Posts Tagged ‘Keith Green’

Devotional Podcast #13: “To Obey Is Better than Sacrifice”

February 9, 2018

In today’s devotional, I reflect briefly on the life of Keith Green, who, along with two of his young children, died in a plane crash in 1982—doing the work of his ministry, naturally. Green’s life, as much as anyone’s, was characterized by the title of his second album, No Compromise.

As I argue in this podcast, Jesus teaches all of us to live lives of “no compromise.”

Devotional Text: Philippians 3:8-11

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Hi, this is Brent White. It’s Thursday, February 8, and this is Devotional Podcast number 13.

One of the highlights of my convalescence from the flu this past week was listening to Keith Green’s 1978 album, No Compromise. You’re listening to one song from that album that moved me deeply. It’s called “To Obey Is Better than Sacrifice.” I was reading the liner notes to the album, in which Green offered “special thanks” to various contributors to the album. To his wife, Melody, he included this poignant detail:

Special thanks to… Melody, my wife, (for encouragement, rebuking in love, and having our baby, Josiah David)

This was late 1978. In July 1982, that baby, Josiah, now three, would be dead—along with his little sister Bethany and his father. They were killed in a private plane crash—while Green was conducting business related to his ministry. Keith Green was 28. And just like that, the life of this incredibly talented singer-songwriter—a musician whose first album Bob Dylan hailed as his “all-time favorite”—was snuffed out, along with the lives of his two young children.

In the song I played on Tuesday, “Make My Life a Prayer to You,” which comes from this same album, Green sang the following:

I wanna die and let you give
Your life to me so I might live
And share the hope you gave to me
The love that set me free

Of course, when he sang those lyrics he meant that he wanted to die to his old self—the “old man” that was crucified with Christ, as Paul says in Romans 6.[1] He meant he wanted to lose his life for Christ’s sake so that he might find new, eternal, and abundant life.

In a way, his deepest desire came true in July 1982. He and his two children—and everyone else who died in that plane crash—are at this moment experiencing a kind of life that we can only dream of—a life that’s waiting for all of us who are in Christ on the other side of heaven.

C.S. Lewis once said every deathbed is a monument to a petition that wasn’t granted. What he meant was that nearly every time someone dies, there’s someone else—a family member, a friend, a spouse—praying that that person would be healed, that that person would live.

And I get his point: Unless the Second Coming happens first, God will always answer that prayer by saying “no.” As much as I love Lewis—and no one would accuse me of not loving C.S. Lewis—he doesn’t get it quite right. God only says “no” so that he can say an infinitely deeper “yes,” an eternal “yes”: “You want healing. You’ve got it.” “You want life. You’ll have it more abundantly than ever.” “You want me… Let me hold you in my arms, son… Let me hold you in my arms, daughter. You’re safe now.” This is why Paul says that we Christians “do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.”[2]

When I preach funerals these days for people who I know were believers, I often ask the congregation to imagine what that person would say to us if he or she were here with us now. And I often point out that I make a living talking God, talking about his Son Jesus, talking about his grace, his love, his glory… It’s what I do. I’m a pastor. But whatever I think I know right now about these things… [scoffs] it’s baby talk compared to what this person who now lives directly in God’s presence knows… It’s baby talk by comparison!

From my perspective, it’s so obvious what our departed loved ones would say… isn’t it? They would say, “Don’t waste your life on lesser things. Dedicate your life—give everything—sacrifice everything if necessary—to pursuing and loving and pleasing and glorifying God and following his Son Jesus wherever he leads. Be willing to say, with the apostle Paul, “For Christ’s sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”[3]

Would we follow Christ with that kind of dedication if, as with our brother Keith Green, it meant our death within a few short years?

Or do we put heroes of the faith like Green in a special category—his example is too lofty for us. But we don’t get it… There’s just one category in which all of us Christians belong. If we are Christians at all, that means we sign our death warrant; it means we carry our cross—that instrument of torture and death—even if it leads us up that hill to Golgotha—for no servant is greater than his master.

And even if it kills us—physically—we are supposed to be O.K. with that—if that’s what Jesus wants for us.

