Tag Archives: satan

The Antics of the Enemy

anticsIt’s a funny thing for me when the word of God leaps from the page and reads as if it were a Fox News account of the antics of today’s politicians. And so it was this morning as I read a few chapters from the book of Acts and the story of Paul (who I in no way am comparing to President Donald Trump) but the antics of his enemies are like yesterday’s headlines. And while the Bible is pure truth and the media is mingled greater with lies, it is my prayer that Christians unite and stand firm on the side of President Trump, who I believe has good intentions for our Nation, and his enemies are tools in the hands of Satan.

Paul vs. the Preachers & Politicians

As for the story of Paul, he preached and was willing to die for the very faith he had once murdered people for professing. That’s quite a bit more serious than the cries against Trumps sins of the past. But when Paul discovered the truth he was willing to stand up for what he had once fought against. And to put it in plain terms, people hate the truth. They’d rather believe a lie and live in either religious separation or rebellious liberal anti-law viewpoints than to allow a Nation to work together for the good and safety of its people. The religious leaders of Jerusalem didn’t care if people got saved, they were happy being in control of the people they had, and when they saw both Jew and Gentiles worshipping together, it got ugly. Paul went into Jerusalem in Chapter 21 of Acts knowing that there were Jews wanting him dead. They were not happy he had opposing views and through the power of the Holy Spirit had the ability to prove his views worthy of acceptation; and people were getting saved, both Jews and Gentiles alike. This angered the religious crowd into lying about Paul, and stirring up the crowds into a rebellious tirade. Sound familiar?  Dear Heavens! If Christians cannot see the hand of Satan in today’s political endeavors they are blind. The crowds attacked and beat Paul within an inch of his life until he was rescued and taken into custody by the law. Seriously? The law had to take religion into their own hands? Very much like it is in our day with Christians being censored everywhere!  In verse 34 of Chapter 21 it says that “And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle.”

There was so much junk being spewed that they couldn’t tell fact from fiction. Hello? I have a feeling there was indeed a modern day CNN of biblical times, stirring with a big stick! And the people cried “kill him.” But God had other plans!

God chose to use a man who was once His enemy, to bring thousands to salvation. Can God not use President Trump to bring America back into the fold of His grace? Why do you think Satan’s got that stick out continuously?

When Paul spoke it silenced the cities because the people wanted to hear what the ruckus was about. (Acts 21:40)

I’ll say one thing, Trump has America’s ear. Every word by Tweet, news briefing or rumor mill drops like a pin in the room. This man can make a difference. He’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and he has said things that I for certain disagree with. But if the people of this country (who want the change to be a nation of good moral stance, and the freedom to walk not in fear of one’s faith and the blessings of Almighty God) get behind the administration and proclaim it openly, not in secret.  We could see our nation turn around again.

God would turn Israel on a dime when they turned their hearts back to Him. He would wipe out every enemy they faced without them so much as getting a hair out of place. He’s still that God. He has not changed. But this nation has.

We need to get a bigger stick people!

Satan Loves Snow Days

SNOWDAY

I don’t know about anyone else, but as for me, I need my own cheerleader. One that would ride around on my shoulder and encourage me along the way, shouting “Go, Shari Go… You got this… Victory is yours!!!” Oh, wait a minute, I do have that cheerleader! His name is the Holy Spirit. So why is it I feel so defeated so often? Why is it that at days end I’m crawling under the covers and wanting to pull them over my head and not crawl out the next day? Probably because I’ve sat on the sidelines with Satan much of the day. It’s especially easy when I get snowed in on a church day. Oh, Satan loves snow days! I speak both literally and metaphorically. He loves it when he can cause a deep freeze to come into the soul of a saint and draw our eyes away from the things of God and onto the frustrations of life. It doesn’t take much. Trials, troubles, heartache, seclusion, cabin fever is Satan’s playground. Is that truth or what!

