“I was reading in the apostle Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians last night,” I mentioned to Stan one morning, “and I have a question.”
“Well,” he replied with a smile, “I hope I have an answer! What’s your question?”
“At one point in the letter,” I responded, “Paul writes that the Lord is faithful and that He will strengthen and protect the readers of his letter from the evil one.”
“That’s right,” Stan said. “What about it?”
“If what Paul wrote is true,” I replied, “why don’t I always feel strengthened and protected from Satan?”
“I only have an answer for myself,” Stan said. “I can’t speak about you because I don’t know your heart. But I know mine, and I can tell you I have had the same question lots of times. If God is faithful to strengthen and protect me from Satan, and I do believe that, why am I too often weak and unprotected? For me, the answer is simply the choices I make.”
“Choices you make?” I replied. “In what way?”
“Plural,” Stan said. “Ways, not way. Each hour of each day I am confronted with choices that have to be made. Yes, God is faithful to strengthen and protect me, but the question is whether or not I choose to rely on His faithfulness, or do I go off on my own trying to rely on my own strength to protect myself?”
“Oh,” I responded, “you think a person needs to choose to rely on God’s faithfulness. Is that it?”
“That’s what I see, my friend,” Stan said. “Based on way too much experience, I have learned that God does not force on me what He is faithful to do. I have to choose to allow His faithfulness to replace my unfaithfulness.”
“So,” I responded, “it’s just a matter of choosing. It’s as simple as that?”
“Yes, my friend,” Stan replied, “but just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy!”
Bible verses to consider:
But the Lord is faithful and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3.
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7.
Do not give the devil an opportunity. Ephesians 4:27.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all of your faithfulness in providing all I need in order to live this life the way you intend. I confess that too often I do not rely on your faithful provision, but I seek to live this life by my own strength. Please forgive that foolishness in thinking I can do anything apart from you and your faithfulness. Please, Father, help me follow every step of your lead so I rely entirely on your faithful provision. With regard to your faithfulness, please help me to claim it, receive it, and embrace it exactly as you want. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s faithful provision of life eternally with Him through the finished work of the cross? If no, why? If you do have the assurance of life eternally with Him when it’s time, how are you doing with accepting His faithful provision of all you need to live the life He has given you to live for Him? Is His faithfulness overridden by your attempts on your own, or by your unfaithfulness? If you sense some changes may be in order regarding how you view and embrace God’s faithful provision, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?