Tag Archives: Satan

How to be Sagacious in a Topsy Turvy World

bible study 2tim3Genesis 3 -5  Have you a constant struggle with the adversary Satan?  It may be 2019 and our new year like newly fallen snow looks beautiful but if you look beneath you will see all of the dirt and grime that is hidden from sight. Truthfully, today like any other day is just like that dirt and grime and with ups and downs which began so very long ago all because our first parents were not being sagacious (prudent, discerning) before the serpent or as we might call him, the Devil and the devil he is!  Jesus told us that we are to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. Believer, the wisdom that the serpent has may seem mind-boggling but is not omniscient because it lacks the fear of God. It is as James tells us earthly, natural, demonic. It seeks to glorify self, not God and to deny the penalty for self-gain and self-aggrandizement. Satan has one goal: to take back what he thought was rightfully his because deep down he believes the bumper sticker: “The one with the most toys wins.” His first encounter with these newly created beings of man and woman was with great shrewdness:  “Is it really true?” causing Eve to doubt. James warns us of this when he said: “he who doubts is like the wave of the sea blown and tossed about with the wind.”

Every day we face the seeds planted in that garden. But not all is lost for God’s grace and mercy provided the redemption that Adam and Eve needed and He does the same for us as well. He does that because He is not willing any should perish but all come to repentance.

Are you facing what seems a constant struggle?

Do you have your armor on? Go read Ephesians 6 about the armor if you have no idea what that means. 

Start the new year right by meditating on the Word of God and hiding it in your heart so you are ready to give an answer to the adversary. He may question but God’s Word has the answers!

 

Let All Heaven Rejoice!

Rev 12 let all heaven rejoice (1)Revelation 12  Throughout the centuries wars have been fought, land claimed, peoples subjugated and the trophies displayed. The Jewish nation has faced more anti-Semitism than many other people groups.  Satan is the author of the fiercest pogroms and holocaust deprivation yet unlike other people groups which are lost to history, the Jews have not only survived but thrived. Yet, the powerful aggressive Satan, that has accused all who choose to believe God from Genesis 3:15, will one day meet his demise—but we aren’t there yet in John’s book.

Instead, John reveals to us the ultimate battle scene in heaven between Michael and the Dragon. Michael finally has the permission to throw the Dragon, the Serpent, a.ka. the Devil out of heaven and there is a sigh of relief. But even though there is no longer the presence of the Accuser in heaven, he is reigning on earth seeking whom he can devour and destroy because he is filled with terrible anger.

Between the battle in heaven and the drama unleashed on earth, we join with the Hallelujah chorus praising God for His salvation and power. Let all heaven rejoice!

Fleming Rutledge writes:

“Throughout the Psalms, it is continually repeated: God is the One who saves, the One who is powerful to deliver. God alone can make right what is wrong. God alone can overcome death and the demons.”

[ Advent; The Once & Future Coming of Jesus Christ; William Erdmans Publishing Co. 2018; pg 162]

 

Mo Matter What, Who, When, Why, How or Where…God Can Be Trusted!

bible2a“No Matter What, Who, When, Why, Where, How…”

Are you are a believer in Christ? Then you need to read and reread the book of Job because you need to know the God you serve and His and your adversary. This is not just a well I will but it is a book that YOU MUST devour until you understand each and every character’s profile but mostly your own and God’s!

Beloved, when you are faced with afflictions and situations that seem ‘out of character’ you will be like Job asking the proverbial question: WHY?  As you wander the book of Job you will unearth this question more than once. Job’s friends have been saying he has sin in his life.  Yet Job has been saying to his friends God Knows All. Job 31: 4 “Does he not see my ways and count all my steps?” God cannot, nor will He ever lie. That is why he can trust God.  Although he has been through the fire and continues to feel the heat, one thing he knows is this: God knows all and therefore no matter how bad life has become and how despondent he is over this strange set of circumstances he will not walk away from his belief that God is God and He knows the reason; this is true EVEN IF WE OR JOB NEVER DOES!

Job knows this about God: He cannot, nor will He ever lie. That is why he can trust God.  Although he has been through the fire and continues to feel the heat, one thing he knows is this: God knows all and therefore no matter how bad life has become and how despondent he is over this strange set of circumstances he will not walk away from his belief that God is God and He knows the reason; this is true EVEN IF WE OR JOB NEVER DOES!

If we fail here, Satan wins.  

