Keys to the Kingdom
Have you ever said something during a conversation and the individual gawked at you like you were a nut hanging from a tree? No matter where we grew up, we all use colloquial talk, and those of us in the same region understand each other perfectly! For example, someone could say: “He‘s got a heart the size of a wash tub; he’d give you the shirt off his back. But, bless his heart, he’s a brick shy of a full load.“ Or, “Give her an inch and she’ll take a mile.”
I’ve been blessed with family and friends who don’t fit into the “give an inch and take a mile” category. The God-kind of love doesn’t function like that; real love looks for ways to give, not take. But there’s someone out there who’s completely hateful, selfish, and destructive; and that’s the devil. If you give Satan an inch, he’ll grab it and turn it into a nightmare trip. That’s why the Bible tells us, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you” (James 4:7,8 NLT). Don’t forget the first and last part of this scripture, as they are important keys to resisting the enemy who hates you as much as God loves you.
Don’t be asleep at the wheel! “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8,9 NLT). Don’t give Satan a ride around the block!
A good song inspires me as much as a good sermon is a revelation of truth. There’s a story song about the devil being a hitchhiker. Some of the lyrics are: “Don’t let the devil ride. If you let him ride, he’ll want to drive. Don’t, please don’t, let him drive your car. If you let him drive your car, he’ll surely go too far. Don’t let him drive! Don‘t do it, don‘t do it, don‘t do it.”
Sin always takes you farther than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, and costs you more than you can possibly pay. In the Garden of Eden, Eve didn’t see any harm in having a friendly conversation with the worst enemy in the world. We all know that went south in a few short minutes.
Believers are to, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11 NKJV). How often do you put on your clothes? That’s how often you’re to put on the armor of God. The devil is capable of luring careless Christians into sin. Following Christ requires decision and effort, and using the equipment God has provided for you. “Wiles” can be defined as clever schemes used by Satan to trap you through temptation, threat, intimidation, and deception through trickery. But you are not powerless, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him [Jesus Christ] who loved us“ (Romans 8:37 NKJV).
The Key: Don’t let the devil ride in your car — just put the pedal to the metal.