Is that too extreme? Is that asking too much? If so, maybe being a Christian isn’t for us—because Jesus asks his followers for nothing less!

Green sings: “To obey is better than sacrifice/ I want more than Sundays and Wednesday nights/ Because if you won’t come to me every day/ Don’t bother coming at all.”

I used to think, “Where’s the grace?” Isn’t that so perfectly Methodist of me… to ask that question? Where’s the grace?

How about, instead of asking, “Where’s the grace?” we sinful Christians instead ask ourselves, “Where’s the contrition? Where’s the confession of sin? Where’s the repentance? Lord Jesus, forgive me for failing to give you everything… for failing to come to you every day.”

When we confess our sins and repent, by all means, God’s grace will be there. Why should we expect it a moment before that?

Brothers and sisters, Jesus wants everything that we have. Do we believe that if we give everything, it will be worth it? If not, why not? If so, what’s stopping us?

Devotional Podcast #11: “If Grace Is Cheap, It’s Too Expensive”

February 3, 2018

How can we be confident that all of our sins—past, present, and future—are forgiven? For starters, by not being confused about justification and sanctification. That’s what this special “flu-length” episode is all about. Enjoy!

Devotional Text: Genesis 18:22-33

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Hi, this is Brent White. It’s Saturday, February 3, and this is Devotional Podcast number 11. It’s a very special flu edition of the podcast, which means it’s an extra long version. In fact, you might even say it’s a sermon-sized podcast. Lucky you! Yes, I intended to record this for Friday, per my usual schedule—but I have been wiped out with the flu since Thursday. Anyway, while my temperature is down and the headache has subsided and ibuprofen works its wonders, here we go…

You’re listening to Keith Green and a song called “Make My Life a Prayer to You,” written by his wife and frequent collaborator, Melody. This comes from Green’s 1978 album, No Compromise, which could easily be a motto for his entire ministry. He is famous for not compromising—even going so far as to give his records away for free to anyone who couldn’t afford them.

I like the line in the song, “I guess I’ll have to trust and just believe what you say.” So honest! Isn’t that the hard part of being a Christian—that it actually takes faith to believe what Jesus said. If you’re a Christian, you sometimes say, “I guess I’ll have to!”

After today’s podcast, I hope you’ll trust and believe what Jesus says about forgiveness and grace.

Years ago, I was reading theologian Phillip Cary’s excellent commentary on Jonah. In the book’s introduction, he wrote something that literally changed the way I read the Old Testament—which is to say, it changed my life. He wrote:

First of all, this is a Christian reading of the Scriptures of Israel, which Christians call the Old Testament because it contains the ancient covenant to be fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Like the whole Bible, the book of Jonah is about Christ and therefore about all those who find their life in him.[1]

Did you hear that? Like the whole Bible, the book of Jonah is about Christ and therefore about all those who find their life in him.

This was exactly opposite what I’d learned in the liberal mainline Protestant seminary I attended. I’ve blogged about this before. It’s not that I didn’t learn a lot of useful things in seminary—I did! But I was spiritually unprepared for it. I was unprepared for the spiritual warfare—by which I mean attacks by a literal Satan—that inevitably accompany one’s decision to uproot one’s life and family, to leave a relatively prosperous career, to go to an expensive school, and to devote oneself to serving the Lord as a pastor. I was a sitting duck for the devil! And it didn’t help that few if any of my professors in seminary even believed in the devil!

Regardless, it was all for the good. I was tested. I failed miserably. But emerged on the other side a much better person for it. Thank God!

Anyway, we were taught in seminary that the Old Testament—which of course shouldn’t even be called the Old Testament, because that sounds pejorative, but rather, it should be called the “Hebrew Bible”… We should call it the “Hebrew Bible” because, by doing so, we recognize that this is a book that doesn’t even belong to us Christians. At best, when we read the Hebrew Bible, we are eavesdropping on someone else’s scripture. We certainly shouldn’t read Jesus into the Old Testament. He doesn’t belong there! It’s disrespectful to our Jewish friends. Or so the propaganda said…

I hope that sounds as ridiculous to you as it does to me now.

