Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Spiritual Battles That We Must Win”
But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
Jude was leading and serving a congregation that was going through some difficult times. These difficulties were stirred by ungodly people, the “scoffers,” who diverted the believers away from the Lord towards ungodly desires. Inevitably, this brought division to a young church. So Jude warns his friends not to remain passive, but to deliberately build up their faith by continually praying in the Holy Spirit and keep themselves in God’s love.
Do you at times find yourself falling into ungodly desires? Easily being led astray from the love of the Father and feeling defeated by the temptations of the enemy? Know that the spiritual battle to lead our hearts away from the Lord is intense; the enemy will take every chance he gets to pull us away from our faith in the Lord. Therefore, Jude makes it clear that in order to stay in the loving presence of the Father, you must pray.
It is always through prayer that a believer overcomes the ungodly desires. The spiritual battles that we face were never meant to be fought alone. Through prayer, we invite the Holy Spirit to fill us with power from above so that our faith remains firm. It is through prayer that we are reminded of God’s immense love for us as His children. It is through prayer that we become transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
Tragic results await those who simply do not pray. But to those who remain attentive in prayer, the reward is a holy faith in the Lord.
Prayer: Lord, help me in my prayer life. Help me to establish both a heart for and a habit of prayer that will deepen my faith in you and keep me from falling towards ungodly desires. I admit that this is difficult and I need your Holy Spirit to help me. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 12
Lunch Break Study
Read Luke 11:1-4: One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
Questions to Consider
- What do the disciples ask for Jesus on this particular day?
- Do the words, “Father, hallowed be your name…” provide you with a sense of intimacy or a sense of awe or both?
- As you consider this prayer, are there people who you need to forgive?
- It’s notable that while the disciples learned many things from Jesus, this was the one time where the disciples make a request about a particular topic: prayer.
- The address of God as Father is important, since it focuses on the intimate relationship God has with his children. Jesus’ introduction of such intimacy in prayer is not entirely unprecedented in Judaism, but it certainly is unusual in the context of prayer. Disciples should feel close to God, since they are part of his family. But intimacy does not do away with respect; thus, the prayer’s first statement is Hallowed be your name.The disciple approaches God with the recognition that God is holy—that is, “set apart” and unique. There is none like him, and no one has the authority he possesses. This note of submission is the prayer’s heartbeat.
- To forgive another person is an act of faith. The feelings of forgiveness will follow later. Take time to forgive and bless those who may have hurt you.
Do you believe that if you ask the Holy Spirit to help you in establishing a consistent prayer life that he would help you? Spend some time asking for his help in this area.