Posts Tagged With: Satan

Are You Prepared For Your Toughest Battle?

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Two armies face each other for battle. One army has guns. The other army has tanks and bombs. Which army is going to win?

We are in a battle. We’re facing the army of Satan every day. Satan’s army has all sorts of fire power ; super-natural power we mere humans cannot defend against. 1 Peter 1:24 says, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers falls.”  If we are as fragile as grass and flowers how can we possibly stand up to the forces of Satan?  The answer is in 1 Peter 1:25, “but the Word of the Lord stands forever.”

In Ephesians 6 Paul lists the pieces of the armor God has given us. Then in verse 17 he states the only weapon we need, “Take the helmet of Salvation and THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD.”

Satan has no power over the Word of God. We have a mighty sword at our disposal. Nothing Satan throws at us is a match to the Word of the Lord. By giving us the Bible, God has given us the most powerful weapon to use in our battle. Satan has no comeback, no defense against the truth found in Scripture.

However, we must be trained to use this weapon. It won’t do us any good to just have the Bible in our hands. When we go up against Satan we have to know what’s in the Bible. We cannot be ignorant. The Word of God is the ultimate weapon. It is our job to learn how to use it.

How often do you read the Bible?  Have you committed any verses to memory? All of us will be attacked by Satan at many points in our lives. Now is a good time to dig into God’s Word on a regular basis so you are prepared to fight when Satan attacks.

 

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No Fishing Allowed

014God tells us through Isaiah to, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”  Isaiah 43:18

We are all sinners ever since the Fall of Adam and Eve in the garden. No matter how hard we try we cannot be perfect. We are going to continue to sin. Once we come to Jesus Christ and accept him as Lord and Savior we begin a new life. We are not to keep looking back at the sins we’ve committed in the past. I know that’s difficult. I’ve looked back and asked myself, “If I had done a particular thing differently would the outcome have been better?”  or “I wish I hadn’t done that and I want to have a do-over.”  We can’t change the past and God doesn’t want us to waste precious time dwelling on the past.

Instead God says, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”  Isaiah 43:25

If God is not going to remember our sins why should we keep them in the forefront of our thoughts. In our new life with Jesus we are to focus on trying our hardest not to repeat those sins. We are to live as Jesus wants us to live by following His example to the best of our abilities.

I love this quote from Corrie TenBoom, “Jesus takes your sin – past, present, and future – dumps it in the ocean and puts up a sign that reads, ‘NO FISHING ALLOWED’ !”   

There is so much ahead of you in your life with Jesus. Follow Corrie TenBoom’s advice. Don’t drag up sins from the past. When you sin in the present and future go to Jesus and ask for His forgiveness. He will forgive you and remember your sin no more. If He isn’t going to dwell on your sins why should you?

Satan is the one who wants us to replay those sins over and over in our minds. God does not want us to be miserable. He wants us to learn from what we’ve done ad move on to live a better life. Don’t keep dragging the past up to the surface. Leave it in the depths where it belongs. Instead put your energy and focus on the present and future you have with Jesus, and live a new life rich in His love, mercy, and grace.

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Be Courageous

IM000377.JPG“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”   Joshua 1:9

Moses had died. Joshua was now the leader over the Israelites. They were at the brink of entering the land God promised to them. However, other people occupied those cities and battles would be fought. God told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous. . . your God will be with you.”

As we live our everyday lives we face battles which can sometimes create a strain on what we believe and know is right. Satan puts thoughts in our heads causing us to doubt decisions we make.

Writers are plagued with thoughts of insecurity, doubts, and fears. “My writing isn’t good enough.” “Why would anybody want to read what I write?”

God’s encouraging words to Joshua are encouragement to writers as well. We need to be courageous and write what we know God wants us to write. God gives us the ideas, however He is not going to put those ideas onto the paper. That’s our job and God will not abandon us as we do this work.

The devil likes to mess with our minds. Don’t let him. God told Joshua, “Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged.” He’s telling us the same thing. God would not have given us the passion to write without also giving us the strength and power to defy Satan in the process.

