James A. Washington

We live in a world, this physical one, where the devil has some sway. He even shows up at times with a little bit of swag. And if you don’t or can’t accept this, try removing the “d” and think “evil” in its place. Conceptually some might find it easier deal with the fact that we live in a world where evil and temptation are always present, like it or not.

What is our responsibility as believers in God as we try to model our lives after the one we call Christ? Add an “o” to “God” and think of this as a dilemma about good and evil.

The first point of reference is the temptation of Jesus in the desert by Satan. Satan offers Jesus the entire world, things that would cripple a lesser man: power, riches and dominion over everything he saw. Jesus renounces Satan and is then attended to by a multitude of angels who supply all His needs.

Secondly, when John wrote to believers in Ephesus, he tells them to not love the world or anything in it. Apparently in order to safely navigate a world stacked against you, help is needed. The help comes from a belief system based in Go(o)d, not (d)evil and the knowledge that this world is temporary. The devil runs some things, and we’re just passing through.

As long as we recognize just how treacherous life can be, as long as we acknowledge the ever-present evil out here, as long as we put our faith in the accuracy of the map and the mapmaker, we’ll come out of this life okay. Our obligation as Christians is to try and make sure that we don’t succumb permanently to the temptations that surround us.

We cannot love the world more than we love God. Just can’t happen! We cannot be led by our passions and our emotions. Remember, the devil is clever and relentless. He will never let up. Our faith in God must be equally relentless.

The destination is the only reason to take the journey in the first place. Pack well for this trip. Bring along all those things you will need so you don’t have to stop along the way. Faith can’t hurt. Love is a must, and don’t forget the map because without it you will surely get lost. With this understanding and the One who will supply all your needs, you’re ready to travel.

Just be serious about this Christian undertaking. The devil ain’t playing. It is all about good vs. evil, and you gotta choose. It’s a life and death and eternal life thing. Got it?

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