Acts 14:2 “But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.”
As all Christendom prepares for the celebration of the birth of our Savior, the world spins on seemingly unaffected… or is it?
In times past, wars have declared a ceasefire on Christmas. Stock markets, schools, and most other secular businesses have shut down for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
Today, the tolerance level of those not partial to Christmas has been more adamant in removing the specifics (the name of Jesus) yet still celebrate. We remind them, “Jesus is the reason for the season.”
The power at work is the evil that affects the minds of the unsaved.
We cannot discount Satan’s hatred for the defeat he suffered at Calvary and the ensuing battle waged to turn men’s hearts away from God. The devil uses any and every willing agent to use against God’s people. Those unsaved are the target of the enemy to be used to evilly affect us.
Some may use subtleties of a friendship, a business relationship, or a close neighbor to draw our attention away from God.
Other times, it is the season, cultural celebrations, and even everyday routine that can lure our minds to be evil affected.
The gateways into our minds must be guarded to keep our focus on God.
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
In battle, a soldier is trained to be acutely aware of their surroundings.
2 Timothy 2:3-4 “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
Any small anomaly can be a sign of the enemy’s work to entrap their adversary.
In our world, Satan will use willing agents to lure God’s people to follow them into compromising situations. We are taught:
James 1:14-15 “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
We all will die. There is no escaping that fact. We experience a death or separation in our relationship with the Heavenly Father when sin comes between us. The path to that death comes first with temptation. That is where the devil puts most of his effort.
We all have different tastes when it comes to sin.
Some will be lured through covetousness. The temptation is when we put making money or being financially secure above our relationship with God. Making money is not sinful in and of itself, but our love of increase above giving and God is.
1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Some are lured through the immoral. Others, through fame and societal acceptance. Still, others might fall to so-called friends, unwilling to break ties that lead to their influence in luring us from God.
It really doesn’t matter what it is that draws us away. Satan watches as the world parades its wares before us. He then manages to see what captures our eyes. We may linger on the balance of our bank account, the praise of man, the curves of a woman’s figure, or the cut of a man’s muscle.
Satan then uses whatever is available to him to tempt us and lure us into choosing sin.
Some are deceived into thinking that sin in their lives exists because the devil “made” them do it. Satan cannot make us do anything we do not “want” to do. We make a choice, and the consequences of those choices lie squarely with us.
As this year rapidly comes to a close, we must stay the course and not allow the times or season to allure us into complacency, neglect, or worse, into sin.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.