Be courageous. Keep writing. Don’t let the evil one convince you that your writing isn’t important. There is someone somewhere who is waiting to read what you write. God is preparing the way. Heed His command and continue on your journey.

Dear Lord who is over all things, Erase these fears and doubts from my mind. Please be my constant reminder that my writing matters to someone, even if that someone is only me. Instill in me the courage to continue my writing journey to the fulfillment of Your plan for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Thoroughly Equipped (The Sword of the Spirit)

armor-of-godAll Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2Timothy 3:16-17

No matter where you are employed there is most likely a book of policies and procedures for the company. This book is full of instructions so you know how to do your job and what the company expects.

The Bible is the book of policies and procedures for Christians. In our battle with evil the Bible is our SWORD OF THE SPIRIT. Through studying this Book we learn, by detailed instructions, how God wants us to live. Knowing this information becomes a powerful weapon equipping us with all we need to combat the devil.

The more we know the stronger THE SWORD becomes. We can rely on the promises given to us by God. Jesus Christ has already won the war and defeated Satan through His death and resurrection. The time will come when the devil will get what he deserves and will be thrown into the pit. In the meantime, we still have to deal with battles every day in this world. With the armor of God protecting us and THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT in hand we are thoroughly equipped to fight these battles.

Study the Scriptures. Learn all you can about God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The more you know the more difficult it is for Satan to win any of the battles. To be able to bring Scripture verses to mind when going through sorrow, temptations, and struggles provides inner peace and the courage to face whatever is being thrown at you.

The Word of God, our SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, is the only weapon we need in our battles with darkness. The Holy Spirit will help us remember the verses we’ve read and studied when we need them. Use THE SWORD, trust in its power and you will not be defeated.

APPLICATION: Begin the habit of reading your Bible daily. Set aside a particular time of day, each day, when you can be still to hear and read what God has to tell you. Make your SWORD OF THE SPIRIT stronger each day.

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Changed Way of Thinking (The Helmet of Salvation)

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers (and sisters) stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  I Corinthians 15:56-58

A new neighbor moves in next door. All you see are guys on motorcycles wearing black leather coming and going from the home. You start to develop an opinion about your new neighbor and it’s not a good one. A few days later you are both outside and he strikes up a conversation. You reluctantly go over and talk to him. Within a matter of minutes your opinion of him takes a 180. He really is a great guy. And all his motorcycle friends are part of the group who go to military funerals to protect the families from harassment Your way of thinking about him completely changes.

Living in today’s world we are bombarded with all sorts of temptations. It is easy to get caught up in things that aren’t good for us, but at the time look harmless. For example, there are several TV commercials about the fun to be had at a casino. Now I’m not saying to stay away from there. I am saying we need to keep our wits about us and not blow the family budget. However, for some people going to a casino starts out as fun but before they know it they are on a slippery slope to destruction. Their way of thinking turns to the worst.

Having Jesus Christ in our lives changes everything. Having the Holy Spirit as our guide helps us discern between good and bad. THE HELMET OF SALVATION given by God protects our mind from the temptations which can destroy it. Once we put on THE HELMET our way of thinking changes. We begin to see the lures of the devil for what they are – a means to destruction.

With THE HELMET OF SALVATION securely on our head we don’t lose sight of what Jesus did for us the moment we accepted Him as Lord and Savior. When we wear THE HELMET our mind can tell when something is good and when it’s a trick of Satan to draw us into something bad.

Accepting THE HELMET OF SALVATION and wearing it is a mind changing experience that will never go away. Your way of thinking about this world will be changed forever and you’ll be able to focus on the good things God has planned for you.

APPLICATION: do you need a mind adjustment? Are you struggling with a situation and you don’t know which way to turn? Seek our a trusted Christian friend or find a pastor to talk to. Let them help you put on THE HELMET OF SALVATION so your thinking will be clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You Will Be Rescued (The Shield of Faith)

armor-of-godHe will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4

All of us experience sorrow, tragedy, difficult times throughout our lives. No one is immune to these occurrences. We all have dealt or will deal with the death of loved ones. Perhaps there’s a loss of employment through no fault of our own. During the recession many of us loss money in the stock market plans which were to be our financial support when we retire.

