ARE YOU GOING TO ALLOW SATAN TO ROB YOU?
Biblical Research Monthly
Dr. David Cooper
NOTHING OF ANY IMPORTANCE IS ACCOMPLISHED by chance or by accident. A survey of history proves the truthfulness of this proposition. In ancient times, for instance, very little progress was made by the great masses of the people. This statement still is correct with reference to the bulk of humanity today. Nevertheless there have been, all through the ages, a few aggressive spirits who realize that nothing worth while is accomplished by chance and who plan their time and budget their energies in order to accomplish something. The world has been the beneficiary of men of such vision. At the same time it is true that by accident, as it were, or chance, many great and wonderful discoveries have been made. We say that it is or has been by chance. It would be better to state that it was by the overruling providence of God that many discoveries have been made, seemingly accidentally; but, when we bar these providential overruling incidents, we come to the conclusion that nothing of any value has been accomplished for the human family by chance or by accident but that what has been wrought is due to planning and foresight. As proof of this position, I need only call attention to the wonderful progress of our present day, which is the result largely of laboratory experimentation according to diligent planning, purpose, and hard work. Science, which is true and loyal to facts, has made a marvelous contribution to the welfare of the world. The comforts we enjoy and the multiplied possibilities afforded us of doing good are the result entirely of the patient research work of faithful laborers who have toiled in the scientific spirit.
SATAN, the great adversary of both God and man, knows that results will flow from correct planning and proper execution. He therefore puts every inducement before the people of God in order to distract their attention from their chief objective in life--serving God with all the heart and laboring in His vineyard to promote His cause among men. If the devil can prevent a young Christian's planning his life for God, he has scored a great victory. If, on the other hand, the true child of God has a plan and a purpose in his life and is bending every effort and all of his energy toward the attaining of his objective, he will, by the help of God, accomplish great things in the Master's cause.
One cannot follow the spirit of the Bible and the leading of the Lord unless he does plan his life. There is, as we learn from various passages of the Word, the plan of the ages that began in the eternity of the past, is unfolded during the centuries of time, and will continue to develop throughout the ceaseless ages of all eternity of the future. The Apostle Paul therefore spoke of the plan of the ages or the purpose of the ages. Satan, at the very beginning of the human family, knowing something about God's plan and purpose of the ages, induced man to distrust his Maker and to transgress the one and only commandment which He had imposed upon him. By man's yielding to Satan's appeal, wreck and ruin have come into the human family and have wrought havoc throughout the centuries. Notwithstanding this alien force of sin and rebellion against God, the Lord Almighty is overruling all things and making them contribute to the advancement of this purpose increasing as it goes through the centuries. Eventually, when the Lord returns, we shall observe the fullest fruition of the Almighty's planning. Then we shall be able to stand upon the vantage point of the glorious Kingdom Age, look back over the past centuries, and see with clear vision the unfolding of God's plan through the centuries past, notwithstanding the opposition and the havoc which Satan has wrought.
THE ONE who is endeavoring to serve God should likewise have a plan and purpose in life and should try to reach his ideal, by the grace of God. One should learn at the outset that it is impossible for him to have smooth sailing. There will be opposition on every hand and on all occasions. If Satan does not conjure up opposition and one is not constantly disturbed and upset in his plans one may be certain that his life's plan is not according to the divine pattern. "Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you." This statement from the lips of our Lord is the expression of a principle that is true at all times. A person whose life counts for God will not be passed unnoticed by Satan. We may know that he is going to do his utmost in his opposition against us. One should therefore commit his way to God and ask the Lord to be his Protector and his Guide.
IN ORDER that one's life may count for the most, one should budget his day's activities as far as it is possible for him to do so. There is no one in our modern world who is so situated that he cannot, to a certain extent, arrange each day's work. Especially is this true with one's time, at any secular calling, reduced to the minimum of hours. Each of us has twenty four hours every day. Eight hours, according to the law, constitute a day's work. There are sixteen more hours that we have to ourselves. How shall we use them? The body needs a certain amount of rest each day. We therefore try to give ourselves approximately eight hours of sleep. There are still left eight hours which we should budget so that our energies and efforts might count most for the kingdom of God. Shall we spend these eight hours in idleness and foolish talking? in going along the line of least resistance? in satisfying our fleshly desires and pleasures? Or will we by God's grace use them so that they will contribute to His eternal glory and to the good of humanity?
We are correctly told that there is but one life to live and that one which is lived for Christ is the only one which counts. The time will come when we shall wish that we had planned our days and given our spare time to some service in the Kingdom of God in promoting His cause among men. There is something that everyone can do. No matter how uneducated he may be or what his environment is (regardless of what the past may have been) one can start out and can budget his time and give God the best of his energy for His glory. In the course of the short space of one year, an amazing amount of work can be accomplished for God which will count throughout all eternity.
ONE should not only budget his time but he should budget his energy and strength. He knows approximately what he can endure, what he can accomplish, and what he can do. In other words, he knows the limits of his strength and endurance. He should therefore conserve his energy and use it as much as possible to the glory of God and Christ. The Apostle Paul urged his brethren at Rome to offer their bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable unto God, which was their spiritual service. This exhortation comes to every Christian today. No one has a right to engage in even innocent amusement and pleasures and thus sap all of one's energy and not have any strength for engaging in the Lord's cause.
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