- Pastor Luis Cruz
The greatest enemy of God isn't Satan
"Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful."
Mark 4:18-19 NIV
Many Christians believed that God's greatest adversary is the Devil. Books have been written, and arts have been crafted to depict this battle between God and Satan. The book of Revelation gave a futuristic picture of what this war would be like in the future, God versus evil, and God's holy angels against the power of darkness. Satan's days are numbered and he is bound to be punished forever.
But sadly, God's greatest enemy isn't Satan and his evil cohorts but God's very own "blessings" upon His children. When Christians run after wealth and pleasures, it creates a very strong desire that would eclipsed God out of the picture. We now value the "blessings" more than the Giver of gifts - more than the Bestower of blessings. The "desire for other things will choke the word" of God in a believer's life, making him/her spiritually unfruitful. And this doesn't happen overnight. It happens little by little. And eventually, the subtle shifting of one's desires from God to the "deceitfulness of wealth and pleasures will dictate the direction of his/her life. It is a very powerful force to challenge and not so many Christians have become successful.
God' greatest enemy is not the disbelief of God, but the belief that God cannot get the priority in all and every aspect of a believer's life because this present life, so they claim, is vastly different from what the bible described as worldliness. But really, the world hasn't changed. Forms of worldliness may have changed but still wealth and pleasures have not changed at the very core which is idolatry. Wealth and pleasures could easily be turned into idolatry if we place these things in front of us instead of God. And when we do, we blur our focus on God.
The result, Christians now come to God because they need something from Him. It could be work, travel, education, money, relationships etc. But once they have them, God takes the back burner.
All the things in this world can become idols and Christians are not exempted to this kind of sin. Sadly, when we shift our desire from God to what so many of us call "blessings," it dulls our view of Him, and creates in us a sense of self justification.
The progressive subtle shift of desire to worldliness has now justified our thinking, feelings, actions and behaviors. We want to see God bowing down to what we think is right and at this time, many Christians view of God and His word is at its lowest. Some will now say, "God isn't going anywhere. I'll find Him where I left Him." Wasn't this very much like the idol's who could not walk on their own, or could not see or hear, even if they have eyes and ears? But God isn't like those idols. He has His own will and is sovereign over all things, even over time. Isaiah 55:6 says, "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near." Hence, God sets the time to end everything as He sees fit.
And still some may say, "The church will not go anywhere, I will find it where I left it." The apostle Paul reminded his readers this way, "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." 1 Thessalonians 4:17 NIV. The church, the body of believers, will one day be taken away from this world. People will look for the church but all they will find is a religion that is deprived of God's presence.
Thus, seek God while He can still be found. Learn to give Him the highest priority in everything. Tomorrow might be too late, hence, the sense of urgency to do the right thing.
"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it."
Mark 8:35 NIV