You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. 1 John 4:4-6 (NIV)
There is evil in this world, are you watching and on guard against it? Yes, I’m watching and on guard. What do I need to be on guard against? What do I need to be watching out for? Those are good questions. You need to have an attitude of watchfulness. You need to have ears that are attentive to my voice. You need to be listening to all that I want to say to you. You need to be watching for all that I want to show to you. Does this sound like something that will be hard for you to accomplish? It sounds easy. But, I’m not foolish enough to think that it will be easy. Why is that? It’s easy to be absorbed in all the activities of life. It’s easy to race through life and forget to listen to all that you want to say to me or to fail to watch all that you want to show to me. It’s easy to become conformed to all the patterns, practices and values of the world. If I am not very careful, I could become unaware of how the world is continually trying to shape me into its mold. It’s much harder to be attentive and watchful to all that you want me to hear and see. Yes, it is.
Let’s talk about the focus of your attention. Alright, go ahead. You have my full attention. Good, that’s what I want. You have mentioned two possibilities. You can either focus your attention on the world or you can focus your attention on me. If I focus my attention on the world I will have a very difficult time listening to what you want me to hear or watching what you want me to see. Yes, that’s exactly right. I will have a very difficult time identifying what is true and what is false. Does that sound like an understatement to you? I will have an impossible time identifying what is true and what is false. That’s more like it. If I have the focus of my attention on you, I will be able to know what is true and what is false because my eyes and ears will be open to you. That is also correct. As I continue to have my focus on you I will grow in my ability to listen to what you want me to hear and to watch what you want me to see. How do you know that? That has been my experience as I have had my focus on you. That is very good.
Let’s talk about overcoming evil that is in the world. To overcome evil in the world I must be able to identify it. I also must have the strength and desire to resist it. Can you identify or overcome evil if your focus is on the world? Certainly not, if my focus is on the world then I will be wrapped up and enticed by evil. That is not my will for you. It is my will that my Spirit living in you will make you able to overcome evil that is in the world. Do you believe that my Spirit living in you will make you able to overcome evil in the world? Yes, I do. Why do you believe? You have changed the desires of my heart as I have had my focus on you. You have given me both the desire and strength to do your will. You have made me able to overcome evil in the world. Yes, I have.
Holy Spirit, thank you that you live inside of me. You have made me able to know what is true and what is false. You have made me able to recognize and overcome evil that is in the world. Help me to hear and really listen to you. Amen
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