of our praise and able to do all things. Those two things are at the heart of worship. So our of worship does two things. First, it reminds us that He is worthy and able. And second, it provides God the opportunity to pour into us all the things that we need for what He’s about to do. Remember, though, that worship is more than what we do on Sunday mornings. We must worship on Sundays, yes, but we must also make every other day, every other aspect and action of our lives, an act of worship. Worship.
  • Minister. Ministry is not just something that I do as the pastor of the church. It is something to which all believers are called. Simply put, to minister is to meet the needs of someone else. People all around us have needs. Those needs vary from a simple smile to someone to talk to, a ride to the grocery store to money for the groceries they need. They can be physical or concrete, such as food or shelter. And they can be abstract, such as someone to simply say, “Hi.” And they can be spiritual, such as someone to explain to them the gospel message. You see, if nothing else, the people of this world are desperately searching for the one thing that they’re still missing. They think they can fill the void with everything from iPods to automobiles to jobs to sex, but they are wrong. They need Jesus. And the only way they can find Jesus is if we bring Him to them. Show them Jesus’ love. Tell them what He’s done for you and would do for them. Invite them to join the body of Christ in church this Sunday. Minister.

Remember today that Satan is on the prowl. In fact, St. Peter warned two thousand years ago, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV). He is especially aggressive when his own plans are threatened, and so Peter’s advice is all that much more pertinent! He called on believers – on us – to “resist [the devil], standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (v 9).

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