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Stay Sharp !

1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.” (AMP)

I by no means have a green thumb, I never have and never will! I’ve managed to keep a few plants alive…briefly…however, My Late Dad Prince Ikwan Ejim Akuma was born with two green thumbs. He had one of the most beautiful fruit and vegetable gardens I think I’ve ever seen in my life. And more than once he loves to take me on a tour of his garden. And I must say this city boy learns a lot in that garden. One of the last times, I think, we toured his gardens he showed me a garden spider at work. Actually, it wasn’t at work, it was really at dinner! It was just finishing “filet of grasshopper”; which just so happened to be the latest insect to be caught in his web.

Now, while I was watching, another grasshopper flew into the bottom of that web a few inches below the spider. And since the web is sticky, he stayed there. Well, Mr. Spider left his dinner, slid down this silk thread like a fireman would slide down his fire pole, and in a maneuver that you would have missed if you looked away for even a second, this spider spewed out a bombardment of silken thread that totally encased and imprisoned that grasshopper – kind of mummified him. It was over in seconds. From that time that he touched the web that grasshopper never stood a chance! Guess he didn’t read Isaiah 52:11, “Depart, depart, go out from there (the lands of exile), Touch no unclean thing; Go out of the midst of her (Babylon), purify yourselves, You who carry the articles of the Lord [on your journey from there].” (AMP). Amazing how much trouble just one touch can cause!

Now it’s not a spider you and I need to be concerned about. Well, maybe you are, but he won’t hurt you much. You’re a lot bigger than he is. But what we need to be concerned about is a lion with a deadly approach, not unlike that of the spider. Thus God’s sober warning in 1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him!…”

Now, there is this very day a powerful, shrewd, spiritual destroyer who’s looking for a way to entrap you, to invade your soul, to take you where you never thought you’d go; to devour you. And in a very real sense, the Devil’s trying to get you just to touch his sticky web. Like that grasshopper, you don’t intend to stay. You don’t intend to become a prisoner. You certainly don’t intend to lose everything. In fact, Satan never tells you he’s going to do all that. He just says, “Just touch this beautiful web.” And when you touch the Devil’s web, you’re his. And what does he have planned for you? Let’s look at 1 Peter 5:8 in a few translations shall we?

“…seeking someone to devour” (CEB);

“…sneaking around to find someone to attack.” (CEV);

“…looking for someone to attack and eat.” (ERV);

“…looking for some victim to tear apart.” (TLB);

“…looking for someone to swallow up.” (NIRV);

“…The Devil is poised to pounce…” (MSG)

That word “devour” is defined as “to eat greedily or to consume destructively.” Its Latin Origin “devorare”, from “vorare” literally means “to swallow”.

That word “pounce” is defined as “to spring or swoop suddenly so as to seize or attack; to take swift advantage of a mistake or sign of weakness.”

That’s exactly what the spider, lion and Devil all do alike! They quickly look for a victim who has made a mistake or shown a sign of weakness and then they swiftly take full advantage of it and devour or eat them greedily, consume them destructively and swallow them whole! And you my friend are the next target in the enemies radar! So what’s one of the first things you need to do? 1 Peter 5:8, “Keep awake! Watch at all times. The devil is working against you. He is walking around like a hungry lion with his mouth open. He is looking for someone to eat.” (NLV). The key is “…WATCH AT ALL TIMES…” Because truth is, it’s always when we let our guard down that our enemy gains entry and victory! Which is why we need to follow the admonishment of Ephesians 4:27, “And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin…” (AMP). And the devil is always looking to gain an opportunity, which is why we have to be watchful AT ALL TIMES!

Let’s be honest, truth is, you might be flying perilously close to that web right now by the relationships, or the relationship you’re getting into, by listening to what you’re listening to, or watching things that glamorize or trivialize, or “humorize” sin. By the thoughts you’re dwelling on. By the websites you go to, maybe you’re falling for some of Satan’s most successful web lies, “Hey, just this once.” “Don’t you deserve this?” “You know, so many others are doing it.” “Would God allow it so close to you if He didn’t want you to be near it” “It won’t hurt.” “No one will know.” Or better yet, in the words of Scripture: “The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?” The Woman said to the serpent, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’” The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.” When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it—she’d know everything!—she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate. Immediately the two of them did “see what’s really going on”—saw themselves naked! They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves.” (Genesis 3:1-8 MSG).

Amazing how much trouble one little conversation with the devil can get you into! They went from everything to nothing, by messing with the serpent! And it didn’t just impact their lives alone, but the lives of every succeeding generation! Don’t let the same thing happen to you!

Don’t fall for those lies. They’ve destroyed so many people already!

Remember, once you touch the web, he can do what he wants with you. That’s the danger of allowing the wrong people access into your life! Remember Ephesians, “…don’t even give the devil the opportunity…” which means in our simple day-to-day vocabulary: Don’t wait until the second phone call; the third text; the fourth picture; the fifth wink; the sixth let’s just grab some coffee; the seventh facebook inbox; the eighth Instagram like under your 45 week old picture; the ninth I was just checking on you; or the tenth that color looks good on you! NO! At the FIRST sign nip it in the bud and shut it down, before it bites you in the behind and shuts you down permanently!

