There is a common misconception among Christians that needs to be addressed…..
Many believe that at some point they will rise to the status of “super saint” and thus be beyond the reach of the enemy’s attacks.
The first assumption we make when attacks do (inevitably) come is that we have done something wrong. According to this logic, “God has permitted the enemy to attack an area of our lives.”
Not only are we let down when trials come, because of our misconceptions we are susceptible to believing the lies of the enemy.
James writes in chapter 1 verses 2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Could it be that a life lived without trials and temptation limits our growth?
Consider this. Trees don’t initially grow out of the ground equipped to handle storms. As they grow and encounter storms they are shaped by them.
According to Kim Coder, Professor Silvics/ Ecology, Warnell School of Forest Resources, “If the winds are not strong enough to blow the tree over, the tree will develop a trait known as wind firmness over several growing seasons… Wind firmness develops over time in response to wind.”
Conversely, a tree that grows in a climate free from storms becomes brittle. It is strong as long as it is not faced with adversity. However, if the winds blow hard enough on a brittle tree, it will break because it does not have the ability to sway with the storm.
Righteous men and women of God do come under attack from the enemy. What’s more, God does not necessarily remove temptations from our lives; rather, He uses them to hone our faith.
Through the storms of life we can choose to remain brittle and unyielding but eventually a strong wind will break us. Or we can allow God to “shape” our lives and therefore develop wind firmness.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you,” James 4:7-8.
Growth is accomplished not in freedom from temptation but in trusting the LORD to deliver us from it.
~ Mitch Salmon