One day Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, “We can’t keep some Christians from going to church. We can’t keep some of them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t keep them from conservative values. But we can do something else. We can keep them from cultivating an intimate, abiding experience in Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.
“So let them go to church. Let them have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time so they can’t gain that experience in Christ. This is what I want to do, angels. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!
“How shall we do this?” shouted his angels.
“Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent unnumbered schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered.
“Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then, borrow, borrow, borrow. Convince the wives to go to work and the husbands to work 6 or 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their family fragments, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work.
“Over stimulate their minds so they cannot hear that still small voice. Entice them to play the radio or CD player whenever they drive, to keep the television, the DVD player, and their CD’s going constantly in their homes. Entice them to be on the internet and to engage continually on their social networks. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.
“Fill their coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail order catalogues, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering, free products, services, and false hopes.
“Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted, disquieted, and unprepared for the coming week. Don’t let them go out in nature. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts, and movies instead. And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences and unsettled emotions.
“Let them be involved in soul-winning. But crowd their lives with so many good causes that they have no time to seek power from Christ. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family unity for the good of the cause.”
It was quite a convention in the end. And the evil angels went eagerly to their assignments, causing Christians everywhere to get busy, busy, busy, and rush here and there.
Has the devil been successful? You be the judge.
All of us, no matter what our service to the Lord may be, must continually watch over our hearts’ affections for Jesus. I read recently about a very well-known minister. He has been all over the world and has personally prayed with over two million people to receive Jesus. His ministry is marked by great signs and wonders. He has seen the dead raised, the lame walk, the deaf hear, and the blind see. Early in his life with the Lord, he had such a sweet relationship with Him that God’s abiding presence was upon him day and night for eleven years.
But recently, in tears, he said that in the last few years he had gotten so busy with ministry that he had left that first love he once had for Jesus. Somewhere along the way, he had lost that passion for Him. He was still fervent about winning souls. He was still committed to the call of God on his life; yet he had been drawn away from Jesus Himself.
He hadn’t realized it until a few months ago when he went to conduct some meetings in another country. There he found the Christians aglow with that abiding presence of God. Their faces shone with joy and love for the Lord. When they worshiped the Lord, this minister just wept and wept because he recognized in these people the very thing he once had but lost.
You say, “How can this happen to us?” I don’t have all the answers, but I know one thing—the heart is a very vulnerable place. It needs to be guarded constantly. And the older you grow and the higher you go in your call, the more this is so. Keeping your heart is the biggest job you’ll ever have in life (Pr 4:23).
I know two things about everyone’s life and future. If Jesus tarries, both of them will surely come to pass. One day you will die. And one day you will stand before God. You will only be known by your supreme love for Jesus.
Nothing else will matter then. Nothing else should matter now.