Assess the Threat

If we are to protect our witness and are actively seeking a witness protection plan, we must first assess the threat.

Before we begin to look at areas where the slippery slopes of temptation appear to be firm and true, we need to be aware of the enemy.

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. 1 Peter 5:8, Amplified Bible

Our human reaction might be one of hopelessness and fear. How can we protect ourselves from Satan and his lies?

The first and most important way is with God’s truth – His word. If we don’t know God’s promises and His directions for how we are to live, we are vulnerable, exposed to attack. The old saying certainly applies here, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

You can be sure Satan knows God’s words and he is good at twisting them around so that he might lure us into the muck of sin. After all, if he twisted God’s word to tempt Jesus, you can bet he’ll try to do the same with us.

God knew we would struggle and His strongest gift to us was the death of His son on the cross. In Christ’s resurrection, Satan was defeated. End of story … well, at least for Satan. For us, it was the beginning.

We also must come to a real-life understanding that Satan is authentic and not just some guy in a red suit with horns and a pitchfork. He isn’t more powerful than God is, but he does have power. He is God’s enemy and while he isn’t eternal, he leads an army of demons.

But sometimes, it isn’t an army that defeats us; it’s our own lack of knowledge. Satan doesn’t want us to know we have victory through our Savior. If he can blind us to this truth, then realizing the Holy Spirit dwells within believers is even harder to comprehend.

Listen to the words Jesus spoke to His disciples shortly before His crucifixion.

“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But, the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name. He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 14:25-27

Witness Protection

Most people know what the Witness Protection Program is. Basically, a person who is instrumental in testifying in a legal matter and is a threat to the accused is made to disappear. Sometimes, it’s a person whose life is threatened in other ways. In simple terms, the individual is protected.

Sometimes I believe, as Christians, we need a Witness Protection Plan. At the very least, we need to think about it. Some of us may need to consider how we might develop such a program for ourselves.

We easily claim to be a believer. When it comes to exactly what we believe in, we might be a little more vague. Hopefully not. Hundreds of thousands proudly proclaim to be a Christian but again, their actual beliefs aren’t as obvious, especially in their behavior. And, hundreds of thousands more are not afraid to proclaim a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Too often, we forget that, along with those proclamations, come responsibilities. Many believe that joining a church and regular attendance is all we need. That's a wrong assumption. In fact, that's just a first step. Of course, it may satisfy how we want others to see us. And that in itself is just plain wrong thinking because it's not others we need to worry about. We can fool them most of the time. It's our Creator we should be seeking to please. And, by the way, there's no fooling Him.

Of course, our Heavenly Father wants us to worship, praise, learn, and enjoy fellowship with other believers. These are important. But God is more interested in what's going on inside us and why we do the things we do.

To be honest, maybe we need to consider these areas of our lives and ask ourselves if they fall under the witness protection plan. In other words, what witness do we give God, and others, in these areas?

Loyalty to the body of Christ. Can you be counted on to volunteer where and when needed?
Your body. Are you taking care of God’s Holy Temple where the Holy Spirit resides?
Your habits. This wide-ranging area can be viewed by just about anyone.
Your driving. Speeding and reckless driving aren’t just against the law.
Your mouth. Short tempered with a store clerk or fellow worker?
Your recreation. How many Sunday’s do you get away from it all?
Your time. While many faithfully tithe financially, they fail to give unselfishly of their time.
Your entertainment. What movies or television shows are you watching?
Your talents. God has gifted each of us with talents for His use.
Your quiet time. How faithful are you in seeking to know God through His word.
Your prayer life. Do you use prayer more like a life raft than an intimate way of communicating with the Creator of the Universe?

These are some of the ways in which we witness to others every single day. Is your witness true to God’s word and direction for other believers?

If not, maybe you need to think about a Witness Protection Plan to guard your most important asset – your soul.

Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?" Matthew 16:24, The Message

Blessings, Francine
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