This is not a perfect world. Bad things are going to happen. There is no way to avoid all of them. Most of the events will seem very unfair and out of our control. How do we respond?

We can wallow in self-pity. Thoughts of revenge can consume us. We can withdraw from society and loved ones. Or we can rely on THE SHIELD OF FAITH. We experience negative events because the prince of darkness is throwing around his power and influence. God is letting him have his time. However, as Christians we know that time will end and Jesus will come back to overthrow Satan and his power.

In the meantime, let God provide comfort, inner peace, and protection through THE SHIELD. He has promised to be our refuge, a place to escape when events of this world close in on us. He is faithful to His promises. The SHIELD OF FAITH is not only a reminder to have faith in God, but it is also a symbol of His faithfulness to us.

THE SHIELD is strong and solid. Nothing Satan can do will ever destroy God’s promises and faithfulness to us. He will try. We can count on that. However, we can count more on God placing THE SHIELD in front of us to divert the devil’s plans just as a mighty shield in battle diverts arrows aimed at it.

APPLICATION: As you experience rough times in life go to your Bible. Read about God’s promises to you and rely on His faithfulness to keep those promises.

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Live The Gospel (The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace)

armor-of-godEach one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. I Peter 4:10

Mother Theresa lived the Gospel every day. She used the gifts God gave her in places from which most of us would stay away. She embraced the peace and humility of Christ and was a model of His love everywhere she served. She wore the SHOES OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE.

Peter tells us in his first letter that we are to love one another, offer hospitality, and serve others. In other words we,too, are to wear the SHOES OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE.

Each of us has been given certain gifts from God which we are expected to use to His glory. We are not to feel pressured and anxious when using these gifts. Through our actions others should be able to witness the peace which can come only from God.

It rattles Satan when we keep our minds clear and maintain self-control as we are living our lives. He would much rather have us filled with anxiety and fear. His desire is for us to lose our cool when things don’t go the way we think they should. What better time for the devil to invade us.

I’m sure Mother Theresa had moments of anxiety while doing her work for God, but she did not let it take over her life. She continued bringing God’s love and peace to people who would otherwise never know Him.

Jesus demonstrated the GOSPEL OF PEACE throughout His life. He spent His time ministering to others, healing them, releasing them from demons, feeding them, even washing their feet. He maintained control and peace while using His gifts. Even when the Pharisees were trying to trick Him into saying something He could be arrested for, Jesus didn’t become anxious. He answered the questions calmly and truthfully.

The SHOES OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE are the part of the spiritual armor which keeps us free from the control of anxiety. The SHOES help us follow the example set by Jesus and exhibited by people like Mother Theresa. We can use our God-given gifts and do the work He plans for us without anxiety and worry. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the GOSPEL OF PEACE. God will provide the strength we need to use our gifts in serving others.

Keep your feet tight in the SHOES, live the GOSPEL OF PEACE and Satan won’t stand a chance of winning the battle.

APPLICATION: Pray daily asking God to give you the peace of mind and the freedom from anxiety to live out the Gospel message.

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Faith Against Great Odds (The Shield of Faith)

armor-of-god “David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied’.” I Samuel 17:45

My cousin and her husband have been missionaries in Nigeria for over twenty years. They’ve faced many dangers during this time. They have been victims of armed robbery. They deal with corrupt customs officials almost every time a shipment of supplies arrives. As they travel there is always the fear of being attacked. Yet they don’t give up. They are doing God’s work and their faith remains strong that God is taking care of them.

David was up against great odds when he opposed Goliath. David was a shepherd boy with no military experience. When facing the champion of the Philistines he had only his sling and stones. However, the greatest protection he had was THE SHIELD OF FAITH. David knew the Lord God was with him and he relied on God for the victory.

