IN THE SPIRIT

James A. Washington
NNPA Newswire Contributor

It’s been some time ago, but I heard one of the most powerful sayings a friend of mine used to often say right before he was about to be installed as the new pastor of his own church. “When Satan knocks at the door, let Jesus answer it.”

Maybe you had to be there, but I still find the thought behind this saying absolutely awesome. I try to imagine actually being able to do this. Can you imagine if you really could? I mean what the sinful suggestions would be, the weaknesses of flesh and spirit.

The reality would be that you would see the devil coming from miles away and no matter how slick or innocent the approach, you could never be fooled again. Would you really do as Jesus did in the desert? Would you renounce the promise of riches, fame and power? For you, would it be as easy as, “Away from me Satan!” Matthew 4:10

According to scripture, after three times, the devil left and the angels came to attend to Jesus and soon thereafter He began to preach.

In today’s world, I’m simply asking if you knew where damnation was coming from, would you still live a damned life? The real question I’m asking is, do you know Jesus well enough to ask Him to answer your front door?

When life and the devil deal you a bad hand, can you get the Lord to sit at the table and play it for you? Is your relationship to the Almighty current enough, casual enough, familiar and habitual enough to take His presence in your life for granted? In times of great anxiety, do you need to whisper to God to take over or, are you screaming at the top of your lungs hoping He’ll hear your plight?

I don’t get the impression that Jesus was screaming at the devil in the desert trying to keep His courage up in the face of temptation — the likes of which most of us will never see, let alone experience firsthand. At every turn, it was the devil who was way out of his league because when he came calling, Jesus merely let His father answer the door.

“Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord…Do not put the Lord your God to the test…Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” Matthew 4:4-11.

I can only imagine, because I’m not there yet (I’m working on it), what it’s like to be able to call upon Jesus so regularly that His presence in my daily life is second nature. I must admit that there are times when I recognize that the turmoil in my life has been or is being manufactured by pure evil. That recognition allows me the privilege to simply tell the devil to back up because I don’t really have time.

If you get my perspective, it’s okay to ask Jesus to handle the situation because your time is better spent trying to do the work He would be proud of. When you’re that busy, I truly believe Jesus doesn’t mind getting the door.

May God bless and keep you always.

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