So how do we battle it? The best remedy I’ve found is to “do something.” Not just anything, but something spiritually productive. It sounds like a terrible idea, but cleaning the kitchen can do a soul good with praise music playing. It is no doubt opening up the Word of God that will urge you on today

James 4:7 says “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

I’m  pretty sure over the last couple of days I spent more time submitting to Satan. I’ll spend time with God as soon as I… I’ll spend time in prayer as soon as I…. Golly, I don’t feel like doing anything but sitting here by the fire… Hmm… I wonder what’s on television… I know, I’ll praise God in song… wait a minute… I haven’t played that Eagles song in ages…. Good grief!

The days haven’t been totally non-productive, I can do busy church work without Satan uttering a word. I wonder why? Because busy church work when you’re alone doesn’t save anyone. Unless of course you’re sharing the gospel via technology, but that wasn’t my case. What I was working on was good, actually had me ahead of the game on a project or two, but it wasn’t soul stirring for me or anyone else on this cold winter day. It kept my mind busy, but did little for my heart.

So today, my goal is to do something, and make sure that that something is Christ centered, soul stirring and finds me at the end of the day climbing under the covers, saying, “I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow!”

Submit – God, I’m before you today, ready for your service. Please give me direction and the fortitude to follow through. Let it not be by word only, but by deed.

Resist – Lord please remove everything in my path that takes my eyes off you. Draw my mind into your word, fill my head with Your song and my heart with Your wisdom and allow Satan no foothold in my world today. Pummel him with the gospel and cause him to flee like a school girl in a snowball fight.

Amen!

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3 High Mileage Lies

chick lie

When I think of Satan (and those in this field of work will just have to forgive me) I often think of him as a used car salesman. One of those in the polyester suit, with a cheap toupee, wreaking of cigar smoke and more gold on his fingers than a television preacher. They may not be the father of lies but they might be the grandchildren. (John 8:44) I hope my words painted the scoundrel image I was after, but the truth is Satan comes in whatever form he needs to in order to get your attention. 2 Corinthians 11:14  says “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

What light has he shined into your world lately? Every day I hear of someone buying into his cheap lies. He did not come to them in his tacky car salesman garb; no, he was dressed in the exact apparel that he knew would cause them to give him credence in their life. He’s so very good at deception.

Here are 3 (of the many) lies that he desires you to believe.

# 1 You are unworthy of forgiveness

It’s such an easy lie to buy because most of us don’t live like we should and we’re faced with those saints that just look so good! They walk it and talk it and you just know that if you followed them home their perfect life would continue as their family gathered around the dinner table in prayer, no one argued, children did their homework without being asked, all the beds were made and the dishes done promptly after dinner, followed by devotions at the hearth with Daddy and a kiss on the cheek good night. Turn that show off, it is not reality TV. But neither is the garbage on television that we have inundated our minds with as acceptable living. The fact is we’re all imperfect. Are their saints that live closer to the cross than you and I? Yes! But they struggle too, it’s just in private and in ways that Satan chooses for them. He likely tells them too that they are unworthy.

So what’s the answer? You need to take a bath every day. It’s good hygiene for the body, but its much better for the soul.

Hebrews 10:22

 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

All that dirt Satan heaped upon you today will wash away with the blood of Jesus, and through His cleansing you are worthy.

#2 You are unheard

Usually that feeling too comes from the feeling of unworthiness. We revert back to childhood in that if we were good we were rewarded, and if we were bad we were punished. So… if I’ve messed up today, God assuredly knows it and will not answer my plea for help. Praise God He is not like us!

1 John 5:14 says this: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

Perhaps we think our prayers are unheard because they were not answered as we desired. But our desires may or may not be what’s best, they usually aren’t because they’re created from our earthly viewpoint. We can have confidence, glory to God, in His will. God wants to hear your desires just as we want to hear the hopes and dreams of our children. But when your child at age five comes to you and says, “I want to be a teenage mutant ninja turtle when I grow up,” you don’t start looking for toxic waste to dip your child into. That’s not healthy. And God, Who from eternity’s standpoint we look like five year olds, hears our prayers they’re likely just as silly… and toxic! And just because our imperfect children get into trouble and let us down we still do not grow tired of listening to their petitions, and God never grows weary of listening to ours. But He too wants to be heard. You have to stay in His word to keep your confidence up.

