Wishful Thinking

     Everyone, at times, goes through some moments of wishful thinking.  Our thinking is often encouraged by the "what if " syndrome.  "What if I had a better job."  "What if I were your age" (or older, in some cases).  "What if I lived in a different area, or different climate."  The list is endless.
     Our thinking, on occasion, has us wishing that the devil would go away and leave us alone.  This is definitely wishful thinking! He is not going to leave us alone.   He prowls the earth seeking the precious souls of the human family.  "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).  We may fervently wish that we would not have to contend with him.  But, such is wishful thinking.  He is very much in evidence, at every turn of the road of life.  He wants your soul.  
     The devil wants to use every scheme, word, or act of deceit to keep men from becoming Christians.
 He wants to keep men out of Christ, out of the church.  He knows that if he succeeds in this, he will cause men to be lost.  Such is his ambition.  He has succeeded with multitudes both in the past and in the present. Men fall for his lies, tricks, and deceitful but powerful temptations to keep them from obeying God.
     He brings in emotion, "What will your parents, friends, husband (or wife) think?"  He brings prejudice to bear, "Everywhere the church is spoken against."  (See Acts 28:22)   He uses every ruse at his command discourage men from seeking the truth and obeying the same.  He even lies about the necessity of obedience. 
While he is saying, "It isn't necessary," the Word of God is declaring that it is necessary.  "And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him" (Hebrews 5:9).  Christ is not the author of eternal salvation to anyone who will not obey Him.
     The devil seeks to convince those who want to obey that "one does not have to do all that is commanded."  How can one truly obey God if one does not do whatever the Lord commands?  Jesus said, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you" (John 15:14). Whatever the Lord commands is what one must do in order to be saved.
     While faithful preachers of the gospel of God are seeking men to obey the Lord, some preachers have fallen into the devil's trap and are aiding and abetting his cause by preaching something "easier " than the Lord has made it.  Such preachers are not preaching the gospel and should be shunned, avoided, marked, and rejected.  One's audiences may be larger, his income may be larger, his fame may be greater, if he plays along with the devil, but all such is of this world and the "world passeth away."
     The devil constantly endeavors to disturb the church.  He seeks to divide those who have renounced the world and entered into Christ Jesus.  He uses his cunning to influence one against another, frequently over petty little things. He too often succeeds.  Members of the body of Christ fall into his infamous destructive trap and the church is hurt and souls are lost.
     Wishful thinking is not going to rid the world of our adversary, the devil.

But, God's Word reveals that he can be resisted.  "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).  Let's work and pray to put this godless character  "out of business" in our lives.
     Jesus overcame the devil.  He showed us how it could be done.  "He went about doing good" (Acts 10:38).
     Let us forget our wishful thinking and become more like Jesus and the victory will be ours (1 Corinthians 15:58).


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