2 Chronicles 33:14-34:13; Romans 16:10-20; Psalms 27:1; Proverbs 10:26
NT: “Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who create divisions and obstacles contrary to the teaching that you learned. Avoid them, because such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites. They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words. The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise about what is good, and yet innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” (Romans 16:17-20 CSB)
Paul spent the first 16 verses of Romans chapter 16 commending those who were kingdom-minded and who served faithfully, and brought greetings to his dear friends. However, there were some in the church who were not kingdom-minded faithful servants. Apparently, there were people in the church who, instead of striving for unity under the Lordship of Christ, were creating divisions in the church and leading people away from sound doctrine. Unfortunately, in the body of Christ, there are people who do not serve the Lord, but instead serve their own appetites. Instead of submitting to the Lordship of Christ and submitting to one another in love, they forge their own paths that align with their own desires and manipulate others to follow them on their self-made paths. Paul warned the Roman church, and he warns us, to avoid such people – for not only do they serve their own appetites; ultimately they serve the purposes of Satan. Their m.o. is the same as Satan: deceiving unsuspecting hearts with smooth talk and flattering words. Much like Satan deceived Adam and Eve in the garden. But just as God promised to crush the head of the serpent, the God of peace will soon crush Satan under our feet if we remain wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil. Crushing doesn’t sound very peaceful – but that is how peace is made: not by appeasing the enemy, but silencing his words and his influence once and for all. As we submit to the Lord God and bring all thoughts and words under the authority of Christ, God will silence the enemy and his attempts to deceive, and will bring us peace.
Psalms: “The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — whom should I dread?” (Psalms 27:1 CSB)
There were many times in King David’s life when he was in danger – when he was surrounded by his enemies – when he was hunted by those who wanted to destroy him and the promise of God that was on his life. Instead of allowing himself to be full of fear and anxiety, David strengthened himself in the Lord. Through praising God, David reminded himself of Who God was, and that built up his faith and brought him peace. If we have given our lives to the Lord in faith, opening the door for God’s light and salvation in our lives – then who could possibly bring us fear? If we make the presence of the Lord our stronghold and place of peace – then who should we dread? The way to lasting peace is to place faith in the Prince of Peace and allow the God of Peace to crush those fears under our feet suddenly.
Prayer: Lord, I know that there are forces in the world that desire to minimize me, lead me into self-reliant deception, and ultimately destroy me. Your word says that the devil is prowling like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Though that is a present reality, I do not need to be afraid. As I remain in You by faith… as I allow myself to be led by Your light… as I trust in Your salvation, You will crush the head of the enemy in my life and bring me peace. So I trust you and freshly commit my life into Your care. In Jesus’ name, Amen.