One thing I know…is how difficult it can be, to remain on the path that God has placed us on…especially during difficult times of affliction. It seems like obstacles get in our way, along with temptations that can sidetrack us and put us on a detour road; that only takes us away, from where God longs for us to be.
In Proverbs 4:25-27, we read… “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”
How is it that we find ourselves on a detour road, rather than the path that God first placed us on? I have come to see that this happens, when we become too tightly focused on what the circumstance is attempting to convey to us. We must remember one thing…Satan isn’t only out to afflict us; but he’s also out to keep that affliction alive, in any way possible.
We need to remember that no matter what we face…we need to keep pressing on, with our eyes looking straight ahead. Now isn’t the time to get sidetracked, by thinking more deeply on our problems.
One thing I love about these Bible verses; is that they come right to the point and say… “Look right on…look straight before thee…turn not to the right hand nor to the left.” Just think how our times of adversity could be so much easier to cope with, if we would only look at what lies straight before us…never turning to the left or the right.
Now isn’t the time to succumb to temptation and the ways of evil; but rather, now is the time, to keep our eyes focused on Jesus and the prize that awaits us, at the end of these difficult paths. When we can stop listening to what the circumstance is attempting to convey to us and focus on the One, who can walk us directly out of these difficult times; then we will come to see that these paths of circumstance do come to an end.
As we view life around us, we see how there are more people being afflicted with pain and overwhelming circumstances and it seems as though we are facing greater obstacles and a longer duration of attacks from Satan. In Revelation 12:12, it reads…”Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”
As we see the end drawing closer, we also see a greater amount of persecution, pain and heartache in this world and even though God may be allowing these moments to enter our lives for a reason; that doesn’t mean that Satan can control the situation. His power can be displayed to us, as he enhances a situation in our lives but the true test comes, when we either choose to fall prey to his power or walk away from the situation, only to draw closer to God.
These times we live in are never easy but knowing that God is close by, will give us hope, as we walk down these difficult pathways. One thing I’ve learned in my life; is that we definitely cannot have an attitude towards God but we can have one towards Satan and I think the reason why we suffer needlessly; is because we allow ourselves to fall prey to the works of Satan, while fearing the circumstance and where it may lead us.
It’s time, that we refer our minds back to the cross…at a time when Jesus defeated Satan. As we all remember, Jesus went through an insurmountable amount of temptation, as Satan was attempting to detour Jesus from the cross. In addition, Jesus suffered beyond any suffering we would endure in this lifetime but because He remained focused on His Father in Heaven; God delivered Him from these moments, through a victorious resurrection, while overcoming evil with good.
In this day we are living in; we can become so overwhelmed by our daily problems…especially as we feel them intensify but just as Jesus remained true to His Father and remained focused on Him; we too need to do the same and remember that there is no obstacle that can stop us or defeat an all-powerful God that lives in and around us. We need to quit allowing the circumstance to drag us down and allow the power that lives within us, to lift us up, to a place where we rise above the despair in our lives.
Remember, Satan is lurking around, seeking whom he may devour and what he’s focusing on the most right now, as he senses his time is short; is the weaknesses in our lives. When we allow ourselves to succumb to the weakness that attempts to take over our lives, then we are going to begin to feel a full blown attack from Satan but when we get an attitude and shun him, by focusing on God and His word, while we allow our personal relationship with God to become stronger; then the power of evil will begin to weaken, as our strength begins to soar, to a place that’s higher than despair.
Do we see our faith, as a limited faith? Do we only experience God’s goodness, by the limited faith we have or does our heart of belief allow us to experience the complete fullness of God’s power in our lives?
In II Kings 4:6, we read…“When all the jars were full she said to her son, “Bring me another one.” But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.” This is a great illustration of faith. In this reading, there was only enough oil, for the woman to fill the jars that they had gathered but the moment she ran out of jars…the oil stopped flowing.
Are we only allowing God to fill us up so far, with His wonder working power…only to a place, where our faith limits the flow of His powerful presence? Have we run out of room for God to work, especially during the moments of adversity? We need to understand that when we limit the power of a great and mighty God; then it’s as if we have placed a stopper on God’s power, so He can only help us to a certain degree. If we are longing for God to do His best on our behalf; then our faith must match up with the power, of the God we believe in.
While facing difficult times of pain and heartache in our lives, our attention can become easily focused on every detail of the problem, due to the severity of it but when we do this; then our faith is being limited and from there, we limit the work of God. Faith can become a limitless faith, when our thoughts are focused on God and His word…while communing heart to heart with Him. When we can focus on the positive things that will allow our faith to grow; then we will begin to experience the limitless power of God.
Nothing can ever be hopeless, unless we choose to believe it’s hopeless. We need to remember that our thoughts and actions are either going to lead us to a stronger faith in God or these moments are going to place us deep, in a pit of despair, where Satan has full control of our circumstances. We will never fully come to grips, with the intense and mighty power of God, until we are willing to release ourselves from the circumstance and allow our faith to soar into the heavens.
We will always face trying moments of adversity and affliction but at the same time, we don’t have to remain there, when we can experience the complete and limitless power of God. When we go beyond our own thoughts and feelings, to experience a power that is never ending; then we will be giving God full control, while we watch a great and mighty God go to work within our lives.
The dark moments of circumstance can be an awful place to be. There is no sunshine in these moments, with beautiful flowers growing along the wayside…only a sky that seems so darkened by every problem, while ugly weeds line a path that seems so gray.
One piece of hope that I can offer you today…if you are walking in the midst of a dark circumstance; is found in John 8:12, which reads… “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
One thing I have come to see, after walking through some long and difficult moments of needless suffering; is that I don’t have to remain in the dark moments of circumstance. Even though Satan may have placed me there; that doesn’t mean that I have to remain there and live with no hope.
In our Bible verse for today, it states that Jesus is the light of the world and when we choose to follow after Him; then we will never find ourselves walking in darkness; but will always be in the light of His presence…where evil cannot have its way with us.
You ask me today…how do I enter this perfect light; that can destroy the darkness I’m walking in? Just turn to Jesus…the One who is the light…and commune with Him and get in His powerful word and allow new thoughts to form; that will walk you away from the darkened and deceptive thoughts; that Satan only uses to debilitate you.
When we choose the light of God’s presence, over the dark moments of circumstance; that is when hope will once more spring alive within us…letting us know that a powerful God is once more in control of our lives!