"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." -John 15:5When our eyes are fixed on Christ and when we are abiding in relationship with Him, Jesus bears fruit in our lives to the glory of God. Consequently, the enemy does not want our eyes fixed on Jesus. He does not want us abiding in relationship with Christ...
The enemy will do everything in his power to draw our eyes from Jesus. He will do everything to make us trust in our own strength. He will do everything to make us believe we are sufficient in ourselves. He will do everything to keep us from God's grace in Jesus Christ.
To accomplish the described ends I believe the enemy deploys three tactics:
First, the enemy uses insecurity, comparison, shame and worry to draw our eyes from Jesus to ourselves. If we are in any of the described states we are not trusting fully in the Gospel and our eyes are not fully fixed on our Savior: If we feel insecure we are no longer finding security in Jesus and allowing His power to be perfected in our weakness. If we are comparing ourselves we are no longer turning to Christ for our sense of worth. If we are living in shame we are no longer finding our identity in Christ's righteousness. If we are worrying about the future we are no longer resting in God's promises, trusting He will provide and work for our good in all things.
If the enemy is not feeding us lies about our inadequacy, he is feeding us lies about our sufficiency. He convinces us we do not need Jesus in our day to day lives. He convinces us we can advance the Kingdom of God in our power. He convinces us prayer is a waste of time. He convinces us we do not need to petition the Spirit of Christ to move; we can move forth in our own power. He persuades us we can produce holiness and we can break free from captivity. He tempts us to trust in our righteousness rather than Christ's.
Finally, I believe the enemy pulls us from relationship with Christ by tempting us to find satisfaction in the world. He tempts us to build broken cisterns that cannot hold water. He tempts us to believe everything is not a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ. He tempts us to trade Jesus for the fleeting pleasures and treasures of this life.
Oh Spirit fix our eyes on Jesus. We desperately need Your power. We are weak and prone to wander. We are easily deceived. Oh Jesus help us abide in relationship with You. Reveal Your surpassing greatness. Help us find satisfaction in You. Perfect Your power in our weakness. Help us decrease that You might increase! Bear fruit in our lives as we abide in relationship with You.