Of course Cary is right: the whole Bible, including every book of the Old Testament, is about Jesus… Jesus and the New Testament authors certainly thought so. I shouldn’t have needed someone like Cary to tell me this, but there you are…

My point is, I can now find Jesus on nearly every page of the Old Testament! Read the rest of this entry »

“All our hidden motives are like an open book before God”

October 13, 2015

Last Sunday, I preached on Psalm 139. In his short book The Case for the Psalms, N.T. Wright describes the period in his mid-thirties when he was deeply depressed.

All kinds of anxieties and fears, which I had allowed to build up or had kept at bay with hard work and the general busyness of life, suddenly burst over my head, and I found myself sinking. ¶ One of the wise counselors who came to my rescue and helped me to work through old memories and sorrows drew me to Psalm 139. God was involved, says the psalm, from the very beginning of our mysterious conception, and he knows through and through all that has gone into  making us the people we are…

With all our modern knowledge of how human personalities are formed from the first moments in the womb, we still find human character in all its rich variety a deep and unfathomable well. Likewise, the greatest saints and theologians can only gaze in wonder at the thought that when we say the word “God,” we are talking about one who knows us through and through at all those levels and more besides. All our hidden motives and fears are like an open book before him; he knows where they came from, and he understands what they are doing to us and what we are doing with them.[1]

I like this: All our hidden motives and fears are like an open book before him. Do we experience God’s knowledge of us as a source of comfort or fear?

When I first re-read this psalm, on the other side of a crisis in my own life years ago, I found, like Wright, that the psalm’s words were a source of immense comfort. My life had gone off the rails. I felt lost. I felt stuck. I wasn’t depressed so much as deeply, inexplicably angry and wracked with guilt.

What is wrong with me? How did I arrive at this place?

What a relief to be reminded that while I was a complete mystery to myself, I wasn’t a mystery to God. In fact, from my earliest moment of life (indeed, from all eternity), God knew and understood me completely. God foresaw even the crisis that caused myself and others so much pain. It surprised me, but it didn’t surprise him. I was like one of those 120,000 Ninevites, in the Book of Jonah, who “do not know their right hand from their left.” If God took pity on them, surely he can take pity on me!

When I was tempted to wonder if God still loved me, this psalm reassured me: “You know God loved you in the past—he proved his love to you; you experienced it. When he loved you in the past, he did so with full knowledge of your future—including all the ways you’d try to sabotage it by rebelling against God’s love. Therefore, why would God stop loving you now? Nothing you’ve done has come as a surprise to him!”

I have a feeling that the late Keith Green knew how I felt when he wrote these words:

When I hear the praises start
Oh, I want to rain upon you
Blessings that will fill your heart
I see no stain upon you
Because you are my child, and you know me
To me you’re only holy—
Nothing that you’ve done remains
Only what you do for me

1. N.T. Wright, The Case for the Psalms: Why They Are Essential (New York: HarperOne, 2013), 179-182.

My eyes are dry

April 30, 2014

I heard a testimony last night at our United Methodist Men’s Club meeting from a successful local small-business owner who spends his wealth and risks his freedom—if not his very life—working to spread the gospel in China.

He described a recent experience he had at a house church in China. He was teaching Paul’s letter to the Philippians to a group of young Christians who were hungry to hear God’s Word. When he finished teaching, he said that dozens of these Christians asked him to pray with them. It made him uncomfortable, he said, because of course he didn’t have any greater access to our heavenly Father than they did. But he knelt with each person and prayed.

In each case, he said, they asked him to pray for family and friends who hadn’t yet received Christ as Savior and Lord. As they knelt on the floor and prayed, tears ran down their cheeks, falling on the floor between them. He said he felt convicted because his eyes were dry. Why were his eyes dry? he wondered.

This part-time missionary said that he has received far more from the Chinese than he has given them. And the most important gift they’ve given him is what they’ve taught him about prayer. They have a greater passion for prayer. They pray with greater urgency for the salvation of the lost.

In my better moments as a pastor, I really want lost people to be saved. Even more than I want my numbers to look good. Even more than I want to look cool. Even more than I want the praise and admiration of my parishioners, my clergy colleagues, my district superintendent, and my bishop.

But, God help me, even in my better moments, my eyes are dry.

Almighty God, break my heart with a burden for the lost. Amen.

