The Devil is Just Not that Into You

and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, – Acts 9:4-5

If there was a person whom you wanted to make suffer unbearably what would you do?  People who don’t think would look to harm that person is some way.
In a way I guess that could be a relief to think that would be all that they would do.  But what if it was an evil person faced with this decision? What if the person looking to get revenge was truly evil and sinister?  What if this evil person hated the other so much and that only the maximum amount of pain would do?  If it is this can of evil we are talking about then harming, hurting, inflicting pain and suffering would be reserved for the person or people the other person holds dear to their heart.  We see this all the time in the attacks of terrorists.  The attack and kill thousands of people who are nowhere near involved with their conflict but
the governments, armies, coalitions, and such seek to protect these lives and hold them dear.  It is the loved ones that the enemy seeks to make suffer in order to bring pain to the one they have the direct conflict with.  Understanding this doesn’t make the suffering any easier but it puts it in a different view.

If you were a child and there was a kid who constantly bullied you, would it feel different if this kid is bullying you because their parents had a grudge with you parents?  Right away it wouldn’t because all you are doing is focusing on the hurt.  But what if you told your parents about the kid and you saw the expression on your parents face as they realize who the parents of this are.  When you see that your mother and father know the parents and know all about the parents as well as the cowardliness of the parents at their core, you shift the pressure from yourself to your parents.  You can face the bully differently because you know your parents will take care of the problem at its root.

I must admit that when I’m suffering in away why I take it all personally.  It is my hurt, my pain, my lost, my lack, my suffering, and my joy under attack.  I see it as if all of the world is against me and that I’m all alone to face it all every day.   But when I look to the scriptures there’s a different view being painted by Jesus Christ himself.  Saul of Tarsus, who later becomes the Apostle Paul is confronted by Jesus as Saul head out to persecute more follows of Christ, whom the Romans and others have decided to name Christians.  These believer were being put in prison or executed for sport.  When Jesus confronts Saul, He doesn’t ask Saul why are you persecuting my people but instead Christ says, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  When Saul ask “Who are you, Lord?  Jesus response again “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.”  Saul had brought many to prison but Jesus said it is Him that you are hurting.  This is not the first time that
the suffering of the children of God was not taken personally by the Lord.

Matthew 25:31-46

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be
gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep
on His right, and the goats on the left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me *something* to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me *something* to drink; I was a
stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the
righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You *something* to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, *even* the least *of them*, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his
angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me *nothing* to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did
not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord,
when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [e

]take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not
do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

This portion of scripture is titled “The Judgment” in the Gospel of Matthew.  It tells of Jesus’ return to judge the world as all of the nations are brought before him.  The Son of Man begins by separating everyone, his followers from the non-believers or the sheep from the goats.  Jesus tells them of all the things that they did to him and for him in his time of great need.  The people replied, “when did we do this things?” But the goats receive something totally different, Jesus tells them that when he was hungry, naked, sick, thirsty, a stranger, or in prison they did nothing.  Of course they said they never saw him in need.  But Christ says that to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, that they did not do it to Him.  Again Jesus Christ takes the actions against people personally.  But how could that be so?  How hurting the children of God, his sheep could be taken personally by the Lord himself?  That answer lays
within the Gospel.  There is no verse like Galatians 2:20 to me that makes the point plan in my eyes.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by     faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. –
Galatians 2:20

The Gospel of Jesus Christ does something for us and to us.  The gift of faith by grace transports us to the heavenly places where Christ seats at the right hand of the Father.  The Gospels says that we are forgiven, justified, given righteousness, have salvation, receives God the Holy Spirit and is seated with Christ in heaven.  The Gospel says that all that Christ has earned is ours.  We are adopted into the family of God, we are being conformed into the likeness of the Son of God so that Jesus would be the first born among many brethren.  When we confuse with our mouth and believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ lived, died and was risen for the remission of our sins and that our relationship with the Father has been reconciled.  And we walk by faith in the newness of Christ, we will
understand that it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me and the life that we now live in the flesh we do so by faith in Jesus who loves us and gave himself up for us.  So the attack is against the Christ that lives out this life in us.

Now that we know that our Heavenly Father knows that the father of lies that has influenced one of his children to bully us, we can have confidence and stand in victory against the devil and his schemes.

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