Setting the enemy straight!

Keep Calm Rebuke

“Resist the Devil and he will flee.” This excerpt from James 4 seems to say that our words have power.

I never really thought about it much, but in recent days, with all of the clearly God-less things that are happening all around us; I began to ponder why we, the Church – the Body of Christ, seems impotent to deal with evil. Not that we ARE impotent, NO! we are not – but we do seem to be.

Resist the Devil and he will flee is not a call for us to tell the Devil to sit down and shut up in our own authority, yet I fear this is exactly what we tend to do.  

Our King – Jesus, who is the Christ – has all authority, and we walk in that authority.  

We’ve gotta be careful not to fool ourselves into the false truth … that it is we who have the authority. The authority; The One who sets the standards; The One one who establishes the rules; The One who wields real power – is God. Power and Authority are His! As we attempt to stand against our enemy Satan – we have to remember always that we must ask the Lord Himself to come against the enemy; we must ask God Himself to stand in against the enemy. We have to ask the Lord Himself to work within us the resistance that will make the enemy flee. Much like the disciples who could not cast out the demons on their on – we will stand powerless if we try to do it on our own!

When we experience the enemy’s attacks in our own lives or when we see his movement in the world around us it is our role to speak to the evil one in the name of our Almighty and Faithful God saying ‘Satan, stand down for our Lord will thwart your evil plans‘. It is ours to remind the enemy of who is in charge: ‘Satan, you have no authority here for the Lord Himself will judge you‘. However, be aware that in order to speak to the enemy in God’s power – we have to be connected to Him. We have to know Him, know His word, and be yielded to His will.

Reflect on your own life — are you connected to the power source?  If not, you can be assured that there is no way you can stand against the enemy.

With all of these hurtful, hate filled, sinful, wicked, arrogant, haughty things going all around us we’ve got to remember to live for Him daily – continually yielding to God’s will in our lives.  He will grant us the wisdom to call upon Him!  The witness of the lives of believers in Christ have got to illuminate the earth with the truth of the Gospel and dim the light of the enemy.  His strength that never fails!!  If Michael, the most powerful of the angels, knew that he should not take the enemy to task in his own name or in his own power – surely we understand that we too must be careful to recognize where the power lies.

I Am a Citizen of Heaven

It makes my heart heavy to see believers separated over the world’s political stances.

We, who are Christ followers, have only one King and Ruler. He’s neither Democrat nor is He Republican; He is neither Caucasian nor Black; He is neither male nor female …. He is Holy, Righteous, Unchanging! He Is All! We have pledged allegiance to Him and everything that we need comes from His hand! We are His children and citizens of His kingdom!

If we believe that we are citizens of heaven, then we should carry ourselves in a way that reflects that high honor. What does that look like? Speaking and acting like sons and daughters of the most high!

  • It looks like exhibiting love and grace and speaking His Word in a way that reflect that we KNOW it. Living in a way that reflects our contentment in all things because we KNOW that He is in control of every situation or difficulty.
  • Being overjoyed when someone comes to know and accept the truth of The Gospel.
  • Not fretting over whats happening in the world today or keeping our minds on the things of this world , but looking with hope toward His return.
  • Caring for others, especially those in the Body of Christ.
  • Extending love and grace that the world cannot understand.
  • Praying daily that His will be done AND when He carries out His will rejoicing in it whether it is what we desired or not!

We belong to Him! Let’s not let this world or the enemy make us believe something else!

Whenever the Lord says, Peace! … There’ll be Peace!

john 14 27

Senseless killings.  Abusers of children.  Victims of trafficking – both human and sex.  Violence against people because of their ethnicity.  Violence against people because of their sexual orientation.  Hate poured out in the name of a gospel that is not the gospel of Christ.  Abuse of the elderly.  Domestic violence.  Rape of women in the midst of political conflict.  Abductions. Racial hatred. It can all seem quite hopeless – it would be easy for our hearts to faint.  The night after some of this has happened, I could not sleep – I could only cry!

Master, The Tempest is Raging by Mary Baker is a song I grew up hearing in church and most of us know the first verse.   It starts off:  “Master, the tempest is raging!  The billows are tossing high!  The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness, No shelter or help is nigh”  This last week, however, the 2nd verse has really spoken to my heart:

Master with anguish of spirit, I bow in my grief today; The depths of my sad heart are troubled! Oh, waken and save, I pray! Torrents of sin and of anguish, sweep o’er my sinking soul; And I perish! I perish! Dear Master – oh, hasten and take control!

I sang this song to my Father through my tears and I am overjoyed to tell you that my tears were cleansing for me.  God used my tears to wash away my fears and fill me with His peace.  He used my tears to wash away the doubt that He is active in every situation and fill my heart with irrefutable proof that He is indeed still in control.  We humans, have a knack for hurting one another and we have a propensity for ignoring the hurts of those to whom we are not related.  But there is a God who cares — the old folk used to say “He sits high and He looks low!”  He knows all — He rules over all, works through all, and is present in all.