Our best reason to be thankful

November 28, 2013

For Thanksgiving, our best reason to be thankful, as I said last Sunday. This is one of those cheesy homemade lyric videos, but at least the sound quality is excellent.

“You can’t add one thing to what’s been done for you”

August 28, 2013

Adam Ant, at 58, singing and playing his heart out in Atlanta earlier this month.

I saw a childhood hero of mine, Adam Ant, at Atlanta’s Center Stage Theater earlier this month. Ant (née Stuart Goddard), who struggled for years with bipolar disorder, is healthy again. He and his band have been touring non-stop for the past three years, and they have chops!

The reason I mention this concert is because Adam Ant is just another in a long line of childhood heroes—mostly musicians, in my case—who I thought I had outgrown at some point in my life.

In fact, over the past several years, I’ve returned as a grown-up to every band or artist I ever loved as a child, adolescent, or teenager, and you know what? I still love them: the Beatles, Paul McCartney and/or Wings, Adam Ant, Styx, Asia, Men at Work, the Police, you name it. If I ever loved them, I love them still.

The funny thing is, there was a period of time in my life when I thought I’d outgrown them. Even the Beatles! As hard as it is to imagine now, I went about 15 years without listening to this band that had been one of the most formative influences in my life, not to mention my musical development.

So, musically speaking, I’ve come back home.

I thought of this just a couple of days ago. While I was running, I was listening to Keith Green’s Ministry Years 1977-1979 on my smartphone. Years ago, I thought I had outgrown Green’s music—along with the other first-generation Christian rock bands or artists I listened to back in high school or college. Never mind that Green’s two-disc compilation Ministry Years helped see me through a very difficult freshman year in college.

I realize now, of course, that I haven’t outgrown Keith Green. In fact, having been to seminary and read and studied a lot of theology over the past nine years, I’m actually impressed that his songs are as theologically rich and orthodox as they are.

When I was running the other day, this Green song brought me to tears—the same way it did 25 years ago when I first heard it. Again, I feel like I’ve come back home. The song, written from God’s first-person perspective, challenges us to imagine how much God loves us, his children, even when we’re tempted to doubt it.

Nearly every line is perfect. I could quibble with the one in the refrain in which our Lord tells us, “To me, you’re only holy.” Well, not quite, the Wesleyan in me would say, but we’re in the process of becoming holy. And we can be confident that through the Holy Spirit we’ll get there eventually—in the resurrection if not before.

As the song reminds us, even when we fall victim to sin, we can always receive a fresh start from our merciful Savior: “Nothing that you’ve done will remain, only what you’ve done for me.”

Last year, when I blogged about Wesley Hill’s profoundly moving book about his struggle, as a homosexual, to remain faithful to Christ, I drew attention to the following grace-filled paragraph that applies to all of us sinners as we struggle to overcome sin—whatever our particular sin or sins happen to be. The words in italics represent my small changes to what Hill wrote:

Christianity’s good news provides—amply so—for the forgiveness of sins and the wiping away of guilt and the removal of any and all divine wrath through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Seen in this light, the demand that we say no to the sins we struggle with need not seem impossible. If we have failed in the past, we can receive grace—a clean slate, a fresh start. If we fail today or tomorrow in our struggle to be faithful to God’s commands, that, too, may be forgiven. Feeling that the guilt of our past sins or present failures is beyond the scope of God’s grace should never be a barrier preventing anyone from embracing the demands of the gospel. God has already anticipated our objection and extravagantly answered it with the mercy of the cross.[†]

This message of extravagant love and grace comes through in Green’s song. And it’s a message I need to hear—and then hear again!

Wesley Hill, Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010), 64.

Learning now to ride “those winged, shining and world-shaking horses”

August 19, 2013

In the last chapter of C.S. Lewis’s Miracles, Lewis faces head-on the challenge of imagining “heaven”—as in our ultimate future life on the other side of resurrection—as physical and bodily. We have many things working against us: naturalism, mysticism, Deism, Platonism—not to mention that the most exalted of our own modest spiritual experiences seems to render our own bodies beside the point.

