Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bringing Up Godly Children in an Ungodly World


One day Abraham Lincoln was in a slave market and saw a beautiful young slave girl being auctioned. Lecherous men were bidding on her, so Lincoln began to bid. Finally, she was sold to Lincoln. He took the certificate of sale and handed it to her saying, “You’re free.”

She asked, “What do you mean, free?” He said, “You are free.” She said, “Free to do what I want to do?” He said, “Yes.” “Free to say what I want to say?” He said, “Yes.” “Free to go where I want to go?” He said, “Yes.” She said, “Then I am going with you.”

The biblical worldview of today's culture is that it is dark—and getting darker. By its very nature, it cannot get anything but worse because it has no inherent goodness to build on. As John MacArthur said, "Man has increased in scientific, medical, historical, educational, psychological, and technological knowledge to an astounding degree. But he has not changed his own basic nature and he has not improved society. His confidence has increased, but his peace of mind has diminished. His accomplishments have increased, but his sense of purpose and meaning have all but disappeared."

Think of some of the people we read of in the Bible whom God used. They were utterly unqualified by human standards. Moses was a murderer. Jacob was a liar. Rahab was a prostitute. David had an affair. Elijah was suicidal at one point. Jonah ran from God. Jeremiah was considered too young. John the Baptist ate bugs. The Samaritan woman was divorced more than once. The disciples fell asleep when they were supposed to be praying. Peter denied Christ. Timothy had an ulcer. So what about you?

Perhaps you want to stand out. You want to emerge victorious. You are forgiven. You are holy. You are chosen. You are righteous. However you have to remember that Satan is a force you'll contend with every day. And he's a master at reinventing himself. The Bible says he can transform '...into an angel of light' (2 Corinthians 11:14 NKJV). And while his approach may be appealing, his intent is always to '...steal and kill and destroy...' (John 10:10 NIV). Destroy what? Your peace of mind, your destiny, your relationships, etc.

Satan is the enemy

How can you defeat him? In two ways: (1) Don't fear him. 'The Lord shall preserve you from all evil...' (Psalm 121:7 NKJV). Throughout the New Testament we read that as believers we are 'in Christ.' So to get at you, Satan must first go through Him! (2) Don't give him access. 'Nor give place to the devil.' Satan has no place in your life unless you open the door and give him one. And when Christ is enthroned in your heart, there's no room for the devil. But it's not enough to have a clean heart, you must have a spirit-filled heart. Jesus said: 'When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, I will return to the person I came from. So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and in order. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before...' (Matthew 12:43-45 NLT).

 

We are living in perilous times

Yes it is true that we live in an evil environment. The world system is under the control of Satan. He uses illusions, distorted values, and false hope to obtain our allegiance. Peer pressure, fear of rejection, and persecution ensure our compliance. But even though we reside in enemy territory, Christ lives within us, and he exposes the lies and deception of Satan. Jesus is the inextinguishable light that permeates the darkness. He is the King of the universe. He is far greater than Satan who reigns over this doomed kingdom.

But who do we choose to listen to and consequently follow? As we renew our mind with God’s truth we will be set free from a deceptive world system that wants to keep us in bondage. We choose to follow Christ!

Satan attacks us through our flesh and the world system. He also attacks us more directly through evil spirits whenever he has the opportunity. These evil spirits seek to deceive, afflict, and enslave us. Satan has a great hatred for God. But he is powerless against the Almighty Creator.

Always on the prowl

Satan is constantly looking for ways to harm Christians. He uses fear to induce panic into his victims. His demons manipulate the thoughts of those who are ignorant of God’s truth—luring them into the open, out from under God’s protective covering. They use every possible ploy to snare their prey and keep them in bondage. Then, they systematically go about destroying the helpless believer. He tries to control your perspective, manipulate your thinking, and exploit your foundational desires. He has several different tactics that he uses to prevent Christians from fulfilling their God-given destiny. These are some of the tools of his trade.

• Deception

• Accusation

• Division

• Doubt

• Distraction

• Temptation

• Difficulties

• Affliction

• Persecution

• Intimidation

• Discouragement

Satan is aiming his artillery at our children

He has many variations for the implementation of each scheme. And it is not unusual to discover a number of these ploys at work simultaneously within the same situation. Subtlety can greatly increase the effectiveness of schemes, scams, and con games. That’s why Satan usually works behind the scenes where his involvement will be undetected.

Satan is on a killing spree—he wants to kill our memory and set us awash in the sea of forgetfulness without any recollection of our Christian heritage as a nation.

 

Tragically, he’s aiming his artillery at our children, and particularly in the place where they used to grow in the knowledge of good things—the public school. Prayer is out. Police are in. Bibles are out. Values clarification is in. The Ten Commandments are out. Social engineering is in. Creation is out. Evolution is in. History is out. Revisionism is in. God says we need to remember the generation to come.

You have an important job—to influence the lives of those who will come after you. Teach them to walk in the ways of the Lord and against the tide of the world.

As Christians, we need to be alert and aware of Satan’s tactics. We must depend on the Holy Spirit to help us discern what Satan is trying to do in our current situation as he attempts to defeat us. Second Thessalonians 3:3 reminds us, “But the LORD is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” You CAN Trust God’s Word: Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). God’s Word has never been proven to be in error scientifically, morally, or historically. God’s Word is the only thing that you can stake your life on! The best way to break bad habits is to replace them with good ones. The best way to defeat Satan is to make Jesus Lord of your life.


For the Gospel,


Raj Kosaraju


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