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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

For the Day's, and For the Nights

     This one has been on my mind for some time, I have not written anything yet because once you read this, you may come to the same conclusion that I have, it's an incomplete thought.  But it pertains to our walks in Faith, particularly when we step out in Faith, have Faith outside the box, or blindly serve God without reservation about what we are doing.....

     First, if you are experiencing that, congratulations, and thank you for being so bold.  I try in my life to be courageous in Faith but sometimes find myself conforming to Societal Faith like most of us do.  What does that mean?  Well, when we do the bare minimum, maybe a bible study here and there, maybe a church service every other Sunday, doing just enough that we can say we are Faithful without actually serving in any capacity.  But there are some among us, myself and probably you as well, who take that giant leap like Indiana Jones did, stepping into the void trusting that it is the will of God and that he will protect us.  In our walks there can be no better feeling  than those butterflies in the stomach we get when we take that leap, and the joy of confirmation when we realize that we have served our God.

     But that is not what is on my mind, what I cannot stop thinking about is the enemy among us.  For every bit of love that God gives us and every bit of grace He shows us, satan hates us and tries desperately to take all those things granted by God.  The enemy is opposite of everything that Jesus is, he is the loud voice inside us trying to overpower the quietness of goodness and virtue.  Your success in Faith angers him, and he watches you, waiting on you to reveal a weakness that he can exploit.  So, how does he do this?  By establishing a line of communication with you, therefore forcing you to listen.  The devil has no say if you can truly be like Jesus and tell him to get behind you, and actually mean it.  The greatest lie that satan tells is that he doesn't exist, but I have always believed that he does not directly lie to you, as much as he deceives you with the truth.  For example, in Genesis 3:4-5, 'You will not surely die, the serpent said to the woman.  For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'  This is not a lie, it isn't the complete truth, and it is truth in how we want to hear it.  See, they did not die, not right then, but taking that bite cast them into a life of mortality, up until that point, they were like the angels, immortal, and their eyes were opened, they became aware of the evil that exists.  Had they known of evil before, there might not have been a conversation with the serpent in the first place.  But it wasn't her ego or curiosity that led to the fall, it was her talking to and acknowledging the serpent, whom portrayed himself as innocent as they were.  And that is what he does with us.  Have you ever considered ghosts?  What are ghosts?  Frankly, they are demons, pure and simple.  The belief in ghosts means that there is something between Heaven and hell, and it makes you consider there if there is something in between, maybe it doesn't exist at all.  The worst part about ghosts and spooks is this, what do we most often do when encountered with a spirit, we talk to it don't we?  We allow unwillingly a line of communication with the enemy.  We even get the point where we say, well it can't possibly be a demon, it looks like a little girl playing with her doll, so we feel safe, just as safe as Eve did when she approached the Tree of Knowledge. 

     So, is possession real?  Yes it is.  But not in a theatrical view like we have.  An evil spirit cannot consume your spirit unless you have willingly accepted that spirit into your body, you have like the vampire at the door, invited it in.  That is the dangerous part, once you have willingly or unwillingly established some form of communication with an evil spirit, whether you believe it to be your deceased Aunt Jenny, or whether you are actually trying to communicate with satan, he can take control of your life, directly, or indirectly.  Suddenly, after you step out in faith, nothing seems to be working for you, you get hurt, you fail at every turn, your marriage is suffering greatly, your relationship with your kids is struggling, you are in essence, being attacked by someone who wants you do be destroyed and turn away from the Father.  So that when you die, he can have you instead.  The devils worth can only be calculated by the souls he can attain from the Lord.

satan on a regular basis.  Christ endured that suffering, so how do we?  When we are approached from our blind side, which is our weaknesses, how do we avoid falling into a trap.  I would say, identify your weakness, not to expose it to the enemy, but to realize yourself how you may be tempted.  Is it money, ego, power, lust, or envy that consumes you?  We as humans make it too easy for him sometimes.  We must pray constantly that the Lord help us with our weakness, just like the alcoholic must avoid Jack Daniels, so must we avoid the things the enemy uses to control us.  Sex, drugs, and rock n roll are most commonly used to trap us, if these things make you turn away from God, you must turn away from them.  And before you say, well I am not into drugs or alcohol, consider this, envy and greed are easier sins used to control you, because we refuse to believe they are sins, or not as bad a sin as lust or addiction.

     But what else can we do?  Does Ephesians 6:10 ring a bell?  'Finally be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take a stand against the devil's schemes.'  And lets look at what the armor is, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.  Have you ever taken a look at your armor.  Everything I just listed, save one, is a defensive shield, a protectorate.  The main weapon we have against the enemy is the word of God, prayer and study of the bible.  The rest, feet of readiness, be prepared at all times for the enemy to attack you.  The belt of truth, become aware of the deceptive ways of the one who hates you.  The breastplate of righteousness, protect your heart, the place where Jesus dwells within you.  The helmet of salvation, your head is where your mind is aware of your soul that seeks eternity, keep the enemy away from your thoughts.  And finally, the shield of faith, the stronger your faith, the more likely you can ward off the flaming arrows of the evil one.  You see, just like a predator in the wild, the enemy seeks the weakest ones from the herd, and every now and again, with a legion of evil they will take down a strong one, so all are vulnerable to the enemy.

     I have experienced this many times in my life.  Every time I make a mission trip, or do something positive in my church community I can feel the attacks coming.  A friend came to me one time and said some very positive things to me out of the blue.  She said, ' I have words for you from God, He is proud that your Faith is strong, but he needs you to stand up and fight.'  This person had no idea what I was going through, at the time, she wasn't even close enough to be called a friend.  But those words shared with me I share with you.  The battle between Good and evil is perpetual and constant, the war will never end or cease because we are too tired to fight, it will go on until the End time, and until that time, we better arm ourselves and stand up and fight.  JT

It is not our job to fully understand the difference between what is Good and what is evil, we are not capable of such complex thoughts, ours is to seek Faith, righteousness, and God so that evil does not stand a chance.