If you are a Christian, Satan will use every means possible to make you ineffective. There are millions of people who will not listen to the Scriptures because a Christian or a group of Christians has done something unchristlike. Satan can convince a believer to act sinfully, and therefore tarnish their testimony for Christ.
The Bible tells us Satan is roaming the earth seeking whom he can devour and that the Devil is “more subtle” than any other creature (1 Peter 5:8; Genesis 3:1). Subtle, by definition, makes Satan hard to notice, nonobvious, clever, witty, and indirect. He does not need to cause a Christian to run off with the Sunday offering or commit adultery with the deacon’s wife; he only needs to keep us from growing spiritually.
With that said, let’s talk about Sunday mornings – before church. The last thing Satan wants is for a Christian to mature. He will do what he can to plunge you into sin; to find other things to occupy your time; to make it difficult to attend church, whatever he can to stunt your spiritual growth.
Here you are a new Christian; you want to do things right; you desire to go to church, but Sunday mornings are impossible.
Sue wakes up with a 101 fever.
Tommy cannot find the shoes he has worn every day for six months.
Laundry, was done two days ago, but for some reason, your husband does not have a clean shirt.
The kids argue about who started their argument.
The car keys, which are always in the bowl by the door, are suddenly missing.
You all get out of the house, and there is a flat tire.
You and the spouse argue about some trivial thing you have never fought about before.
One and often several of these things seem to happen only on Sunday morning, and they happen every Sunday morning. Oh, you somehow make it to church, but by the time you arrive, just getting there was exhausting, and you find yourself just going through the motions. During the sermon, the problems of the day occupy your mind. When you leave, you think, “What’s the use? I want to come, but is it worth the hassle?”
A few Sundays later, the quest for Tommy’s shoes is enough for you to throw up your hands and say, “All right! I’m tired of this! We’ll just stay home.”
A week or two later, the alarm is not set; everyone stays in bed. The kids may ask why you did not go, but it only takes a few weeks for the question to stop, and no one expects to go to church on Sunday anymore.
Somewhere along the way Bible reading stops, prayer becomes the last resort instead of the first option. You are a Christian, but after years, after decades, still a babe in Christ.
Satan has won. He kept you from growing in your Christianity. You never went out and committed a heinous sin, overall, you are a good person, but you have not been faithful to God – Satan has won.
To help prevent; or to get out of this situation; when you wake up Sunday morning before you leave the bed, pray. If you are married, pray together as a couple. Ask God to keep the problems of Sunday morning at bay. Be specific, if you anticipate something, ask God to stop it before it starts. Pray for your Pastor and church. Ask God to give the minister the words to say, to speak to your heart, causing you to grow spiritually.
Take several pens and a notebook – take notes. The taking of notes will help you stay awake, and your mind centered even if the preaching is boring; it will also help you learn. Taking notes is like listening to the sermon three times. You will hear it, you will write it, and as you write it, you will read it.
When Satan stops a Christian from growing spiritually, the Christian will not experience the full joys of the Christian life. Christians are the light of the world, but far too often, we allow the covering of our flame with a bushel (Matthew 5:14-15).
As the Bible says in James 2:26, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
The work we can do for Christ is minimal if we never grow spiritually.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” – Galatians 6:9.