Success through freedom from sin – Part 2
If it were possible for the devil to have anyone and squeeze out the virtues in them, church leaders and pastors would be his top choice. Adam and Eve were the crowns of God’s creation and the devil caused them to fall. David, the best of the kings of Israel could not escape his maleficence, as he provoked him to number Israel and brought God’s anger and judgment upon the nation, which led to the death of more than seventy thousand Israelites. Job, also a man of integrity, described by God as perfect and upright in his generation was a target of the devil. He was attacked and afflicted.
Even our Lord Jesus Christ was tempted by the devil after He had fasted for forty days and forty nights. He was about starting His public ministry, the enemy came out with a scheme aimed at derailing Him. Satan would always desire the man at the top. If he were going to have anybody, he would go for the best. Christ forewarned Peter of Satan’s intent to possess and manipulate him. “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31).
The reason Satan always wants to hold the gospel minister or Christian in bondage is to hinder him from the great ministry ahead of him. Every minister, leader or Christian that would be successful in life and ministry and be a mighty instrument in God’s hand must be free from the bondage of Satan.
Bitterness hurts the spirit. As long as it lurks in the heart, it brings hatred and disturbs the flow of God’s grace in our lives. Sometimes, it manifests in the form of Jonah’s attitude towards Nineveh. Jonah harboured bitterness against that city because they had done evil against Israel and, if they repented, they would not suffer the consequences of their wickedness. He waited for forty days to see what would become of Nineveh, but the people repented and averted God’s wrath. He was angry. The spirit of bitterness would not allow him to rejoice in the repentance of the people of Nineveh.
God knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts. Therefore, He wants us to jettison the old hatred and bitterness against our neighbours, friends, and acquaintances. Every Christian believer must pray to be purged of bitterness in the heart and seek God’s ultimate freedom. It is only then we would be totally free to serve God and impact other lives positively.
Further Reading (King James Version): John 5:14; 8:11; 1 John 3:8,9; 5:18. 1 Chronicles 21:1; Zechariah 3:3,4; 3:1; Luke 22:31. Acts 8:21-23; Ezekiel 25:15.
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