Church of God, Carmichael, CA
C. W. Naylor, 1930
[Original Page Numbers]
We have already pointed out that life was not intended for us merely to have a good time, to seek pleasure and to enjoy ourselves. It is a time for building Christian character and for accomplishing things. Some people think a Christian ought to have no trouble, no conflict,, no difficulties. Some who become Christians expect to have a joyful, easy, satisfying time as Christians. There is joy in becoming a Christian. There is much inner satisfaction. There is peace, rest, victory. But the Christian life has another side. The young Christian who starts out joyfully with God's blessing upon him finds sooner or later that life will challenge him. It will take strength, courage, and determination to meet its many problems and difficulties and to conquer its enemies.
It has been said, "When we are converted we mount up with wings as eagles, then we run and are not weary, and later we must learn to walk and not faint."
We are in the midst of a great conflict. The hosts of good and evil are in deadly combat. The sound of this battle comes to our ears from every direction. Whether we will or not we are in this conflict upon one side or the other. It was said that on the battlefields of France the larks would sometimes fly up into the heavens and sing even amidst the roar of battle. Likewise the Christian  can ascend to the heights of God and sing even in this world of conflict. His song need not be quenched; his spirit need not be broken. He is in this battle and he cannot help himself; so he should be worthy soldier.
It is impossible that we be neutral. Jesus said, "He that is not for me is against me." The weight of our influence, the result of our actions, the force of our example, are on one side or the other. We must "show our colors." The cry that echoed in the camp of Israel still echoes in the world, "Who is on the Lord's side?"' Those who really are on one side yet pretend to be upon the other are hypocrites. There is a line of clear distinction, in life, spirit, and character between a true Christian and a sinner no matter how moral that sinner may be. That distinction is always clear to the eyes of God. Sometimes it may be obscured to the world but the distinction is real just the same. We are on Christ's side and with him against all evil, or we are against him.
There are some who desire to be secret Christians. In my youth I was very timid. I desired to be a Christian, yet I feared to say anything about it; so I thought I would be a Christian in my own heart and take no part in the public worship of God. This was an unsatisfactory life, but I counted myself a Christian. Later when I was brought face to face with the facts I found that I was not a Christian at all. When I truly became a Christian through the saving grace of God I was ready immediately to identify myself with the Christians of my community. I was no longer ashamed to be called a Christian.
Jesus said that if we be ashamed of him before men he shall be ashamed of us before his Father and the holy angels. A truly loyal Christian does not want anyone to think he is on the world's side. In our Civil War it was a great offense to question the loyalty of an individual. This was also true in the World War. I remember a fine Christian woman saying years ago publicly, "I do not want anyone to mistake me for a sinner." That is the spirit that ought to animate us all and that will animate us if we are vigorous, courageous Christians.
Paul speaks of the conflict being waged: "For we wrestly 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" (Eph. 6:12). The forces of evil beset every Christian. They are animated by an intense hatred of God. They cannot attack God directly; therefore they attack his children. There is a devil in the world. Verse 11 says, "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." According to this text we shall be able to stand against him no matter if he may have power and use it in a wily way. One thing is sureif we put on the armor of God and boldly face our foes the outcome of the fight will be victory for us.
Many people fear the devil. The Bible does not say to fear him. It says, "Fear not." Many people have wrong ideas of the devil. They imagine he is almost if not quite as powerful as God. They imagine that he is everywhere at the same time. In other words, that he 
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Justification, Sanctification, Unity
Carmichael, California USA
5334 Whitney Ave. Carmichael, CA. 95608
Pastor, Church Telephone (916) 482-7128