Through the centuries this challenge has taken on a more complex meaning in disagreements with peoples and nations.
The Mason-Dixon Line is usually thought of as the dividing line between the North and the South in our country and symbolizes a great conflict that tore our nation apart.
The Maginot Line was a fortification built on the eastern border of France for protection from invading armies. During World War II the German army passed to the north of the line and attacked the French from the rear capturing the line.
During the Korean Conflict (War) the United Nations Security Council established the 38th Parallel as the line which North Korea was to retreat to and not enter South Korea beyond that line. North Korea ignored the resolution and invaded the South.
Spiritually speaking, we are called upon to draw lines every day.
Where do we draw the line when it comes to sin? For example, where do we draw the line when we are faced with decisions about drinking alcohol, taking habit forming drugs, or having sexual relations outside of marriage? Do we see just how close we can get to the line and then convince ourselves we will not cross over the line? Do we run with a crowd that is always pushing the line and testing us to see just how far we will go?
As Christians, we often sing the song “Have You Counted The Cost.” The first verse begins, “There is a line that is drawn by rejecting our Lord.” If we reject the Lord, we can live anyway we please and have little conflict. If we cross over the line and accept Christ, we are signaling the beginning of a battle. We will battle Satan everyday as he tries to devour us (I Peter 5:8), but our reward will be eternal victory in Jesus (I John 5:4).
Where have you drawn the line?
–by David Coleman
Recorded in Genesis 2:15, God took the man that he had formed from the dust of the ground and put him in the Garden of Eden. He told the man to tend it and keep it. In verse 16 God told the man, “Of every tree in the garden you may freely eat but of one tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat. For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” In the latter part of chapter 2 God made from the rib of man a woman, a helpmeet and a companion, and brought her unto the man.
Continuing in chapter 3 we see the first recorded appearance of Satan in the form of a serpent speaking to the woman. Satan asked the woman, “Hath God said you shall not eat of every tree in the garden?” The woman responded, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it nor shall you touch it lest you die.’” Satan knew what God had said. This was just one of his subtle approaches.
Satan, in verse 4 of the same chapter, said to the woman, “You shall not surely die.” He contradicted God’s instructions to the man. John 8:44 states that Satan is a liar and the father of lies.
Lets look at Job 1:6. “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord and Satan also came among them.” Satan is always present; he comes to make and present his cunning and crafty alternatives.
In answer to the Lord’s question, “From where do you come?” Satan answered, “From going to and fro on the earth and walking back and forth on it.” Some think Satan is in a far away place of spiritual existence waiting the sentence of eternal Hell. While he is under that condemnation, Satan has been given the freedom to roam about the earth as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1Peter 5:8).
In so many instances mankind at times has come to realize Satan will use every means at his disposal to tempt and war against God’s people and His divine word. Many have had to fight Satan as he worked through a wife, husband, friend, or relative to accomplish his purpose.
Jesus was not immune to the crafty temptations of Satan while he was on earth. Satan exempts no one from his goal to capture and conquer. May we notice Matthew 4? Satan tempted Jesus after he had fasted for 40 days and nights in the wilderness. Now, in my thinking, that period of time would have caused Jesus to become hungry. How does Satan approach Jesus? In Matthew 4:3 Satan says, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Notice the “IF” you are the Son of God. This comment from Satan struck at the very faith of Christ.
God has left you alone, forsaken you in this wilderness. Notice Satan didn’t say, “Pray to your Father that these stones become bread.” He said, “You do it, your Father has forsaken you; you can’t depend on God.” All these approaches were to tempt Jesus and accomplish Satan’s purposes.
What was Jesus’ response? He said “It is written.” Jesus used what was written in the Law. Isn’t this an excellent example of a sure way to fight the temptations of Satan? Know the Scriptures and use them when Satan comes with his disguised and deceiving strategy to tempt us. We must keep it in our mind that Satan will offer certain and pleasurable things in return for service to him. Many will forfeit their faith and commitment to Christ for the pleasures that Satan offers.
Matthew 16:26 asks, “What shall man give in exchange for his soul?” How long are we here to enjoy the pleasures in this life that Satan offers in return for serving him. Compare this earthly existence to eternity separated from God and His promises in the place of torment and blackness revealed in the Bible as Hell with the Devil and his angles. Think on these things.