Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dress for Success- What to wear for victorious living


Suffering can strengthen or weaken your faith. I believe when suffering comes your way, both Satan and God want to use your suffering for their own purposes.

Do you remember when a cartoon character would have an angel on one side of their shoulder and a devil on the other side. Each would present their case and it was up to the cartoon character to make the choice whose advice to follow.

I think of Jesus on the cross facing a literal experience of this. On one side you had Satan’s guy taunting Jesus when he said in Luke 23:39
"If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

Not only did Jesus face Satan’s attack they came from fellow Jews such as the chief priests, scribes and elders who said in Matt 27:41-42
 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.”

God had His man on the other side of Jesus. He responded to the thief mocking Jesus by saying this in Luke 23:40-43
Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?  And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong."  Then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."

Upon hearing this request Jesus said: "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

Both thieves had an opportunity to redeem their suffering. One moved toward Jesus, the other mocked Him.

How will you respond when it’s your season to suffer? Will you allow God or Satan to use your suffering. My advice for you facing this battle is to dress for success. The Bible tells us what dressing for success looks like in Eph 6:11-18

 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

With the armor of God you are assured in your season of suffering your faith will be strengthened. Remember, He who is in you is greater than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

Close to three years ago I was dx with prostate cancer. I'm still adjusting to life without a prostate. I can say without hesitation, that I've grown closer to God through this crisis. My prayer is:  You too would grow closer to God in your season of suffering.