(This post was written by Michele Stephens, Worship and Creative Arts Director)
Don’t Die Till You’re Dead is a phrase Pastor Chris used in his sermon a couple of weeks ago and that thought has churned lots of thoughts for me as well as for people that I lead and love. Most of us have heard the scripture “The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy but I have come to give you life and give it to you more abundantly” [John 10:10]
There is a real enemy and he is out to discredit and dishonor our God; and has been since the day he was forced to leave heaven because of his pride. God is perfect, holy, true and just – there’s no way Satan can “expose” anything about Him.
His children, well now that’s a different story. Children can be vulnerable and easily manipulated as they mature. The enemy hates God and anything about or that looks like God – and that’s where we come in. As God’s child, our life time is in His hands and we will not be with Him in heaven until He’s ready [the “kill” part].
But there’s the “steal and destroy” part that we must be on guard about. He will try to steal and destroy your family, your testimony, your joy, your ministry just to name a few, through all kinds of tactics. He will use the people you trust and love to manipulate a situation or to cause doubts.
Understanding that we have an enemy and that he hates us because of who our Father is – is the first and very important step. As the battle rages, circumstances, emotions, and unwise decisions can cause us to be wounded or make us feel like we’re “done”. You have to hold on to the last part of the verse “but I have come to give you LIFE and life abundant”. This is not just eternal life but the life you live right now. How you live is a reflection on our Father. If we live defeated, discouraged, full of anger and/or doubt what are we reflecting?
The hardest thing is to push past the circumstances and emotions attached to honor God, His name, and His attributes – this is what draws people to Him. People that don’t know Him are looking for answers, hope, peace and stability. If the enemy can take you out of the game it affects many lives around you that are your assignments.
My life verse that I have encouraged myself and others with is Galatians 6:9 “Do not become weary in doing good knowing that you WILL reap a harvest if you DO NOT GIVE UP.” If you’re not dead – God’s not done.