What people fail to realize is that you don’t always recover from a mistake or a willful decision to sin! Some lose their marriages, children, jobs, friends, careers, and ministries and never get them back! Forgiven does not mean you get to press restart with absolutely no consequences. Which is why you should always pay attention to what you’ll lose forever by what you gained for a moment.

Interesting enough, while I was in that garden I actually saw another spider and a grasshopper that landed just below his web. The spider didn’t even move. He couldn’t touch that grasshopper if the grasshopper didn’t touch the web. You render Satan powerless against you in the same way. That’s why God said, “Be self-controlled.” “Be alert.” “Resist him.” Or in the words of James 4:7, “So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.” (AMP). In a nutshell, Submit to God and Resist the Devil! That word “resist” is defined as “to withstand the action or effect of; to refrain from.” Its Latin Origin “resistere”, from “sistere” literally means “to stop.” Which means no blame game, no excuses, no reasoning’s, no justification. Simply, when the devil presents you an opportunity, stop him dead in his tracks through submission to God and resistance to him! Remember: “Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. THE TEMPTATION TO GIVE IN TO EVIL COMES FROM US AND ONLY US. WE HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT THE LEERING, SEDUCING FLARE-UP OF OUR OWN LUST. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.” (James 1:13-15 MSG). Which is why we ought to also remember: “Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way: “I’ll live in them, move into them; I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good,” says God. “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me.” The Word of the Master, God.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 MSG).

If you don’t play around the sticky threads of sin and temptation, the one who wants to devour you cannot even touch you. You have done what the Bible says. You have resisted the one who would devour you.

Listen, you been flying pretty close to the Devil’s web lately, too close might I add? Therefore, would you accept this as not just me talking, but a loving warning from God, “Touch the web and you will pay a price you never could have imagined.” When sin looks good, remember that death on a sticky web. The destroyer is waiting to wrap you up and make you his. But in Jesus’ power, you can get away. But you need to do it now while you still can.

God and the Kingdom have need of you…Alive! You have gifts, ministry, calling and anointing to fulfill. You can’t hang out with the destroyer and meet divine destiny at the same time. So today is your day to choose Whom you will serve? Tomorrow is not promised, and someone who thought they had another day realized that last night was their LAST night. Don’t straddle the fence any longer. No more compromise, only conviction to stay on the right side of God’s Law. Spiders will continue to make webs, but grasshoppers don’t have to keep entering them. Likewise, the devil will always make you demonic offers that look like angelic opportunities. However, you don’t have to be fooled, nor do you have to accept. Remember the Word of God: “…we don’t want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief – we’re not oblivious to his sly ways.” (2 Corinthians 2:11 MSG). Don’t let the devils sly ways trap you in his sticky web!

Many mice have died because they were so focused on the cheese that they under-estimated the trap! Don’t let it happen to you! I have gone through a lot of rubbish in the last few days that I have seen how tricky the devil can be.

Don’t Get Caught In The Web! I repeat dont fall for it.

1. MAKE YOUR PRAYER LIFE INTENSE. A Prayerless Christian is a Powerless Christian.  Ephesians 6:18 tells us to keep.. praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Philippians 4:6-7 also says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:17 states clearly that we should " Pray without ceasing." When you pray you communicate with God.

Live with the consciousness of the presence of God's Spirit with you at all times. Talk to him as your friend. Dont just talk and talk, Take time and Listen.

2. BE A STUDENT OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.

Feed your mind with the Bible and educational materials that are in accordance to the word of God. (There are many false teachings and Heretics out there , so be carefull too. Always weigh every text with the Scriptures)

Hebrews 4:12  says "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

Another scripture that encourages us in this direction is Romans 10:17 which says "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." 2 Timothy 3:16 also says "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete and equipped in every good work"

3. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MINDED BELIEVERS AND FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST.
There are many people that claim to be Christians, profess to be Christians and are fast to proclaim his name. It is important to note that most of these people are nothing but religious cultists. Surround yourself with true disciples of Jesus Christ that are Born Again,enjoying the benefits of grace and following the ordinance of the Christian Lifestyle as stated in the scriptures.

I must say that due to the numerous abuse in church today, many of you have been abused, dissappointed and driven out of church by RELIGION. I do not blame you but consider this; WILL YOU STOP GOING TO THE GYM BECAUSE OF ALL THE "OUT OF SHAPE PEOPLE" you see in there ?. That is the same way the church is. Find a Local assembly, a church family and connect yourself there. No Christian is a lone ranger. That is not the ordinance of the scripture. You need a Spiritual Guide. God has planted local assemblies with Leaders that will guide you into all truth as the Holy Spirit uses them. Hebrews 10:25 clearly warns us about this. "Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."

DO NOT NEGLECT REGULAR FELLOWSHIP WITH BELIEVERS ! get a Church family.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 also says "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing."

Here are some scriptures to also consider.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Hebrews 10:24 "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,

Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

1 John 1:3 "That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. "

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— Ephesians 6:10-18

Never Forget, You are in the Refiner's Hands !!

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Jay Ikwan, Snr
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