Each of these challenges to our imagination, he says, is a symptom of the same problem: our bodies and spirits have been estranged from one another since the Fall. “Spirit and Nature have quarrelled in us; that is our disease. Nothing we can yet do enables us to imagine its complete healing.”[1]

In resurrection, however, as hard as it is to imagine, the rift between physical and spiritual will be healed. He concludes with this striking analogy of the relationship between our present and future bodies:

These small and perishable bodies we now have were given to us as ponies are given to schoolboys. We must learn to manage: not that we may be free of horses altogether but that some day we may ride bare-back, confident and rejoicing, those greater mounts, those winged, shining and world-shaking horses which perhaps even now expect us with impatience, pawing and snorting in the King’s stables. Not that the gallop would be of any value unless it were a gallop with the King; but how else—since He has retained His own charger—should we accompany Him?[2]

Twenty-five years ago, as a scientifically-minded young Christian student trying to make my way through Georgia Tech with my faith intact, I fell in love with the music of Keith Green. His Ministry Years Vol. 1  (It’s still in print! Buy it!) was in constant rotation on my portable CD player. Even then, however, I found his song “I Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven,” with its depiction of heaven so down-to-earth—so corporeal, so physical—hopelessly childish and naive.

While it’s hardly my favorite Green song, I now view my rejection of Green’s imagery as childish and naive.

Here’s a pristine-video-quality performance of the song, which according to YouTube, comes from The 700 Club. I’m guessing from around 1980.

1. C.S. Lewis, Miracles (New York: HarperOne, 1996), 259-60.

2. Ibid., 266.

Keith Green’s “No One Believes in Me Anymore”

June 6, 2013

I’ve posted this before, but here’s the song I referred to in last Sunday’s sermon. It’s by a first-generation Christian-rocker named Keith Green, who’s obviously great. It relates to our topic of Satan and spiritual warfare. Enjoy!

Sermon 06-02-13: “Devil in the Details, Part 1”

June 6, 2013

Devil In the Details_1_600

If we are Christians, we are at war. We face an Enemy who constantly works against our health and well-being, our family and friends, our success, our happiness, and—not least—the work that we do on behalf of God’s kingdom in this world. As if this struggle weren’t bad enough, many of us modern Christians also struggle to believe that the Enemy even exists. If Satan were real, wouldn’t he want to keep us in the dark about his existence? 

Sermon Text: Ephesians 6:10-17

The following is my original sermon manuscript with footnotes and graphics.

When Stephanie and I were planning out my last few worship services here in Vinebranch, she asked me, “Is there something that you’ve been wanting to preach over these past several years that you haven’t gotten to? If so, you’ve only got a few weeks left.” I said, “No. Nothing I can think of. Although there are probably several things I’d like to re-preach—preach over again—because I messed it up or didn’t do it well the first time.” Then I half-jokingly said, “How about a do-over sermon series?” Do-over! Remember those days on the playground or ball field? I call do-over on some scriptures and topics that I’ve gotten wrong or haven’t done justice to in the past. Stephanie thought that this was a great idea. In fact, she was a little over-enthusiastic about it, if you ask me! Read the rest of this entry »

The devil in the details

May 14, 2013
Say what you will about the devil, Underwood deviled ham is delicious!

Say what you will about the devil, Underwood deviled ham is delicious!

My sermon on Sunday, based on Mark 7:24-30, dealt squarely with the 800-lb. gorilla of Jesus’ seeming callousness, or chauvinism, or prejudice, or ignorance—or whatever you want to call it—in his initial response to the Syrophoenician woman who begged him to heal her daughter. Contrary to a depressingly large number of contemporary New Testament scholars and commentators, I strongly disagree that Jesus was any of those things. I cited a number of reasons why in my sermon, which I’ll post later this week.

My point today is that in discussing that particular gorilla in the room, I left a second one sitting in the corner: the illness for which this desperate mother sought Jesus’ help was an “unclean spirit,” a demon. She needed Jesus to perform an exorcism.


Understandably, we modern Christians get squeamish when we read about demonic activity in the gospels: victims of demon-possession often seem to suffer from what we would call mental illness—like, perhaps, schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder, or epilepsy. In fact, I’ve read that pre-modern people always attributed mental illness to demonic activity. Was this always a misdiagnosis? If so, did Matthew, Mark, and Luke misinterpret these many demonic episodes?

