Thursday, September 30, 2010

This persuasion...


Galatians 5:7-8 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? (8) This persuasion is not from him who calls you.


Who did hinder you – literally means, "Drive you back." The Greek word used here (anakoptō) means to beat or drive back. Hence, it means to hinder, check, or slow down. Dr. Doddridge remarks that this is "an Olympic expression, and properly signifies coming across the course while a person is running in it, in such a manner as to jostle, and throw him out of the way."

Paul asks, with emphasis, who it could have been that slowed them down in their Christian course, implying that it could have been done only by their own consent, or that there was really no cause why they should not have continued as they began.

I believe the answer is found in the next verse when Paul states, "This persuasion is not from the One who calls you." I am so thankful for the persuasion and influence of the Holy Spirit in my life, but there is another persuasion that is at work to hinder me (and you) in my progression of becoming more like Christ. This persuasion is from satan himself. He will do anything and everything that he can to persuade you that there are more important things in your life than following and trusting Jesus.


This persuasion has been at work in this world from the beginning of time. Let me share just a few examples:

Adam and Eve had it made, but allowed this persuasion to convince them that they couldn’t trust the goodness and fairness of God, and that God’s Word wasn’t valid.

Then there is Esau who traded the blessing of his birthright for a moment of satisfaction. He was hungry, and was persuaded that the pleasure of the moment was more important than the blessings of the future.

How about Demas (2 Timothy 4) who was persuaded that this present world was more important than his eternal one.

Then there is Samson who was persuaded to compromise God’s Word and paid a horrible price for it, before being restored.

How about Simon Peter who was persuaded that he should fear man instead of standing up for Jesus.

And King David who was persuaded to have an affair with Bathsheba.

Lot’s wife lingered back from Sodom and Gomorrah as it was being destroyed and died a brutal death. The "call from Sodom" was so great that she felt that she had to look back.

The Israelites left Egypt, the land of bondage and heartache, but when faced with difficulty, they began to feel the "pull of Egypt" and desired to return there even though it was a place of great misery.

I could go on and on with examples. Paul warns us that we can be hindered, or "driven back" by this persuasion so we must be careful. Every one of us has to battle that "call from Sodom" in our lives. It is where the enemy tries to persuade us away from being zealous in our walk with Christ. If we aren’t careful we can be persuaded that going to church isn’t important, that reading God’s Word doesn’t really matter, that giving to the work of God isn't that big of a deal, and that prayer isn’t effective.

There are some reading this blog today that "were running so well" in your walk with Jesus, but this persuasion has driven you back. It is time for you to get up and get back after it. God has given you everything that you need to fight and defeat this persuasion from hell. You have God’s Word, you have His Spirit, and you have His people. You are more than capable through Christ, and "more than a conqueror."

Instead of allowing this persuasion to influence you, you can become persuaded in God’s goodness and love:

Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, (39) Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


"Lord, I am aware today of 'this persuasion' from hell that would love to hinder my walk with You. Today, I choose to allow Your Holy Spirit to persuade and influence my life. I will live by the influence of your precious Holy Spirit this day. In Jesus' name, amen!"