SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(Mat 3:16-4:1) When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
There’s a phrase we use around the church because those who have stepped out for the Lord know it true: NEW LEVEL, NEW DEVIL! It’s when you go to that next level God has for you and Satan gets so mad that he attacks you like crazy. You see he wants you to always stay on that same level of complacency. If he can’t get you to backslide then he’ll work on the next best thing and that is to get you to stay where you are. Never take risks. Never go forward. Stay comfortable. Say no to a challenge. Tell people you’re too busy. That you have enough on your plate. Satan just jumps for joy at the Christian who refuses to go to the next level. But when a Christian decides to press on, it’s NEW LEVEL, NEW DEVIL!
This is seen in the life of Jesus. When he was baptized the Holy Spirit came upon Him like a dove. God spoke from heaven and said He was well pleased with His Son. What a glorious experience! But then the next thing you see is Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. Satan hates it when are filled with the Spirit and are moving out for the Lord. He’ll come after us and try to get us to succumb to the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Consider also Elijah. He is seen in 1 Kings 18 as a mighty man of God who challenged the four hundred and fifty prophets of the god Baal to a showdown. Would it be Elijah’s God or Baal who would send fire down from heaven and consume the sacrifice on the altar? Elijah went all out to prove only God could send the fire. And that He did! Then all the false prophets were slain. The very next chapter we see Jezebel sending a threatening letter to Elijah. Elijah fled far away and crawled into a cave where he remained depressed and defeated until the Lord coaxed him out and put him back to work.
The Bible says we are to move forward to that next level and never look back. We are to go from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18), faith to faith (Rom 1:17), and strength to strength (Psa 84:7). In doing so it will aggravate Satan to no end and he will come a knocking trying to menace us with all types of hassles and exasperations. But rejoice because it means you are growing and going for the Lord. He would leave you alone if you were carnal and worldly. So it’s really a kind of compliment when you step out and face satanic opposition. But don’t worry, the Lord has you covered. He wouldn’t ask you take a step forward and then leave you! (Heb 13:5)
NEW LEVEL, NEW DEVIL. You and I must be doing something right! Forward on for the Lord!!