The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled

“He will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on their way to destruction because they refuse to believe the truth that would save them.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10 NLV

It’s been less than a year since I started believing the truth of salvation through Jesus Christ. I read verses like 2 Thessalonians 2:10, and shake my head and think of people that it reminds me of. People that I hear or see talking about how silly “religion” is and how can people really believe that a man in the clouds is going to take us up to heaven on streets of gold and live happily ever after. I shake my head when I think of these other people, until I realize that up until not too long ago, I was one of those people. I grew up going to church, but it was mainly to see my friends and for the youth trips to Gatlinburg, TN. Once I got out of high school and out on my own, I formed this misguided opinion that there just could not be a God. How could something as awesome as God really exist? I questioned people’s faith, I mocked and ridiculed them for their beliefs, and I straight up made fun of people that believed in this so called, “God”. Looking back on it, I never made fun of anyone for being a Buddhist, or Hindu, or even a scientologist for that matter (ok I probably made fun of scientologists) but the point is, I was singling out Christianity. Why? Why was Christ the center of my focus as far as religion bashing went? The answer to that question is in the verse at the top of this blog, deception. I was being deceived by the father of lies, the evil one himself, Satan. I heard a saying once that said, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing man that he did not exist.” That saying has stayed with me ever since I first heard it. I honestly believe that Lucifer would much rather you deny he exists than to worship him, because he knows that if you worship Satan, then you must believe in God as well. And if you believe in God, there’s a greater chance that Jesus Christ will come into you life. But if you deny that Satan exists at all, then the devil is already winning in your heart. Whether you believe it or not, one day Jesus Christ will come back. And just like Romans 14:11 says, “As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” It goes on to say in verse 12 that, “each of us shall give account of himself to God.” So you can keep saying you don’t believe the living word of God that is the Bible, or the fact that He sent His only son to die for each and every single person that walked this earth. I don’t care what color you are, what part of the world you just so happened to be born in, Jesus Christ loved you enough to die for your sins so that you could go on to have eternal life in Him. As long as you have air in you lungs and a beating heart in your chest, you have time to turn your life over to God. I pray to almighty God that if you haven’t received Christ, that He would lay an undeniable conviction on your heart to hit your knees and repent. Because if you don’t, it’s not going to be that eternal sleep of nothingness when you die like I so often hear about from nonbelievers, it’s going to be the fires of Hell for all eternity.

Blowing on Coals

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,” Philippians 3:13 NLT.

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. It’s funny how certain bible verses come across your life at just the right time. Some people may say it’s coincidence, but I have had waaaaay too many “coincidences” to believe that. I believe it’s God helping me through issues in my life. One of my struggles has been really letting go of some of the things that I have done in my life. I know God has forgiven me, and I know that most of the people that I have hurt along the way have forgiven me. But I am really struggling with forgiving myself. I started reading Philippians because of the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” Philippians 4:13. But if I were to be completely honest, there are so many other verses in this book that really impact me. 3:13 is one of those verses. It’s been six months since I gave my life over to God. I can’t even begin to count all the blessings in my life. Yet my fire has died down, my inferno has turned into a pile of coals. When I first received Christ, I couldn’t put my bible down. I was reading and studying and blogging about God everyday. I just couldn’t get enough! Lately it seems that I have been finding every excuse not to spend time with God. It’s not that my faith is wavering, or I’m starting to question God or anything like that. It’s more so of a priority issue. I can always seem to find the time to play video games or watch a movie, but not to sit down and read the bible or spend some quiet time in prayer. Maybe one of the reasons I like Paul so much is because he really puts it out there. He wrote a lot of these books while being imprisoned in Rome, literally in chains because of his faith! Yet, while being locked up, he still managed to write verses like Philippians 4:4 NKJV, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” That’s awesome! Verse 13 in chapter 3 of the book of Philippians really put things into perspective for me. It doesn’t matter where you have been, what matters is where you are going. I have to stop dwelling on the past, all I can do is learn from those mistakes and move forward. That goes for the recent past as well. “No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” Philippians 3:13-14 NLT. Thank you Paul, for blowing on the coals of my faith. For poking the fire, for taking a stand for Christ even when it meant your own personal freedom and safety were at risk. I pray that I could be as bold for Jesus today as Paul was in his day.