Faith is the key ingredient in our relationship with God, and it is written in Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 
    Now, if we cannot please God without faith, it is imperative we somehow come up with faith, right?  Thankfully, God so desires a relationship with mankind that HE furnishes us with the faith to please Him with, so that He may reward those who diligently seek Him.  Who might that be?  Well, if you are reading this, most likely YOU are seeking to know God better, and that is most pleasing unto God.  You see, most of the world is not seeking to know God, and therefore, they are missing out on the joy of a relationship with Him.  The Bible tells us there are many benefits available to those who diligently seek God.  But before we can enjoy those benefits, there is something else we need to know: we have a “blessing stealer” among us.   The devil is a thief, murderer, and destroyer, and he will do anything he can to rob us of our blessings.  He isn’t partial at all.  If you have a blessing from God, he will steal it if you aren’t standing guard over it, no matter who you are.
   It is written in Jude 1:3  Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.   Before we can contend for the faith, we must know what “contend” means.  Webster’s Dictionary defines “contend”: to fight or struggle with, to strive for: to dispute: to assert strongly.
   From what I read there, the blessings of God don’t just automatically fall upon us because we just happen to be here and we want them.  Back in the days of the early disciples, Jude warned them not to let those things slip away from them that they were once taught.  Now, two thousand years later, the Bible still speaks to us to lay hold of the faith once delivered to the Saints, and not turn loose of it, no matter what kind of pressure comes upon us.  Some people think that once they become “believers” in Christ Jesus, that their problems are over.  But the devil will see to it that your walk with Jesus will be strewn with potholes, thistles, and rocks, detours, dead end roads, and a multitude of people who will distract, dismay, and disappoint you along the way.  Among those people will be those who question why you would want a relationship with God in the first place.  After all, they don’t need God, and they’re doing just fine without Him, they have fine homes, nice cars, money in the bank, are healthy.  And if that doesn’t turn you away from God, some CHURCH people will try to tell you how poor they are, how sick they are, and how much the devil torments them.  If that doesn’t do it, the devil will try to use those of your own family and household to persuade you to forget all this “God stuff”.
   Faith means you don’t have to see it to believe it.  Faith operates on a higher plane than our physical senses do.  Faith takes what is written in the Holy Bible as “ABSOLUTE”, and you measure everything else in your life by that standard, like you would use a ruler to measure centimeters or inches.  Without a ruler, you’re just guessing how long something is, but once you have the ruler, then you can accurately measure, and there is no dispute after that.  But suppose someone came along after you used your ruler to measure something and said, No,a foot does not necessarily have to be twelve inches long.  It can be whatever you decide to call it.  Why, it can be thirty inches long if you desire, or only five inches if that’s what you want it to be.  You would know real quickly that’s a lie, because you have the ruler right there in your hand.  But the devil operates by his own rules, and they’re all contrary to God’s.
   Now, the Holy Bible is the ruler for my life, and I have no other.  One time I was working in a cabinet shop helping a friend make some cabinets for a house.  He had several rulers around the shop, and each worker had the use of one.  When we got the cabinets built and went to put them together, some of them didn’t assemble correctly.  Now, we were all seasoned carpenters, so what was the problem?  One of the rulers didn’t measure the same as the others, it was wrong!  And the person using the wrong ruler built his work according to a different standard.  He worked as skillfully as the rest of us did, but because his ruler was not in agreement with the others, the work was spoiled and had to be done over again.
   Here’s the point: the devil’s ruler doesn’t agree with God’s, plain and simple.  The devil will tell you “Any way you want to do it will work.”  Not so, for the devil is a liar.  He will make shipwreck of your faith if you let him.  For example, you know I like to teach about healing, and the Word of God says by the stripes of Jesus we are healed.  In one verse it says we “were” healed by the stripes of Jesus.  But the devil’s ruler always comes up short.  He will tell you, “Sometimes you are healed by the stripes of Jesus, sometimes not.  There are believers who die every day who are not healed.  God heals sometimes, but YOU won’t be.”
   Sound familiar?  Uh-huh, sure does.  You see, the devil is hoping you will look at your situation and measure it by his lying ruler.  He doesn’t want you to measure it by God’s Word, because he knows that you will see right through his lies and threats.  He hopes you won’t CONTEND for the faith once delivered to the disciples.  He’s hoping you’re an easy pushover who won’t oppose his stealing your health, your money, and your goods.  He’s hoping you don’t want your blessings badly enough to contend for them.  He’s hoping you’re passive, and won’t resist him.  And after all, most don’t, and that’s why they’re sick, broke, and depressed.  There’s an old saying, “Any old dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a LIVE one to swim upstream.”  The devil enjoys stealing from you and hopes to keep you as a steady customer because, well, you’re so EASY!!
   So….how about it?  Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?  Are you fed up with having month left over at the end of your money?  Are you ready to quit rolling over and letting the devil steal your blessings?  When you become desperate enough for God’s blessings to be willing to earnestly contend for them, as the disciples of old did, you will see God working in your life as never before.  You will become the devil’s worst nightmare, and it will be him trying to hide from you, and no longer the other way around.  God shall call you OVERCOMER!