God has, as one author noted, “locked himself in” to consistently adhere to the laws He has established and that is why we can trust Him. He cannot lie, change, break a promise or allow his power to be stopped. His word cannot be broken, annulled, and he cannot sin. All of these are true about God and that is what Job is clinging to even as he wonders what all of this is about. We too face these same dilemmas.

James reminds us that when we are in a trial to ask for wisdom and that is what Job is doing. This is where the rubber meets the road and we must decide: will I trust God or not. Ask yourself: Has God been faithful in the past? Then you can trust that he be faithful now and as well in the future.  If we can say yea and amen to this we can know for certain that at some point in time God will end our suffering, our pain or our dilemma. And if perhaps we need to know, He will also reveal its purpose. May you be encouraged to know that as Job wondered you may as well. But, even in his wondering, he still trusted God. You can as well.

 

 

Tick Tock….

clock-christmas-mug2Revelation 16 “Tick Tock….”

‘You are just—the one who is and who was, the Holy One—because you have passed these judgments, they got what they deserved.’ Does God take pleasure in this? NO! The answer is found from the pen of Ezekiel: “Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked, declares the sovereign Lord? Do I not prefer that he turn from his wicked conduct and live?” [Ezek 18] and from the pen of Peter: God ‘is being patient toward you because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.’ [2Peter 3]

The truth is this: what you sow you reap. Satan has sown his seeds of the “deadly d’s” and now God has set his sickle to him and his tares and with righteous judgment they will be reaped to destruction. Satan’s heart was defiant from the beginning and now God’s patience has run its course. God’s sacred history and His plan are unveiled that we might know and be challenged to repent and live righteously. He has immersed us into the lives of the 7 churches that we might know God’s standards of righteousness and be warned of the consequences if we do not. God has opened his book that we might see how much He hates unrighteousness as we should as well.

It is darkest before the dawn but Christmas is coming and the Holy One, the Ancient of Days’ clock will have sounded its last tock forever and we hear the bells resound: “It is finished!” and so it will be.

All Scripture is taken from the FREE online Bible Study tool of Bible.org ministries.

“Bait and Switch”

2cor-4-bait-and-switch2

We have all been approached by salesmen who say you have to take advantage of this deal today because tomorrow it will be gone. Beware, these are very persuasive people!  These were and are today the enemies we face. In Corinth there were those who sought to use these tactics to show Paul in the worst light possible. But God’s ways are not men’s. Truth will shine above the lies even though temporarily it may seem the other way around. As then it is true today, our true enemy is Satan and his goal is to dupe the unsuspecting, to deceive through any means possible. He targets those along the path of life who are seeking truth but often when the gospel is presented he comes and snatches it away lest they see the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Just as Paul, we too might be the target of the unscrupulous who seek to paint us in unflattering colors. This is not new for even the religious leaders tried this tactic with Christ. The truth of the matter is this: their temporal gain is their eternal loss.

So what do we do in situations like this? Take a lesson from Christ and Paul. Let your light shine through your earthen vessel for it is the light that dispels the darkness. If you are persecuted or knocked down remember this, Jesus will use this to present the gospel so that some will see and be converted while others will hear “you are without excuse.”

Precious One, do not despair, for your suffering is producing an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. This is temporary but what cannot be seen is eternal.

The Original War Room

mark 14 war room2 A recent movie reveals the spiritual battle that all believers face, but the original War Room was in Heaven and played out on the screen of the Garden of Gethsemane. The screenplay revealed the tool of temptation, the submission of our Savior and the power of prayer.

Only Luke reveals to us what took place just after the Last Supper on the way to the Garden. The prophecy of Zechariah would be fulfilled but Jesus revealed that  a battle for the disciples had already been waged in the heavenlies between Satan and God just as it had been for Job. “Simon, Simon, pay attention! Satan has demanded to have you all, to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.”

What was it that Satan wanted? He wanted to prove that Simon’s faith was chaff, not wheat. He would fall for the temptation. That is why Jesus implored the disciples three times: “Stay, Pray, Watch” for the “enemy is prowling about seeking whom he can devour.”[1Pet 5]  Satan’s three weapons are; “Steal, Kill, Destroy”—BUT Jesus had prayed. Satan’s weapons are not flesh and blood but spiritual forces of evil. Prayer is our weapon.

The disciples did stay. The disciples slept not prayed. They failed to watch and thus when the accuser, Judas, arrived they were caught off guard. Satan stole their confidence, killed their words, and destroyed their weak faith—-But Jesus prayed.

Jesus is imploring us: “Stay, Pray, Watch.” What are we doing? Are we prepared?