# 3 You are untalented

This is my personal fave! I listen to Satan tell me that lie every day. And even if he comes to me in that cheap suit, wreaking of cigar, I buy it again. Satan doesn’t have any new lies, that’s why he reminds me of a used car salesman. He just keeps selling me the same lie over and over again. It certainly has high mileage!

What could God possibly do with me, my mediocre abilities and broken life?  I’m always shocked at the answer… anything He wants to. But first I have to put my hand into His and say, “Lead on Lord.” I’ve seen so many dreams and desires  come to fruition;  sometimes in the same mediocracy I gave it to God in and other times it was far beyond what my mind could have imagined. Experiencing God’s goodness first hand gives me the ability to boldly say “God can use anyone.” It’s not up for debate. There is a talent within you, and you know it. I don’t believe it when people say “I have no talent.” Usually I can already see what it is. But even if I can’t, it’s still there because God gave every one of us purpose. And that purpose is a talent within that only you can do.

Isaiah 46:9-11

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

God said to remember… He has purposed it, and He will do it. Don’t let someone else do your job, put your hand in His and say, “Lead on Lord!”

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Life on Trial

chick what

I want to say to them, “Your body is a liar.” Those people I meet who fail to see the need for God in their lives. It’s no coincidence that a bad doctor’s report comes in and all of a sudden there is a need to know and speak to God. And even then sometimes that need is overshadowed by an unwillingness to admit they are dependent upon the Creator. As if that somehow means He doesn’t exist and that they are in control. I guess it may be easier for me because I know that I need somebody else to control my world, else it will spin off its axis and go hurling around hurting people, the same way I do if God doesn’t control me, my mouth, my mind and hands. You’re probably better… Me, I a mess on a good day.

1 John 5:10 says “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.”

That Witness

The intricate functioning of the body cries out that there is a Creator. To think that we one day just were? Come on! That an explosion would create emotion and conscience in the human and a lack of conscience in critters? That we evolved into who we are today, yet monkeys are still monkeys, and dogs and cats are still arch enemies, a rodent is still disgusting and a gnat is still a gnat. And why on earth would you even want to believe that at the end of time there is nothing? Where is the hope in that; or the intelligence? But I’m pretty simple. The Witness within me cries out for the Creator! I long to be in His presence and enjoy His company; I see the evidence of Him in my life and I see the lack of Him in others.

The Liar

He’s good at his job. He tells the wealthy they are self-made, the strong they are invincible, and the powerful that they are in control of their destiny. He tells the destitute that nobody cares, the poor that poverty is deserved, and the hurt and abused that staying is better than the unknown. He convinces the sick that there is no hope or need to search for it, and the well he makes believe that their health is completely controlled by their decisions. And then his breath breathes victory at their refusal to listen to the Witness within.

The Evidence

It’s around us and within us and it’s amazing! And the day that I accepted Christ and the record of God (the Bible) as the undeniable truth, the evidence became evident. I couldn’t look at anything and not see God. Science has proven the same theory when unbiased scientist search it out. The liar screams and the stillness of God sets in the heart of a Christian and they are at peace when the whole world is chaos. Explain that without God.

Are you searching for evidence? Look in the mirror, God created you in His image and likeness, don’t you see it? Are you a child of God? You are the evidence that someone is looking for, what is your testimony saying?

But Now… that’s not My song

Chick knows

Job 35:10-15

But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night; Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven? There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the pride of evil men. Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.  Although thou sayest thou shalt not see him, yet judgment is before him; therefore trust thou in him. But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity:

So today is not about me… again. But I thought it was when I lay in bed this morning arguing with God that I was growing weary of this “but now” series. My Attention Deficit Disorder thought there was likely something shinier I needed to be looking at. Ha! God said. My Word always shines!

