Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What the Devil...?

I have been reading a book by Joyce Meyer called In Pursuit of Peace. I don't know that I accept everything that Joyce Meyer says and stands for, but I sometimes find some good things in her books. She has written much about your mind and depression and broken hearts and peace and joy, so I have started reading some of these.

In the section I was reading last night she was talking about Satan stealing your peace. I found this interesting because I had been thinking recently that a lot of the problems and obstacles in our lives and marriage have always seemed to be to be almost Satanic attacks, by nature. I don't know how to explain that, but it seemed like things have always been coming out of the blue, so to speak. We could be on track and then something blindsides us and derails everything. But, I couldn't figure that out. We're nobody! Satan doesn't fool with those who aren't a threat to him. He messes with those that can make a difference and are strong in their faith because they can do the most damage.

She mentioned the verse in Ephesians 6:12 "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." I guess I had misunderstood that verse all these years or at least not looked at it critically. She said that the enemy is Satan, not people. We blame people and circumstances for our trouble (and I have!), but it is Satan that is the real enemy. She pointed out that Satan is a liar and not to believe his lies. God will bless your faithfulness and wants us to prosper and will bless us if we follow Him. Satan wants to keep us hopeless, he sets us up to be upset. The Bible says in Daniel that Satan wants to wear out the saints of God. Joyce Meyer said that that indicates that it will be continual trouble, not just a single attack. And she said that if Satan can't get to you directly, he will try to get at you through the people close to you.

Satan has made me hopeless. He showed me my situation and convinced me that it will never change and made me fearful, so I gave up trying. Romans 8:15 says, "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father'." Matthew 7:7-11 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" I Peter 5:7-9a "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith...." James 4:7 "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

But, how do you resist the devil? I am still pondering that, but here is a good start: Ephesians 6:10-18 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

I know this is kind of a strange blog, but it has been on my mind and I wanted to get all the bits down in coherent thought so I can cement the truth in my mind. And refer back to this later when the fear tries to come back.

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