We all have idiosyncrasies. That is, we all have a way of thinking, acting, living that is unique to us. One of my idiosyncrasies is my inherent need for routine, yet I also need variety within my routine. I thrive within set boundaries on my sleep schedule, my work schedule, physical activity, my family time, and my time with the Lord. However, within those scheduled times I must have some freedom and liberty for variety. I must plan for time to read, but I get to choose what to read.
Why share this? Simply stated, we have an enemy that vigorously works to keep us from thriving in God. In John 10:10, Jesus says that He has come to give us life to its fullest, but Satan has come to STEAL, KILL, and DESTROY. If you think about it, Satan works to choke our life, while God works to make us thrive in Him!
Satan doesn’t need to tempt us to commit murder, curse God, or persecute the church in order kill us; rather, all he has to do is slyly offer something to us that is less than what God offers to us and we will immediately begin withering or “de-thriving” (I know this is not a real word… but I like it). Through numerous defeats and failures, I’ve learned that my routine is an absolute necessary for my walk with the Lord. Something as simple as sleeping in, going to bed late, starting work early, or not resting properly has drastic implications on my walk with the Lord. How? Why?
I have a schedule for only one reason—I must plan and guard my time with the Lord. If I do not do this, I lack the necessary discipline, focus, and energy to engage the Lord later in the day. While this may not be true for you, it is a hard-truth for me. I either spend quality time with Lord in the morning, or I will just go through the motions later on. I am weak and nothing in my flesh desires the Lord. Consequently, I’ve learned through several hard-knocks that I must have discipline and structure to thrive in the Lord.
Bearing this in mind, I have two questions for you to help you discover where our enemy tempts you to depart from the Lord:
These two questions will help you diagnose how Satan tempts us to refuse to engage God (for example: you don’t read the Bible because you get distracted by social media) and what Satan wants to keep us from (for example: prayer causes me to enjoy God—so he will work to keep us from prayer).
Allow me to answer these two questions:
Now, with this in view, here is our next step… LOOK FOR WHERE YOU ARE TEMPTED TO DEPART FROM THE LORD AND WHERE YOU ARE PREVENTED FROM GOING TO THE LORD!
In my experience, the temptations I face serve to create frustration within me, while—simultaneously—keeping me from praising God. When paired like this (frustration + lack of praise), I’ll complain and separate myself from God!
So… how does Satan lure you from God and keep you from returning to God? Don’t put it off--GO ENJOY YOUR GOD NOW!!!