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Joy in Victory

Do you remember the old Road Runner cartoon where the happy-go-lucky little bird speeds through the desert, oblivious to the fact that his arch-enemy, "Wile E. Coyote," is hot on his trail? "Wiley" created elaborate schemes, complete with complex engineering diagrams, in order to catch his unsuspecting prey and enjoy a "fast food" feast- yet always ending in failure. Did you ever find yourself yelling at the TV?... "No, Wiley, don't go into that tunnel!" or "That tiny umbrella will NOT protect you from that falling boulder!" But Wiley never gave up.

Although the Road Runner had a general awareness of Wiley's presence, he didn't pay much attention to him. He simply stayed consistent in his regular routine as a fast and faithful fowl. As a result, the Road Runner enjoyed a fun, fulfilling life and remained virtually immune to his enemy's deeds to devour him.

So where am I going with this? It's quite simple and extremely encouraging. We need to be aware that we have an enemy, namely Satan, who seeks to devour us. But we need not place much focus on him. As we focus on Jesus and faithfully run our race in relationship with Him, we're safe. We don't have to go looking for demons around every bend in the road. God's will is for us to live in perfect peace, not panicked paranoia. That doesn't mean we will never go through a difficult experience, but when we're in relationship with Jesus, we have a divine protective covering to shield us from being taken out by the enemy's attacks. We must be well aware that there are spiritual battles raging all around us, coming against our children, our marriages, our society, etc. The Apostle Paul made it clear that our real battle is "not against flesh and blood, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12). In the same context he challenges us to "Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles [or "Wileys!"] of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11 NKJV).

So the coyote chases little Road Runner into the dark tunnel and you hear a head-on collision "BANG!" then you see Wiley's little body flattened against the front of a freight train, and guess whose driving the train making the joyful noise, "Meep-meep?"...exactly. With the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us, we will enjoy a fulfilling life of victory over the enemy. We are "Armed and Anchored"...we're armed for any battle we might face, because we're anchored in Jesus!

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God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
- James1:12 NLT
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Dear God, sometimes my "testing" season seems so long. Please give me courage to endure until the end. Help me not to bail! You said you would bless me for hanging in there - I will not give up on you or your promises. You are with me and will see me through this trial.