There is an enemy in the world that draws us away from God’s love to think that God really doesn’t care that much about me, that He is not a good God who has my best interests foremost in mind. Many people see God this way. He’s a policeman hiding behind a billboard trying to catch me speeding. He’s a boss trying to get the best performance out of me that’s possible. Or like Job, the pains and hardships of life come headlong at us and we are tempted to question God’s goodness and His good intentions towards us. The power of Satan is seen in his leading us to think ill of God.  In the Garden of Eden, it was the thought that God was trying to keep something good from us in order to sustain His own supremacy, as if that could ever be threatened. With Job, the effort to demean God in Job’s eyes revolved around the pain and hardships that Satan was allowed to bring upon him. When all his attempts failed to get Job to curse God, Satan attacks Job’s own health and says to God, “Skin for Skin.” Satan challenges God that Job will indeed curse Him to His face if He permits sickness and disease to strike Job. But Job held on and said, “Though He slays me, yet will I trust Him.” “Naked came I into the world, and naked from it I will go.” “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Death is our supreme enemy! It casts a shadow across our lives from the moment we are born until the day it claims our flesh. We’ve all heard of the four teenage girls who died in a car accident in Gretna recently. What a tragedy. I couldn’t help, as I looked at their beautiful faces, thinking of all the families and children and grandchildren the world will never see because of their premature death. Death is the greatest of our enemies. However, “flesh and blood” is part of being human. But God did not create man for death. He created us for life! The author of Hebrews is addressing this fact in Hebrews 2:14-15. He writes, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”

Death is our supreme enemy and slave master. But Jesus had to come in the flesh, to become like us and one of us as a brother, and then to die the only death that could have destroyed the one who wields death as his instrument of slavery. God isn’t trying to keep anything good from us. He only wants the best for us. He’s not a policeman or a boss. He’s our creator who, as Jeremiah puts it, “Loves us with an everlasting love.” That love was undeniably demonstrated to us all on Calvary when He gave His only begotten Son. Sinking our roots into that love  and growing in the understanding of that love enables us to enhance our view of God and begin to see others as God sees them! Only in receiving and growing in our understanding of God’s love for us, will we be able to grow in our love for God and others. This is how we mature spiritually. It’s not by trying harder, doing more, or becoming more committed.