So last night I’m sitting at home and I get an unusual call from a fella who’s near and dear to me, but the last thing he usually wants to discuss is church; because he knows I’ll be on him like white on rice. But this time he’s on me. Sunday morning, when I was where I was, and he was where he was, he’d seen a video on one of the cable music channels. He had previously heard this song on a local radio station, but this time it had images to go with it and a purpose; and none of it was good. The song is titled “Take me to Church” and can be found on Youtube by clicking the song title. I don’t recommend it if you’re squeamish, but it was needful for he and I to see it, because God had a message for us both.

I quickly skimmed the song facts before returning my friends call to answer as to “what I thought of the song.” The song was successful in that it’s intended design was to slam Christianity. The singer, Andrew Hozier Byrne, was quoted on songfacts.com

Written in the wake of a breakup with his first girlfriend, this is both a love song and a contemplation of sin, drawing influence from the late atheist writer Christopher Hitchens. Hozier described it to The Guardian as, “a bit of a losing your religion.

I found it odd that he was quoting an atheistic view point, but capitalizes the name of God in his article, as if God were someone. Well, He is Someone. But He’s not who they characterize in the video. The song criticizes the oppression of gay people in Russia and is said by Hozier that it’s not “an attack on faith.”

Well, this seriously isn’t an attack on Hozier, because he’s not the one responsible for that song. He was a tool, and mightily used by Satan himself. The friend who called was not affectionate of gay people. As a matter of fact, you would more than likely find him either telling or laughing at a gay joke. He’s a red-blooded American boy brought up in the heart of the country. But this song struck a chord in him. The chord that it was intended to strike; the one that paints the church as a narcissistic governing body of people that preach hate.

So, I had some explaining to do. Because it is unfortunate that we are portrayed that way because of a few (by comparison to the numbers who don’t preach hate).

So back to the “But Now” scripture in Job that I whined to God about. Elihu, the “friend” of Job is he who speaks the words in scripture. He too touts to Job that it is obviously because of his wrong living that he has landed in these dire straights.

Elihu is not singing God’s song.

Neither are the religious that damn the homosexual. Because as it says in John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” And the gay person is no greater a sinner than the drunkard or the glutton, yet they are all sinners and need redemption.

God does hear vanity, and He ain’t happy

Elihu said that surely God will not hear vanity, insinuating that Job was being self-centered because of his suffering. Really, Christian folk do that? Yes! Every time we fail to hear the cry of a hurting soul because of their sin, thinking that they “brought their suffering upon themselves,” it is we who are vain and stand in the place of God, judging.

Judgment will come… on the sinner and the church folk too

As I said before, this isn’t about Hozier. He needs to know that Jesus loves him. But what Satan meant this song to do is convince him that Jesus hates him, and that’s a lie right out of the pits of Hell. Christian’s who preach hatred will have their day before God. I’m not saying they’re lost, because Christian people make bad decisions and God doesn’t throw them out of Heaven for it. But they will stand before an Almighty and Powerful God and answer as to why they drove someone away from Jesus.

But Now… God’s song is “Jesus loves me this I know.”

Click on the song link and give the Devil his due!

But Now… a little LIP service please

chick lip service

Job 16:5-7

But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief. Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased? But now he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company.

It appears that the winner of the “But Now” award would go to Job. There is still a few more “but now’s” in his book and there is no doubt in my mind that we all feel like we’re suffering the afflictions of Job in our life occasionally. Although in reality ours are likely none to compare, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. We still have issues and we still serve a God who cares as much about us as He cared about Job. Scary thought though, because look at what He allowed Job to suffer at the hands of Satan.

In these verses I can hear Job’s frustrations with everyone!

There are days when I get into a Job mode and would “like” to say, “But Now, just shut-up and  go away.” I’m tired of listening to Satan, I’m tired of listening to “negative nelliies”, I’m tired of listening to myself! I think that’s where Job had gotten to at this point. His friends had all but driven him to violence and he just wished they’d go away. But even if they went away, Job would still be there in his miseries. So what’s a fella to do?

