There is a church near my home that has one of those marquee signs out front where they like to put up different clever sayings from time to time. I don’t have any strong feelings either way on these signs, other than I think that most of the clever sayings I see are only understandable by the saints. Especially those that look like they are targeting the lost… they just sound odd. Perhaps the worst example of being too clever to be useful was, “Stop, Drop, and Roll won’t work in Hell”. However, this morning I noticed the sign say something that immediately brought to mind Scriptural truth.
If the devil is riding your back
Take off the saddle
Now, since I am already of the mindset that these signs are mostly for Christians, my mind went to Ephesians 4:26-27 (okay, I know I quote Eph 4 quite a bit, but hey, this is a blog about Christian living and faithful stewardship 😉 ):
Ephesians 4:26-27 (NASB, emphasis mine)
26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.
Here is the saddle. As Christians, we have been bought by a price and redeemed out of the dominion of darkness and into the Kingdom of Jesus, the Son of God, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sin (Colossians 1:13-14). However, as humans we are still susceptible to influence when we yield to the enemy. Allowing ourselves to be overcome with strong emotions (like anger, anxiety, fear, doubt, etc.) can lead to sin (notice, clearly there is room to have an emotion without yielding to sin)… by giving the devil an opportunity, or by allowing a saddle to be placed on your back.
So how do we remove the saddle? By the Truth of God’s word, particularly His promises about who we are in Him and who we have in the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB) 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 5:23-24 (NASB) 23 Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
Matthew 5:33-37 (NASB) 33 “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, “You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.
James 4:6b-8 (NASB) 6b Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (emphasis mine; I recommend studying all of Chapter 4)
As for the sinner, the lost, they are born wearing a saddle. In fact, we were all born broken horses in captivity. Saddled by the world, bridled by sin, corralled by darkness, and destined for death and eternal separation from God. But for His Son, Jesus, we’d still be in that broken and controlled state. Through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we can be set free from our bonds, released from captivity, and inherited into the Kingdom of God to forever be with Him! Amen.
As long as we walk on in this world, we will have to contend with the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10) who is constantly looking for someone to devour (1 Pet 5:8) or to put on a saddle and ride into the ground. The devil cannot steal you away from God, but he can cause you to stumble and fall, especially if he can get you saddled and bridled (James 3). That’s why we must keep ourselves in God’s Word, praying and seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit daily as we are encouraged in Romans 12.
So yeah… today’s clever message blessed me. I hope some of you were equally blessed. Have a wonderful weekend!