At various points in our lives we all come up against obstacles we can’t overcome by ourselves, no matter how hard we try. These obstructions usually have Satan’s name written all over them. He’s testing us to see how strong our faith really is. We must not accept defeat during these times. Instead we are to grab hold of THE SHIELD OF FAITH. This causes us to depend on God to accomplish the seemingly impossible victory. Without this faith the ploys of the prince of darkness against us cannot be crushed.

We are told in Matthew that with the faith of a mustard seed mountains can be moved. We each need to ask ourselves, “Where does my faith lie – in me or in the Lord God Almighty?”

APPLICATION: When you face a situation which appears impossible to get through check where your strength and faith lie. Are you depending on your own devices or are you turning the stumbling block over to God, having faith that He will help you overcome it?

(I also write a devotional on Thursdays for writers at http://www.thewritingshow.com )

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Strong Opposition

armor-of-god“We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you His gospel in spite of strong opposition.” IThessalonians 2:2

In the United States today Christian beliefs and morals are facing strong opposition. Prayer and the Bible were taken out of schools. The ACLU confronts at every turn. Anyone can speak their mind, but when a Christian speaks out they’re attacked. Our government has even forgotten the Christian values this country was founded on.

And we are seeing the results: increased violence in public places; children killing other children; government officials filling their pockets with no regard of the people they are supposed to be representing.

There is strong opposition to the gospel of our Lord. The SHOES OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE must be put on by every Christian in this country. By example, we need to demonstrate the peace found in Christ Jesus. We need to stand firm in the face of what Satan is doing.

Christians appear to be shying away from the battle. Therefore, the devil is getting the upper hand and turning our country away from the Lord. How long are we going to let this continue?

The battle is intensifying. Are we afraid of standing up to Satan? God has given us armor for fighting the spiritual warfare our country is experiencing. The SHOES OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE can root us in the teachings of Jesus. They give us a firm foundation from which to launch our charge.

Jesus did not use violence in the face of strong opposition. He remained peaceful, but still got the message out to the people. Today Christians can do the same. It won’t be easy, but we won’t be alone.

The Apostle Paul did not run and hide when things got rough. He preached all the more, sharing the gospel wherever he traveled.

Why are Christians today not more like Paul? There will be opposition, but with THE SHOES we can spread the gospel of peace and love through Jesus Christ everywhere we go.

The time is now. Put on the SHOES OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE and face the opposition. Then see what mighty things God can do.

APPLICATION: Are you aware of something in your community which goes against the principles of Christ’s teachings? Maybe it’s time for you and other Christians to stand up and be heard.

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The Level Path (The Breastplate of Righteousness)

“The path of the righteous is level; O upright One, You make the way of the righteous smooth. Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for You; Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”    Isaiah 26:7-8)

Cheryl likes walking along the beach and through the woods, however, she prefers to walk on level ground. When the paths are hilly and full of roots and holes it is more difficult to walk. Cheryl has to keep her eyes down, watching where her feet are going. She can’t hold her head up and enjoy the scenery for fear of stumbling.

Living our lives as God wants us to live alleviates the anxiety and worry which can plague us. Knowing what God expects of us, and then obeying Him, removes those roots and holes Satan want to put in our way. Being righteous allows us to hold our heads high and enjoy what God has provided.

If we are not following God’s ways we have to keep looking at our feet, anticipating things which can cause us to stumble and fall. The evil one loves that. He wants our lives full of obstacles which would cause us to trip. The devil wants us focused on ourselves. He prefers we watch every move we make. God, on the other hand, desires for us to stand tall, looking straight ahead, focused on His leading.

When you wear a breastplate it is difficult to bend. You’ve seen movies of Roman soldiers marching into battle. As they advance they are looking straight ahead. They’re not trying to bend over their breastplates to watch where their feet are going.

As we wear the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS we can be assured our path is level. Instead of worrying about each step and being afraid we’ll fall, we can concentrate on the battle with confidence, knowing the Lord will keep us upright. The choice before you is whether you are going to live a life in Christ and hold your head high, or not follow Him and have to watch every step you take.

Search your heart. Are you letting Satan jumble things up causing you to worry about falling or is your heart filled with the Lord leading you on a level path?

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