In reading chapter 16 it’s another dissertation of doom, and Job is crying with voice and tears that he’s aged far beyond his years, he’s been forsaken by all and done nothing to deserve such agony. He has friends who are arrogant idiots  He feels as though he’s been trampled to death by giants and death will come as a relief, but he gives one last plea in verses 21-22,  “Will somebody please pray!”

O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour! When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.

Today may or may not be a “Job” kind of day for you; so you are either the prayee, or the prayer. But you’re one or the other. I think we’ll be shocked when we get to Heaven and God plays the movie reel of our life where we discover what we’ve been spared, or how we’ve been encouraged because of the petitions of a friend, or the prayer of an unknown. There are prayer warriors out there who utter the prayers of saints, they know not who, but  they know someone’s in need.

Prayer is a failed resource. I know it is in my life.  I’m the Job, I’m the crier, o woe is me! I know prayer warriors; I’ve called on them. But even that is a rarity with me because I want everyone to think I’m fine. Besides the “Dear God, I’m stupid,” theme song, my other one is “I’m fine.” It’s what I tell everyone who asks how I am because I either don’t  think they really care, or if they do really care and I don’t want them to know because I’ll then be their burden.

I may need to add a new theme song into the mix… “Are you crazy?”

Job’s friends did need to shut up and pray. It’s the one time we need to give lip service as children of God.

Listen, Intercede, Petition

Listen to what someone says.

Intercede on their behalf.

And petition God for their needs.

We’ll all need it someday, and someone will return the favor. Maybe someone you don’t even know.

Frustrator’s: the Devil’s hirelings

Most days I feel like I’m spinning my wheels, some worse than others…frustration mounts, Satan’s a liar and unfortunately I’m often a believer. Much like a comment by Apostle Paul, mine is “That which I want to get done, I don’t; that which I don’t want to do, I do.” Definitely an adlib and creative licensing but I’m sure you get the gist. My goal of working for the Kingdom seems to get thwarted at every turn. I fail (chastise myself) and move on. I fall (dust myself off) and go on. I faint (nourish myself on the Word) and begin again. So when I read the words in verse 5 of this passage, I understood their anguish…

Ezra 4:1-5

1Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the Lord God of Israel;

Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither.

But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.

Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building,

And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Israel had begun working on the temple when the Samaritans, their enemy, offered to be partners in the construction in order to obstruct the builders. When they were denied they hired “frustrators.” I had no idea that was a job description, although I personally know of a few who remain untitled as such and are likely working for free in my world. How true it is though that secular movements want to “help us” run the church by inflicting world views onto the church in order that they might frustrate the building of the Kingdom of God. Moral atrocities that in no way fit the Kingdom of God’s standards are supposed to be accepted as right and the holiness of God is to be cast aside because it discriminates against the world.

Frustrator’s are no respecter of person or position. Anyone working for the Kingdom at any level has an adversary. So you’re a housewife trying to be the best wife and mom you can be… you have your frustrators. You’re the fella or gal at work trying to live holy, share the gospel and be a witness for the cause of Christ… you have your frustrators. You are the missionary or Pastor and serve full time in the ministry… you have your frustrators. The list goes on. Anyone and everyone from the dishwasher to the doctor who has a desire to serve God has daily frustrations and things that get them off track.

This morning before my feet hit the floor I had lost focus on my design. It’s a good thing I’m not called to be perfect I’m called to be a partner. I need to do what I can do, and allow Christ to put the finishing touch on my life.  I can’t fix other broken people… I can only partner with Christ to show them my Lord. I won’t ever be the perfect wife, mother, employee or servant.

So how do we fight off the frustrators? Slowly but surely. That battle is ongoing, it’s not likely to let up, but we must keep on. Keep reading and you see that Israel did get frustrated and almost quit, but God intervened.

I pray today finds you shielded from the frustrations of life. But if not, please keep on. God is worthy.

