Lifelines January 10, 2021

Nothing turns our life around quite like faith.  It takes our minds to an eternal dimension.  Living in a purely physical world presents challenges to our commitment to an unseen God who resides in an invisible realm.  Our impulse is to gravitate to that which we can see and touch.  Satan is very convincing, and lures us into the tyranny of the temporary. 

It is the here-and-now that clashes with the eternal.  The parable of the sower (Luke 8:4-8) makes clear that the productivity of the harvest depends on the soil not the seed.  It is an easily understood story that shines a light on a spiritual reality that Jesus explains later in the chapter (Verses 11 through 15).  The response to the word of God is determined by the condition of the heart of the one who hears.  The Lord’s message finds persistent interference from the devil and his worldly tools of pain and pleasure, both of which are momentary. 

There is constant competition for our loyalties.  Satan will give us a long list of reasons not to spend time in Bible study.  There is no other way to cultivate genuine soul-saving faith, and he will seek to block us at every turn.  Pressures from our daily obligations will consume our time.  The Lord will be pushed to the edge of our schedule, then totally off.  Both good times and hard times stifle us.  It requires dedication and the intent to fortify our faith to survive such a maze of obstacles.  It will not happen by accident.

Faith is a step into the unseen.  All is not always clear to us as we make this journey.  Our steps are often hesitant and unsteady.  Trust is essential.  Believing in the goodness of our Father, and that He is 100% trustworthy sees us through those puzzling days of our pilgrimage.  Like the recently liberated Israelites fresh from Egyptian slavery, we sometimes long to go back to the secure provisions of the old ways.  Many will stumble along the way.  Old habits are hard to break, and there is no magic pill for it.  The Lord awaits us at the finish line.  We are on the way to be with the One who loves us infinitely.  Faith eliminates anything that hinders us from getting to Him.   

The evil one manipulates the ways of the world to fit his agenda (1 John 5:19), and he makes them deceptively attractive.  He draws people into his trap, and they become his unsuspecting slaves (2 Timothy 2:26).  Of course, very few of us would willingly serve him but he has been the master of disguise from the very beginning.  Faith breaks those chains of guilt and the tyranny of the temporary.  Faith sees beyond the horizon of time to focus on the Lord of eternity, knowing that He is a God who rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).           

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