For a few years at least—while struggling to be the old-fashioned mainline Protestant that the Candler School of Theology wanted me to be—I probably thought so. I would rationalize these passages by saying that “demon-possession” was just the label that first-century people placed on the underlying illnesses that we would describe today as various kinds of mental illnesses. That they understood these miraculous healings as “exorcisms” was mistaken, but understandable. If Jesus himself also misunderstood the nature of these healings, it was only because of the “self-emptying” nature of the Incarnation: if he was fully human, he was also limited in knowledge.

(Yes, I’m aware that reinterpreting the exorcisms in this way creates at least as many problems as it solves, but I guess I was more comfortable with cognitive dissonance then.)

Oh, well… As the song says, “I was so much older then/ I’m younger than that now.”

Here are some things I believe today: I believe in Satan’s literal existence—including the existence of other fallen angelic beings who are loyal to Satan. I believe that spiritual warfare is real and that, as the apostle says, we “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). There is so much biblical support for these ideas that I hardly need to proof-text more verses for you.

As I’ve discussed before, this doesn’t mean I accept Hollywood or pop-cultural caricatures of the devil as a red guy with a pitchfork, horns, and cloven hooves—or worse. As this great Lost Dogs song asks…

I believe the church’s reluctance to embrace the reality of this demonic realm, or talk about it very much, makes us more vulnerable to attack. While we’re hardly overmatched—we have the Holy Spirit, after all—we are undertrained and under-informed. We are at war, Paul says. Are we prepared for the fight?

The early church didn’t beat around the bush when it came to demons. Even today, the baptismal liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox tradition includes a pro forma exorcism (which may jolt any Western Protestants in attendance). In fact, a pale reflection of this exorcism remains even in our United Methodist liturgy when we ask the baptismal candidate, “Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness…?”

Renouncing the “spiritual forces of wickedness” means more than renouncing “evil.” Evil could merely refer to human sin or its consequences. “Spiritual forces of wickedness,” by contrast, implies that evil has a will, a personality, a direction—that it is actively working against God’s purposes in the world and in our lives. As N.T. Wright has said, Satan’s existence means that evil is greater than the sum of its parts. Our contribution to evil through individual human sin is bad enough: Satan shapes it into something even worse. Often, we unwittingly cooperate with the devil.

How does Satan do this work in our lives and world? I’m not sure—it’s far more important to believe that he does it than to say how he does it. Nevertheless, it becomes easier to believe once we reject the simplistic post-Enlightenment idea that we live in a closed universe: physical explanations are the only ones that count, since there is nothing beyond time, space, and matter; if an event has a physical cause, then it doesn’t also have a spiritual cause. I’ve described problems with this worldview elsewhere on this blog, in relation to evolution. It applies to questions about demonic activity as well.

The Bible describes a very thin space between physical and spiritual realms. The Bible sometimes shows them overlapping—often in dreams or visions, for instance. The closeness of these two realms accords nicely with some things we already know about the “real” world. For example, modern medicine agrees that we are psychosomatic creatures: we are bodies and spirits together—hopelessly, intractably bound. We cannot separate physical health from spiritual (or mental) health—each influences the other, as we all know. So perhaps, just as I can squeeze an inflated balloon and exert pressure on the gas particles inside without directly touching these particles, so these spiritual forces can operate on the thin membrane separating the physical from the spiritual and affect us.

Again, explaining how isn’t terribly important to me. I’m only trying to show that it’s reasonable to believe that we can be influenced or harassed by demonic forces.

We don’t have to be Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” to believe in Satan.

We don't have to be like the Church Lady to believe in the devil.

We don’t have to be like the Church Lady to believe in the devil.

Personally, I’m relieved to believe in Satan again. It helps me make sense of my own struggle with sin. Not that I can say (God forbid), “The devil made me do it,” but I can see more clearly why, after so many years of practice, living a Christian life is still so hard! Among other things, we have an Enemy who is constantly working to undermine our faithfulness to Christ.

That thought alone should bring us to our knees!

Here’s a great Keith Green song from 1977 that pertains to this discussion: