We were talking in home group last week and someone mentioned something very interesting. He said that when we come to Christ, it's like we got a target on our backs. We have become a target for the devil to throw arrows at! Are you ready?
But what does this all imply? The devil hates God, and the devil hates people. His goal is to keep people blinded to the truth. He seems pretty successful at doing that too. But if a person becomes enlightened, and they see their need for a Savior for their sins before a holy God, and they respond to this holy God, then they become a target for the devil automatically.
If you have come to Christ and are born again, the day you repented of your sins and trusted in Jesus Christ as the payment for your sins, The angels rejoiced! There was joy in heaven. But there was one angel that didn't rejoice. In fact, there were a group of angels that were very unhappy. Ever since that time, you became a target for them to tempt you with sin, so you will fall, or at least be discouraged or not believe what God says. But, now you are born again and you have new eyes. That is good news! But, you also became involved in a spiritual battle, whether you knew it or not. You are a soldier in the Kingdom of God. God's word tells us of the spiritual weapons we will need to put on to fight in this battle. Most Christians have no idea of this. Many become casualties. Let me explain.
Sometimes people come to Christ and really want to be forgiven and delivered from their sins. They repent and trust in Christ, but they don't understand that they are now engaged in a spiritual battle. A week later, they are discouraged about being a Christian and have doubts. A couple of weeks later, they are turned off because they don't think that God is real, simply because they fell back into sin. What happened?
People are complex beings. Although salvation in itself is really not complex, there are many things that are complex when mixed with sinful humanity. Unless a person has someone to disciple them, they may go back into the world. They don't want to, but they think either they have failed God or God has failed them, or both. By default, we think that when we come to Christ, we will live happily ever after. This is a lie from the devil to confuse you. When we are in Christ, we have the 'joy of the Lord' in us. But there will be new problems that we didn't have before. We will have to be taught how to wear the spiritual armor of God to ward off the attacks of the Enemy of our souls. This is why it is important to know that there are no 'lone ranger' Christians. Lone ranger Christians are vulnerable to the attacks and lies of the Enemy. Let me explain further.
When you came to Christ, you repented of your sins. But, you will still be tempted to sin. If you conclude that you won't sin anymore because Christ lives in you, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. On the other hand, that doesn't mean that you have to give into sin. That is not what I am saying. What I believe is that we need to bring people to Christ, but we need to stay with them, at least for a while, until they can be ready to do spiritual warfare themselves.
Satan's biggest weapon against us is to get us to sin. Temptation is not wrong in itself. But the devil knows that when a person sins, it sets that person against God. Here's the catcher; The devil will tempt a person in areas that he or she will not see. We all see sins in our friends and family members, but it is hard for us to see the sin in our own hearts. That is why Jesus tells us in Matthew 7 that we are to take the log out of our own eyes. If we don't, then it will be hypocrisy when we try to help others to see their sin.
This is also a reason why I personally believe in homeschooling. Homeschooling gives us the unique opportunity to work with our children so that they will be equipped to go out into the world. We have to disciple our children. I wish I would have understood this better when my children were younger. I had reasons that were valid for homeschooling, but this aspect is more important. And I am not saying that everyone has to homeschool either. If there are ways to prepare your children and equip them in spiritual warfare, then go for it. What concerns me though is when parents do not choose to homeschool because they say that they don't want to overprotect their children and their children need to be a light in the world and community. Do you think an elementary age child can fight off temptations like those that he or she would see in the classroom? Would a child this age be able to stand up for what is right when other students and teachers are doing wrong? How would a child handle a situation like something that happened in our country. A teacher had Jesus' name written on a piece of paper and the students were to stomp on the papers. Would a child be ready to handle the conflict that would go on in a situation like that? Unless a child has been trained and equipped to fight in this battle, he is not ready to be in it. Our job is to train them, not to throw them into the battlefield. We are living in a time when things like this story above will be happening more and more. Are you ready? Are your children ready?
So the bottom line is, all of us need discipleship. We need relationships. We need one another, and we need to be part of a church that teaches God's word in truth and expresses the grace of God. I am aware that there are many, many churches out there, and that many of them do not teach God's word accurately. If you are going to a church like that, then don't continue. Pray for God to lead you. Do a search. Study the word. Know what it says. You need to become grounded in the word to protect yourself from the lies of the devil.