Last night’s 59th annual Grammy® Awards shifted into a mini worship service when the winner for Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap Album, Chance the Rapper, took the stage with Kirk Franklin and Tamela Mann (both winners of the evening).
“How great is our God, sing with me, how great is our God!”
Kicked off with Chris Tomlin’s anthem, “How Great is our God”, the collaboration on Chance’s single, How Great, exploded on stage with full orchestra and choir. But, what was the real stand-out feature of the performance for me?
The genius lyrics.
“Devil will win employee of the
month by the dozen / Til one score and three years from the third when he doesn’t…”
While Internet prophets and rap interpreters reason together on the meaning of those “bars”, let’s talk a little bit about how the devil wins Employee of the Month.
Is he really winning? And if yes, did you play a part? Where are we not showing up – dressed, trained, and ready for the game?
The Wins We Often Forfeit
Did you know that the enemy needs your permission, your cooperation to come out on top – day-to-day, month-to-month (“by the dozen”)? Know that greater is He, Jesus Christ, who lives in us (1 John 4:4), and we are children of an unbeatable, undefeated God.
And if that’s not enough, as the body of Christ, our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3), and there are no surprise attacks by the enemy that aren’t first vetted by the Father (Job 1:12).
Still, this Christian life takes work. Following Jesus Christ is not for punks.
While we are training and developing discipline in prayer, fasting, time spent with God, the devil and his team are on the prowl hard at work trying to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8).
You do realize that there are no coffee breaks in the fight of faith, right? There are no vacation days from serving God. Likewise, do you think the devil and company take smoke breaks (no pun), saying, “We’ll give the church a break this week, we won’t bother them.”
So, what role do we play when it seems like the enemy is winning? As we work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12), where are the holes in our performance, quality, timeliness – whereas the devil is on his game? In what situations do we drop the ball for the devil to steal and make a slam dunk?
Here are 3 areas in our lives to watch and avoid the embarrassment of giving the enemy the win.
1. Avoiding Responsibility
“The dog ate my homework” was barely cute in grade school. In the body of Christ, “the devil made me do it” – not taking ownership and responsibility for our actions places the enemy in a false position of power. How many times have we gone to God, like Adam (Genesis 3:12), and attempted to place blame on others for our own decisions?
Take your power back – even in your mistakes, Team! When we confess “I did it”, God is faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9). Own your lessons and learn from them. Only then, will you grow stronger and be able to help others overcome the devil by your testimony (Revelation 12:11).
2. Believing the Lies
Like all worthy opponents, the devil talks trash. He knows your weaknesses. The enemy knows what buttons to push. And, throughout the day, he strategically drops hints – thoughts and imaginations in your head that are in direct opposition to what God thinks and says about us.
Don’t believe the lies! When you do, you adopt the mindset of the enemy in agreement with his words. And, if the devil’s mind is made up to “devour” you, you’ll soon find yourself sharpening his teeth for the meal…and you’re the main course!
Counter every lie like our Coach has taught us – with every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
3. Living All Faith, No Action
Talk is cheap, Team. Same goes for “faith” talk. Do you have a good faith “talk game”, but no action? Are you riddled with apathy, and allergic to action?
So many in the body of Christ today are infected with dead faith. Our friends or co-workers are living defeated lives, but we’re afraid to share Jesus Christ. People are suffering from real poverty and social injustice, and we simply offer “I’ll be praying for you” or “God is in control.”
The devil is not afraid of your action-less faith. Show the enemy your works. Do something! Back up the scriptures you quote with a life of action that aligns with good works.
So, What’s the Play Call?
Honor God in excellence.
Whatever you say or do, do it for God’s glory in the name of the Lord (Colossians 3:17). With God’s glory as your constant focus, the spirit of excellence (not perfection) will guide you on the path to growth and strength to overcome the enemy every time.