The Art of Seduction

seducing eyes

One would think I’d be beyond seduction. After all I’m the Jesus Chick. Even as I write those words my stomach twists and turns knowing that I’m just a sinner saved by grace. I try hard to walk the talk (and fail.) I don’t want to be just another hypocritical living child of God.

I loved the funny tale of the man who wanted no part of religious, hypocritical living Christians, but at the coercing of a friend decided to go to church. He watched as the people from his small town filed into the church; one by one their sins rehearsed themselves in his mind. He listened intently to the sermon, sure he’d find discrepancies of truth, but the strangest thing happened… at some point he stopped looking at the people, and the Pastor’s words began to pierce his heart and within him he could feel his soul tremble. The Word was truth, and it had not pointed to the sins of his peers but to his own. When altar call came his heart nearly beat out of his chest as his white knuckles relinquished their grip on the pew and he made his way down the aisle. As he got up from the altar the man was amazed that God had not only saved him, but the entire church of hypocrites as well, he couldn’t spot a one!

I love that story! It’s not my own, nor do I really fit into it as my story of salvation. I was a lost sinner living a lie. I didn’t look at other “Christians” and think of them as hypocrites because I didn’t understand what Christians were supposed to be. That my friend is a sad indictment on society. I knew right from wrong, the moral sense of the law but was clueless to what a Spirit filled Christian looked like. I was seduced by Satan who had convinced me that there was no need to seek a relationship with Christ; that was for Preachers and fanatics. But then “it” happened, Shari got saved, really saved! Holy Spirit filled, call me a fanatic, I don’t care – saved! And a different type of seduction started. Satan could no longer seduce me into idleness but would rather seduce me with busyness.” Regardless of whether or not it was work, church or family related, I was still being seduced away from the relationship with Christ.

1 John 2

26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

The Anointing

God’s plan of action for every believer. Every day He has a job that only you can do, and He’s anointed you with the power to do it. Every day Satan works to get you off focus.

The Abiding

God’s place within the heart of every believer. Everyday God makes your heart His home and begins to fill it with godly possessions. And every day Satan strives to overcrowd that space with pretty pieces that serve no purpose in eternity.

The Appearing

God’s Pledge that He’s coming back for every believer. Every day God wants us to be ready for His return. To have confidence that we are okay in Him, and every day Satan removes that confidence of God’s return and replaces it with complacency.

He has seduction down to fine art. It doesn’t have to be sexy, or vile; it just has to catch your eye long enough to get you off focus. God’s eternal design was not so much for us to walk the talk as it was to walk with Him. That will speak for itself.

It may be his job… but you can send him packin’

A week filled to the brim with blessings… a new little sister in Christ,  getting to know our new Pastor & and his family, rekindled friendships, falling to sleep to sounds of children laughing and the Floridian Pastor, outside my dorm room, playing the guitar with camper Connor Boggs and singing Almost Heaven West Virginia, Country Roads, take me home… what a sweet week! But now I’m home… and happy to be so; there’s only so much fun one chick can take, and I think my husband may have missed me a little.

Satan had done his best to steal the joys of the week before, during and after camp. It’s his job and he’s really good at it!

John 10:10

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

A verse that should be written on the outside of every suitcase, vanity mirror, coffee cup,  even the toes of our shoes… upon the places we’ll look before, during and after our destination. To serve as a reminder that the joy God has set before you on your journey is on the verge of being dismantled if you allow it. The last thing he will willingly allow is for you to have a joyful time. He’s been on me like white on rice since I walked in the door of the house. Messing with my mind, placing discouraging and attempting worrisome thoughts in my mind.

I determined that I needed to:

Thwart the thief

Matthew 6:19 says – Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

He cannot steal what he does not have access to. The joys that I have experienced and that the Lord has in store for me today are laid up in Heaven. They weren’t at camp, they aren’t in my home, car or any other physical place on earth. They are in the spiritual possession of my LORD. What I can do though is allow Satan to get my eyes off of the spiritual side of the blessing and onto the tangible side. The part that moths and rust corrupt. Things break, (hearts included), plans change or fall through, personalities clash, things don’t always work out, but the blessings that God provides in abundance are those joys within our soul that Satan can’t touch!