Evangelism vs Counter-evangelism

acts 14 horse battle2It seems that no matter where we turn we are faced with the false lies of the enemy of our souls.  Satan is not only a master deceiver but he is a master at distraction. Just as Jesus said, he will plant tares among the wheat and therefore, we should not be surprised when we come face to face with them as Paul and Barnabas did in Iconium.

Even though Paul and Barnabas were Holy Spirit anointed sent missionaries, they still came face to face with the dichotomy of the false vs the true. When this occurs in your life, what do you do? Take a lesson from them: they spoke courageously with reliance upon the Lord. They relied upon Him for their words and the power behind the words. They testified to His grace trusting that God was hearing and answering this same prayer: Acts 4:29 “Lord, pay attention to their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your message with great courage”

We are often are surprised when others misunderstand the gospel message. Don’t be. Just remember, our God is greater and nothing is impossible with God’s help. When faced with the counter-evangelists, pray as the early church did; put your armor on and go forth into the battle.  horse is prepared for the day of battlebut the victory is from the Lord.” [Pro 21:31]

Fool for Satan’s Sake or Wise for Christ’s Sake?

proverbs 4 wisdom2a The author of Hebrews reminds us we must be trained by experience as we gather wisdom from those who are themselves mature, in fact, the aged, or the elder amongst us. They have learned to discern both good and evil and now are passing on that to the next generation as the psalmist said to do. [Ps 78]  Daily we are in a spiritual battle against unseen foes and need both our armor and wisdom to defeat this deadly foe. We find it in the Word of God which is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. [2Tim 3] God’s promise is sure; He is always ready to give his children wisdom.[James 1]

Solomon knew this well for that is the one gift he asked of the Lord. Two times he reminds his children, and us, that it begins when one actively listens with mind and body. Just like our heavenly Father, Solomon tells his children that they are to listen so that they may gain discernment which is being able to judge between good and evil. They are to acquire wisdom which is the supreme gift and to do that they must lay hold of his words and hide them in their hearts. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” [Ps 119]

But why is wisdom so critical? Without wisdom, we are fools for Satan’s sake. With wisdom, we are wise for Christ’s sake.

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The Villain, God, and Us

luke 22 i have prayed2In the opening verses of Job, we find the villain Satan in the presence of God as the accuser of the brethren who has been on the prowl looking for someone to devour. [1Pe 5:8]

The adversary challenged God that Job’s trials would result in falling and cursing God. But God knew his servant Job, he is “a pure and upright man, [he] fears God” Just as God knew Job, Jesus knew Peter and Jesus knows us. Unlike Job Peter was given fair warning. “Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;” The question is this: when tests come will we be like Job?

And how does the adversary work? Distraction. He distracted Job from his prayer walk.  He distracted through the disciples’ mistrust of another’s motives and arguing as to who was the greatest. In the midst of this, Jesus revealed the test and a powerful truth: The test may not be removed but “I have prayed for you, that your faith not fail.”

We are to be like Job: he never cursed God. But, if like Peter we fall we must NOT say: I have fallen; I am of no use BUT rather I have fallen, I must get up and strengthen others as Jesus said. God will use the bad to bring about good.  Beloved, cling to this: Jesus is interceding for us that our faith not fail.  It is not “if” but “when” we fall we are to turn back and strengthen others with the lessons we have learned.

 

How to Pray for the Wicked

psalm 58 59 pray boldly2aToday as we watch the news our hearts are filled with much sadness by the many atrocities around our world. But God wants us to see that it is at times like this that we must be bold in our prayers for those who are blinded by the enemy and do NOT know the truth so that they may come to the knowledge of who Jesus really is and who God is.

TRUTH: The Holy Word presents the case of the righteous vs the wicked (the ungodly) from Genesis to Revelation that we may be discerning of the ways of Satan.

TRUTH: But there is also another reason and it is so that we may confidently approach God with weeping and praying for their lost souls. We know from history that the words of Paul have come true in more than one century: “fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.” The why is clear: “the one who kills you will think he is offering service to God.” [Jn 16] because “the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God.” [2Co 4:4]

TRUTH: We must  bow before the Father and pray that their eyes of their heart be enlightened so that they may know the hope that is true and everlasting; that they may come to the knowledge of the true God; that the blindness that Satan has passed over their eyes may be removed and they see with their eyes and understand with their heart and turn to God and be healed. [John 12].

TRUTH: Beloved we are blessed to know the truth. Be bold before the Father and pray with boldness for the lost.