Monday, February 11, 2008

"I'd rather die than embarrass Jesus."

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7

This past week I was in Maryland with Leslie teaching at our sister college. Leslie and I were going to spend a couple of extra days at our nation’s capitol to do some sight seeing before we came home. Through a couple of random yet divine events Leslie and I were able to meet Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life” and the “40 Days of Purpose,” and attend a private meeting he was having with select pastors from the Washington DC area. I could tell you the whole story, but you wouldn’t believe it.

When he first arrived Rick jokingly apologized about unimpressive he was up close. But nothing could be further from the truth. What an amazing guy. So real, so genuine, so deep. He shared from his heart recent truths that God had been revealing to him. One thing he said that impacted me was that he would "rather die than embarrass Jesus.” God has entrusted Rick Warren with tremendous influence in the world and he doesn’t want to become another fallen minister. Another statistic. Another reason for unbelievers to doubt the reality of a life-changing relationship with God.

How does Rick stay on track with God? How can we? We must defeat the schemes of the enemy in our lives. The devil has three attacks: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). These are the temptations: to feel good (hedonism), to have (materialism), and to simply be selfish. The devil uses these things to destroy our lives and render our testimonies useless. God has antidotes for each of these temptations. We need three things in our lives: integrity, generosity, and humility.

How do we resist the devil and become the children of God we were created to be? Fight the temptations with the integrity, humility, and generosity of the purpose driven life.