Take captive the killer

Oh my stars! I don’t know how many times during camp Satan would try to kill the Spirit of the service, or the relationships of the kids and counselors. I spoke to the kids one morning of a vision that God had put into my mind of two wrestlers by the camp fire; the host of heaven on one side and the host of hell on the others cheering the wrestlers on as they struggled on the brink of falling into the fire. That’s what our services were like. Satan did his best, but God is better! Hallelujah!

Dismantle the destroyer

If you want to dismantle Satan’s ill intentions you’ve got to take some pieces out of play.

  • Pride’s got to go.
  • Self has got to go.
  • Your plan has got to go.
  • Your way has got to go.

Those are game pieces that Satan can manipulate on the board to his advantage. Those things take your focus off of the Lord Jesus Christ and put it on to the things of earth, where our treasures are not.

IN GOD THERE IS LIFE ABUNDANT! God is good, all the time. Even in a storm the goodness of God can be found. Stop settling for less.

Following the news of God’s abundance is the news of God’s goodness:

John 10:11

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

He has His life for us so that we could have life in abundance… don’t turn it down.

Conversations with Satan

I enjoy my long trips to work (provided it’s not on ice) because it allows me to get at least one sermon in as I start my day listening to some of my favorite preacher’s pod casts. But there are occasions that I like to ride in silence. Sometime I pray or converse with God… but before you put me up on some pedestal I’m bound fall off of and break a hip let me tell you what generally happens. I start thinking about life’s circumstances, some good… some bad. And then Satan begin to chime into the conversation.

“So, you thought you nailed that meeting, huh… well you didn’t…. Those same people in your space again, judging you, and you failed… it’s no wonder…you can’t even keep the kitchen clean, and the laundry, what’s up with that? Every other woman can do it, you’re an epic fail…

Okay, whatever Satan. I need to think of something else, he’s got my number on that one… Easter’s coming up. I need a new dress…

Yep, but you don’t need a new size… hahahahah….

Okay bad idea… Teen camp planning. That’s safe. I need to get the curriculum out to the counselors, and get someone to do the activities, gee, I hope Nan will cook….

Let’s discuss last years camp…

And that’s within the first five miles of the trip. Silence is not always golden. Sometimes it’s stainless steel (cold and unbending).

It shouldn’t surprise me that I’m a target, he knows Christ is living in me and nothing brings him greater joy than to mess with Jesus’ house. Although it did not work with Christ when he used the same tactics:

Matthew 4:1-11 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

He waits on those vulnerable moments that are evident. I don’t believe Satan is all knowing, only God has that power, but I believe through he and his crew of fallen angels they can hone in on what they see as breaks in the armor. Be cautious of what you verbalize or make visual, and if there’s a crack in the armor fill it with the Word of God.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Temptations come in all forms and most likely it’s the things we’re looking at. I’m a very expressional person. You can read my feelings on my face including those things I desire. How very easy  I make it for Satan to understand what my heart wants that perhaps I should not have; to buy, do or say something that I should not and put my life or my testimony at risk. And the conversation starts… We need to learn to recognize the temptation and speak the word of God over it.

Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Stuff… I’m all about it. And Satan knows it. He knows if he can convince me it’s a justifiable purchase I’m in like flinn, and then once I’m in… he’s the first to jump on the criticizing band wagon and start railing on me for wasting money. There’s no pleasing the guy! Jesus’ focus was back on glory and the fact that only God fulfills the desires of the heart, not things.

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him

Satan finally bugged out of that battle field, but he was far from gone. His focus was no longer on tormenting the Son of God personally but using the only thing he could… us. But the good news is we have the same weapons Jesus used, we just need to remember to pull them out of our arsenal. Before you go into the world today, make sure you’re packin’… the Word!