The Lord reminded me of a way satan entraps us that I haven’t thought about in a long time. Galatians 3:1-2 says, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you. Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
Our salvation is by grace through faith. We maintain our relationship with the Lord by grace through faith. It is not our works represented through our self-effort. We don’t ‘earn’ anything because it is all ours at salvation.
Colossians 2:9-10 says, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” That is our standing in Christ Jesus through His death on the cross.
Think about the cross. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” His grace is our empowerment.
Paul finished his course well. Will you? 2 Timothy 4:7 says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” The enemy of our soul hates our faith. He will do anything to distract us. His goal is to destroy our faith. The Lord uses our trials to purify our faith so that we can finish our course.
Mark 4:19 gives us three ways that choke God’s word so that it becomes unfruitful. The cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desire for other things. We can avoid satan’s hidden snares by intentionally keeping God’s word hidden in our heart.
John 15:4 Amplified says, “Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. (Live in Me, and I will live in you.) Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.” We maintain our relationship with the Lord through being vitally united with Him.
Verse 5 says that apart from Him we can do nothing. Abiding in Him is being, not doing. Abiding is devoid of self-effort. The Lord graciously defeats our self-effort. He uses our defeat to redirect us into His way. He course-corrects us from walking in our self-flesh to walking in the Spirit.
Self-effort is one of satan’s effective tools to pull us off course. How do we know if we are walking in self-effort? Words such as these are a dead give-a-way: I can’t, I’ve tried, I’m trying, I try to, I’m failing, etc. It is not “I…” but grace only. He will empower us to finish our course. May you glorify the One who died for you.