Monday, November 21, 2016

Pastor's Ponderings, November 21, 2016

Free To Choose To Serve God

Rene Descartes, called the father of modern western philosophy, wrote the 1641 Meditations on First Philosophy. He postulated a theme of an “evil genius” who was “a personification who is "as clever and deceitful as he is powerful, who has directed his entire effort to misleading me.  Similarly, The Adjustment Bureau is a 2011 film that tells the story of a young man who finds out that what appear to be chance events in his life are actually master plans controlled by a technologically advanced intelligence network under the direction of a mysterious chairman. For those of us who believe in free will, it is disconcerting to think that perhaps one’s choices may be simply a setup by a remote controller who is actually in charge of one’s life.

However, the Bible says there is an organization, which wants to dominate, determine, but ultimately destroy our life and that is the evil one and his hordes (Ephesians 2:1-3).  The book of Ephesians goes on to explain that when we have conflicts with other people, it is not really them with who we have problems.  It is the powers, rulers, and spiritual wickedness in high places that really are behind all of the conflicts we may have (Ephesians 6:12).  The Bible describes Satan as a roaring lion going about seeking whom he can destroy (1 Peter 5:8).

In spite of the evil one’s attempts to control and then destroy us, we can thank God that through Him, we are be able to resist the evil’s one’s power and serve the true and living God.  Our God wants us free to choose to serve Him while the demonic forces want us to be slaves of the devil.  We can thank God that Jesus has set us free (John 8:36). Now we are free to choose to serve God (Joshua 24:15).  We are free to choose life. We are free to choose to receive His blessings, His healings, and His deliverance. In fact, God gives us everything that relates to life (2 Peter 1:3).  Thank God that He gives us the choice to serve Him and be blessed.

Ephesians 2:1-3
New International Version (NIV)
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts…

Ephesians 6:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

1 Peter 5:8
New International Version (NIV)
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

John 8:36
New International Version (NIV)
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Joshua 24:15
New International Version (NIV)
15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

2 Peter 1:3
New International Version (NIV)
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

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