I think one of the strategies of Satan is to get us to settle in our Christian lives. If Satan can’t deceive us about God’s Word, distract us in our service and devotion to Jesus, tempt us into sin or derail us with some sort of a roadblock, he can still win a measure of a victory in our lives if he can deceive us into settling in our Christian lives. Think about all the promises that are given to us in the Bible. Let me remind us of just a few that are really powerful.
We are promised complete forgiveness for our sins (Rom 8:1, 1 John 1:9).
We are promised assurance of our salvation (Rom 8:15-17).
We are promised peace, love and joy that transcend the circumstances of our lives Gal 5:22).
We are promised the strength necessary to do anything that God wants us to do (Phil 4:13).
We are promised that nothing we do for Jesus is ever in vain (1 Cor 15:58).
We are promised freedom from slavery to sin (Rom 6:1-7, 8:12).
We are promised that God works all things that come into our lives for our ultimate good and His glory (Rom 8:28).
We are promised that God hears our prayers and answers prayer (Matt7:7-11).
Despite these and the many other amazing promises that are given to us in Scripture, many Christians live lives that do not reflect these truths in their lives. Many Christians live as though they were condemned instead of forgiven. Many live in a constant state of doubt about their salvation. Many live as slaves to sin. Many live as though God doesn’t hear their prayers or care about their lives. At times the problem is that they have settled for this instead of striving for the life promised to them in Scripture. I’m convinced that this is a satanic strategy to deceive and destroy us. How do we keep ourselves from being deceived by satanic settling?
Look for evidence of God’s power in our lives. One of the ways we can keep ourselves from being deceived by satanic settling is by constantly examining our lives looking for evidence of God’s power in our lives. We don’t look for our ideas of power but for what the Bible says should be visible in our lives. Let me give you some ideas.
Evidence of the life-changing power of Jesus “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
Ask yourself, “How am I different because of Jesus?”
Evidence of the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)
Ask yourself, “How am I different today than I was last week, last month or last year because of what the Holy Spirit doing in my life?
Evidence of an active faith “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” James 2:14 (ESV) “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:17 (ESV) “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
Ask yourself, “What do I do on a regular basis because of my faith in Jesus?” or “What do I do regularly that requires faith in Jesus?”
Evidence of godly desires “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” Philippians 2:13 (NLT)
Ask yourself, “What desires do I have that I wouldn’t have without Jesus?”
Repent and believe. One of the ideas that goes along with repentance is a change of mind. Many that settle do so because they have believed Satan’s lies that whatever their life is currently like is the best it’ll ever be. Where we have believed this and settled, we need to repent and change our minds. We need to change our minds that this, whatever our this may be, is not the best it can be. Then we need to believe Scripture. Believer that what Scripture promises really is true and really can happen and really will happen in our lives. This doesn’t mean they are all going to happen immediately but start by believing the possibility that it will. It may be that we have to pray as the father of the demon possessed boy did, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)
Pray for the Holy Spirit to constantly stir us up. A part of not falling for satanic settling is refusing to settle for anything less than what the Bible promises. I don’t mean to say that we won’t struggle or things won’t be difficult. What we have to do is able to acknowledge where we are living below what God has promised without settling for this as the best life can be. I think there will always be areas of our lives where we aren’t living up to our full potential as believers in Christ. I think that is a part of being human. Our sinful nature will pull against this. Our own doubts will pull against this. Our level of spiritual maturity, or immaturity, will hinder this at times. While this is the case, we also need to recognize that there is more and we should strive for it refusing to settle for less than God promised.
I think our natural inclination might be to settle when it gets hard or doesn’t happen as fast as we want. This is why we need to pray for the Holy Spirit to constantly be stirring us up. We need the Holy Spirit to be constantly at work in our lives stirring us up so that we never settle for less than God promised. We want the Holy Spirit to stir us up so that we don’t settle for the appearance without the power.