The Attack is On!
How can we be kept from doing God’s will? Destroy the gospel. Without the gospel, you cannot have faith. Without the gospel, the Holy Spirit cannot work in your life. Without the gospel, you cannot be saved. Without the gospel, you cannot be changed to live a God-pleasing life. If you have the treasure of the gospel you will suffer an astonishing amount of attacks and assaults.
The devil marshals his allies against the youth of the ELS
The Devil is a furious enemy, raging with all his power to exterminate God’s will from being done. Because you and your fellow ELS youth have the pure Word and Gospel, you are some of his primary targets. There are 2 allies that want the same thing the Devil wants: the world and our sinful nature. The Devil will use those 2 allies try to keep us from doing God’s will. Here’s how.
Sneak attack. False teachers.
We have the pure Word and Gospel. The devil may try to come up from behind. He’ll try to use people who appear to be friends, to replace the Word with something that sounds like the Word, but isn’t, to lead us away from doing God’s will. He’ll try to use our inclina¬tion to falsehood to miss the attack and not even realize we’ve been taken.
Frontal attack. Misfortune and grief.
The devil knows that the world is offended at some of the scriptural things the ELS believes. He may get the world to openly attack us because we are Christians who want to do God’s will. They may attack our honor, and in some cases even our possessions, family, and safety. He’ll try make the cost to do God’s will higher than we can bear. He’ll try to use our flesh, which is terrified of trouble and grief, to yield to the pressure.
Poison apple attack. Tempting pleasures.
The devil may offer alternatives that look great on the outside, but are poison on the inside. Once our sinful nature, which loves pleasure, takes the bait, he’ll try to keep it tasting so good that we poison ourselves to death.
To Arms, ELS Youth!
“One or two Christians, armed with this single petition, shall be our wall of defense.”
– Dr. Martin Luther
As we pray this petition, let’s go into war for one another, and pray for one another, espe¬cially for our fellow ELS youth.
Lord, when my friends and I are faced with the frontal attacks of Satan and he tries to make the cost of doing Your will too high, be with us. Help us to remain steadfast, suffer patiently, let go of whatever is taken, bear the cross, remain steadfast in the face of all violence and persecution and submit to the will of God.
Lord, when my friends and I are faced with the sneak attacks of false doctrine, help us to be able to recognize and turn away heretics, and help us to humbly accept and believe the Word.
Lord, when my friends and I are faced with the poison apple attacks of tempting sins, help us to realize the pleasures of sin are fleeting. Help us to realize that what Jesus gives is eternal. Help our greatest treasure to be the gospel… know¬ing that we’ve been washed clean of our guilt.
Help us, for the sake of the Gospel, to do God’s will! Amen.By Pastor Mark Bartels
Holy Cross Lutheran Church and School – Madison, Wisconsin