Less we forget, it is important that we remind ourselves that Scriptures point to a scary period of our lives when we were described as ‘enemies of God’. As for example, Rom. 5:10 notes, ‘For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.’ Or again, Col. 1:21, ‘Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior’ (NIV).1
Thank God that today, having made peace with Him, we are now transferred to being children of God, with Him standing on our side, where His comforting promise to us is, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ (Heb. 13:5). What blessed thought it is when we read Jesus saying to us, ‘No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:15)
The harsh reality for us as Christians today is that standing on the side of God, we need to contend with a formidable enemy, the devil. 1 Peter 5:8 reminds us, ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ (1 Peter 5:8).
We have been warned time and again to be wary of the attacks of the devil our enemy, through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Reading the temptations that Jesus our Lord went through, recorded in Matt. 4:1-11, it surfaces the reality that the devil used the same tactics in his efforts to trip Jesus, much as to what the serpent did to Eve, recorded in Gen. 3:1-7.
Our comfort today is that firstly, Jesus our Lord faced the same enemy as we face today. Secondly, Jesus our Lord faced the same kind of temptations that we face today. Thirdly, just as Jesus our Lord used Scriptures to overcome the temptations of His enemy the devil, we too can avail ourselves to the Word of Life in our desire to live victorious Christian lives.
Today, as you face the onslaughts of your enemy the devil through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, remember Heb. 2:18 where the writer confidently encourages us, ‘For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.’ So look to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. In the words of the hymn writer,2 ‘Now I belong to Jesus, Jesus belongs to me.’ We are no longer at enmity with God. Instead, God is on our side, leading us on victory ground.
Elder Richard Lai
1 All Scripture quotations from the ESV, unless otherwise noted.
2 Hymn 511 in our hymnal