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Sports Spectrum Daily Devotional: Thursday, April 30

“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” — 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (ESV)

God Our Great Protector

I used to be scared to death any time I heard someone talking about the devil. He always seemed so cunning, too cunning, for me to handle. I saw Christian after Christian enveloped in temptation fall away from what seemed to be God’s will for their life. I heard about the ways in which the world was so tricked by his schemes. And I thought I would never be able to fully defeat this strong and cunning foe.

Do you feel that way? Does your enemy seem too strong to defeat? Does he seem too cunning to outwit? Does it feel like he has so grasped you in his clutches that escape is impossible? The most important fact for you to know about Satan is that he is the father of all lies. John 8:44 (ESV) says, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Let that truth sink in for a minute. Everything the devil tells you is a lie. He cannot speak full truth. Everything he tells you is in opposition to God, who is the author of all truth. All of the devil’s whispers about his strength and your inability to defeat him are in opposition to the Word of God. May we find blissful freedom today in the powerful words of our loving, truthful Heavenly Father. May we allow His Spirit to come in and correct the lies of the enemy we have believed, so that we might walk in the abundant life available to us through Christ.

Second Thessalonians 3:3 (ESV) says, “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” Our Heavenly Father is a perfect, capable protector from Satan. He promises to establish us and guard us. He is always with us and always knows exactly what we need in order to withstand the temptations of the evil one.

First Corinthians 10:13 teaches us, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” The Holy Spirit will always provide us an exit from temptation. Always. There will never be a temptation that comes your way that you cannot escape when you are under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

One of the enemy’s most used weapons is the lie that you cannot defeat him. He reminds us of our past failures, of his great cunning ways, and of his victories over us. He whispers that he is stronger than us and that we will give in eventually. All lies. Past failures do not have to dictate the outcome of future battles. In fact, if we will allow the Holy Spirit to use past failures to reveal to us ways in which He longed to lead us away from temptation, past sins become stepping stones on which we achieve future victories. Titus 2:11-14 says, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and Godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.”

God’s grace lays the foundation for our victory over the enemy, not our own works. It was in His grace that Jesus died to set us free from this world and restore us to God. His grace leads us away from temptation. And it’s His grace that He offers us every time we confess our sins to Him. God’s grace is powerful, freeing, perfect and full of love. He knows our weaknesses. He knows our frame. But He is also perfectly capable of being strong in our weakness if we allow Him to be.

You never have to fall into temptation again. God has a perfect plan for every temptation that comes your way. The enemy is not stronger than you. He is not more cunning than you. And he will not have victory over you because you have God, and God has defeated him. Your protector and guard is the very God who defeated the enemy at the cross and will throw him into the lake of fire, resulting in his ultimate destruction. That God lives inside of you, has grace for you, and plans to use your past failures and current weaknesses to powerfully defeat your enemy.

Spend time in prayer meditating on the truth of God’s power over the enemy. Reflect on your own life and allow the Spirit to take your past failures and turn them into future victories. And allow Scripture to fill you with truth to combat the future lies of the enemy.

— Craig Denison, First 15

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