The refrain to that song says:

The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will. Peace, be still! Whether the wrath of the storm tossed sea, or demons or men, or whatever it be! No waters can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and skies! They all shall so sweetly obey Thy will! Peace, be still! Peace, be still! They all shall sweetly obey Thy will … Peace, peace be still!!

I am overcome with joy in knowing that in ALL that I don’t understand and in ALL that happens around me that is disconcerting – I do have a God that I can count on and this great God wants to give me His peace!  The ship may sink; the waters will surely rise but I can have peace!   I have to choose this peace – it won’t come without my believing that His word is true.  But His peace is there for me.  Yes!! I can have peace and I can be peace.  Can you fathom what it would mean for the Body of Christ to actually have our feet shod with the preparation of peace!!  The world would never be the same; we could change the world!  So — I choose His peace.  It’s there for the taking and there is plenty to go around.  I suggest you take some too!!

Victim — it’s not where God desires that I dwell

I AM NOT A VICTIM!

I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.  I’m a child of God.  I’m a branch of the One True Vine; a conduit of blessing to the world.  I’m free from the law of sin and death.  I’m accepted by Christ and am a joint heir with Him.  I am a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.  I am God’s workmanship, created for good works.  I am complete.  I am holy and beloved.  I am loved and cherished.

The craziness swirling around us right now can trick us into believing that we are victims – losers – without hope.  But the Word of God tells me that this is not so.  When I am careful to set my mind on His kingdom each day my heart will want to give and not receive; to serve and not rule over; to forgive and not avenge.  I will see the world and all its happenings as my Father in Heaven sees them and not as a person separated from His Spirit.

My feet are surely on this earth – but my mind is the mind of Christ and it must be my aim to help make this earth more like heaven.  Both my outward life and practical pursuits and my inward life and spiritual focus will reflect the image of The One True God.

It is my given role to practice the presence of God every single day no matter what!

Many people in America are being victimized right now – abuse, injustice, false accusations, and violence – but as a believer in Christ we are assured that we will overcome and that these sufferings will be glorifying to our Lord dependent upon how we endure and how we choose to walk after being mistreated.  How do you adjust your attitude?  By setting your mind on things above – including your identity according to the Lord your God! Instead of dwelling in the ‘what you see’ – choose to have a mind that dwells on our true lives which are hidden with God in Christ Jesus.

God has never misled us telling us that we’d walk on a bed of roses in this world — in fact He was quite clear in John 16 that we would have many and various trials; but just as Christ overcame by renewing His mind with the truths of the Father — So Can We!  2 Timothy 2:3-4 tell us that we are to “Suffer hardship … as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” and reminds us that “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.”

It’s alright to feel hurt and even to demand that the offender see what they have done to you.  But at the end of the day none of us will ever get the justice we want from men – it will only come from God.  If you don’t believe me have a conversation with a family whose offender was executed on death row and they’ll tell you that they expected to feel vindicated, but it did not happen.

I encourage you to give God your hurt and lean into His truths about you and you will walk victoriously! and when God gives the victory it cannot – will not – be taken away from you! His plans for you include victory – His way.

Faithful to Believe

How hard it is to stand fast in faith when the circumstances swirling around you press hard to prove to you that there is no hope? It seems that no one understands your plight. And worse, it seems that those who understand your plight, don’t care enough to bear under the weight with you. Living in this world can move you to lose heart – were it not for The One in whom our hope lies.

Difficulty is not only this virus that we ALL or facing. When you or someone you love is sick, and there is no human cure for the disease. When sadness and hopelessness overtakes your mind in depressive thoughts. When financial burdens seem insurmountable. When a besetting sin seems to gain more and more control over you day by day. When you have followed the voice of God, yet see only hardship. When those who say they love you disappoint you. All of us have faced one of these moments – or perhaps you are in one of these moments right now!

Know this – God really is a faithful God. It is hard for us to fathom sometimes that He is faithful – or even that He is good when things seem to go so very wrong. But remember that God is the God of all things – he brings both the wonderful and the dreadful.

The great theologians say create and allow are two very different terms. God certainly does not create moral evil – that comes through the willful rejection of His will by His created beings, namely us! But, whatever you are going through – know that as a child of God (one that is obedient to His will and believes upon His son Jesus, who is the Christ) it is all for the glory of God! All of it!

Psalm 34:19 is our comfort: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

No matter what, my friend, you are not desolate because The Almighty One has not forsaken you.

As for me, God is my hope. He is my only hope! More than that, I am faithful to believe that He is faithful to complete what He has started and he is faithful to accomplish His word. So – don’t fret – pray! Stand Firm! See the Salvation of the Lord! Be faithful to Believe that He Will Deliver You!