I was just talking to my spiritual mama and she said to me, “If the devil is in your ear you need to tell him he’s up a little bit too high because the Lord has placed him under your feet!” That might make you chuckle – but it reminded me that sometimes as Christians we are just a little to timid with our enemy, Satan. Put that joker in his place!!
Have the presence of mind at all times to encourage yourself with the truth that God will act on your behalf. Yes – Satan might seem to prevail, but don’t let that make you lose heart – have faith and be patient because God’s promise is that Satan cannot prevail against you!!
Romans 16:20 – “And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”
I’m convinced that many of us are still stuck because we have not followed his instructions and tearing our own strongholds down in the mighty power of God!
God speaks to you saying that He will give you victory over this thing; only be sure to ___________ (you fill in the blank). When the Lord speaks to our hearts and is trying to help us root out the strongholds of the enemy – we must be careful to TEAR IT ALL DOWN!! All the enemy needs is a small space to get in and make you go the way that God has forbidden; to make you disobey or doubt. Non of us are exempt — it is not easy! But it IS the way of victory.
When God tells you to leave a relationship behind; resign from a job; move to a new locale; stop listening to a certain radio program; refrain from drinking; etc.; you can’t then look at your friends and say “well, they’re still doing it!” because His commands for you are for your victory, not theirs!
As I read through the Old Testament, I am astounded by the number of times God sends people in to battle – tells them to destroy it all; and then, they don’t! It seems that there is always someone among the warriors (and often the king) who decides that destroying it all means that they can keep some loot; leave some enemy alive; leave some spring unplugged; leave a wall standing; keep at least the women and/or children, etc. Thankfully we are not being asked to slay people in these days – thank God for Jesus! But we are asked to lay waste to the works of the enemy – in fact it is for that reason that He came! (1 John 3:8)
If you want the victory that He gives (as lasting victory!) – do it His way! He is not a man that He should lie! His promises are YES and AMEN! He will accomplish His Word! Do your part — OBEY!
Bob Carlisle wrote a song back in 1996 that was made popular by Donnie McClurkin, “We Fall Down”. The song talks about a person discovering the grace of God in His failures – realizing even people of God made mistakes and the grace of God covered them and gave them a new start. We all have different testimonies – but all of us have made our share of mistakes – we have all said and done things that we later regretted and as we take a backwards look at our lives, we know it was the grace of God that kept us. As for me – I am amazed at how the Lord has kept me in spite of me! My testimony is that I faltered, but because of His grace – it was never fatal!
God does not delight in our mistakes but He delights in our desire to obey Him. Even when we falter, He sees our hearts and knows whether we are truly seeking His will or seeking to satisfy ourselves. When you desire to obey Him — when YOU desire to obey Him — when you DESIRE to obey Him — when you desire to OBEY Him; He will honor your obedience with His presence and power in your life!
Sometimes we step out in front of God; moving before we get his direction about something that seems urgent. What does stepping out in front of God look like? It looks like: getting something off our chests when we should’ve keep quiet; taking out a payday loan when we need to manage the funds we have; buying that sale item when we don’t really need to be spending; eating that last piece of pie when we know we don’t need it; getting into a relationship that we know is ungodly; compromising our morals because it seems like an easier way; etc. When we move outside of His will, we are failing to exercise our right to rely on The One who will always guide us to the best action and decision for our lives. When we fail to follow His lead – we will miss out of His best for us.
The great thing about being a Christ follower is that because we are His chosen ones – we have access to His grace. Because we have access to His grace — we always have access to a course correction. We might have to go back to the drawing board — but He will be there waiting to redirect us – to get us headed in the right direction. He knew we were going to muddle things; He knew we couldn’t keep His commandments without His intervention; He knew that we would botch even His simplest commands — so, in His great love, He sent us a Savior! He gave us unlimited access to His grace! When we mess up He has a giant eraser AND a beautiful paint canvass! How awesome is that?!
Here’s the deal — we all make mistakes; but He, in His infinite kindness towards us, will always be willing to give us a do over. We can rest assured that as we trust in Him and seek to obey Him (seek to OBEY Him!); He will honor us with His direction and His presence in our situation. Take a step back from your situation; your temptation; your stressor — He will gladly guide you in the right way allowing you to start over because it gives Him great joy to bless your life when you are leaning on His understanding and not your own.
Our mistakes do not have to be fatal errors — we really can start over! CTRL/ALT/DEL — reboot — start again.
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. (Psalms 37:23)
1 Kings 20:42 “He said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people”
God gave Israel victory and according to God’s law the enemy should have been destroyed – in allowing the king to live, Israel sinned against God.
Sometimes the things that God asks us to do are hard things. They are hard because we view them through a human lens and want to judge the actions based upon human logic. If the Lord tells us to slay a giant – we feel that this act would be inhumane – and we would, instead, want to imprison the giant. This is a truth across our lives and is truly a test of our heart’s devotion to God. When we face an issue, are we really willing to do whatever it is God demands of us? We want Him to assure our victory, but are we really willing to do whatever he demands? I am reminded of the scripture that tells us that those who love him and would follow him would ‘hate’ father, mother, sister, brother, etc. There are times in our lives when God may ask us to cut off relationships, confront sin, admonish the unfaithful and even harder tasks. He assures our victory if we would only obey his word without compromise. But our hearts and minds must be truly girded up with the full armor of God if we are to be able to stand. It is important that we remember at all times that our lives are hidden in – wrapped up in — lost in the person of Jesus Christ. If we take thought of our own desires or even the unpleasant nature of a request posed to us by the Father we are living with our minds on things of this earth. As we set our minds on God’s will and God’s way – it is imperative that we really believe that without obedience victory will not come. We must live our lives in the name of and for the sake of our King. No compromise! It is good to extend mercy – but not if God speaks against it. It is good to be gracious to our enemies – but not if God speaks against it. We must be prayerful – listening – trusting.
Father, As you lead me and guide me, may my heart be malleable, open and ready to receive your instruction. Help me to lean only on your understanding and not be tempted to bring to mind what I believe and know in the flesh. Father help me to obey completely at all times and in all situations. Help me to fight the fear of this world and this age and to embrace Your approval only. May my heart seek to obey, love and trust you with all that is within me. When you tell me to rout the enemy, please give me the courage to do so. When you tell me to extend mercy, please give me the wisdom to do so. Lead me and guide me. I will follow. Amen
Since we’ve been back from Ghana – I have felt quite independent. I can drive myself around. There are not critters everywhere that my husband or sons have to come and kill. I cook what I want to eat. I go where I want to go – when I want to go. It has been nice. Well, I went into the bathroom the other day and pulled back the shower curtain and lo & behold there was a bug! I cried out for my husband to come and kill it and he said, “There you go – I thought you forgot how to call on me!” My husband let me know that it was his pleasure to deliver me out of trouble. It reminded me of the story of Asa in 2 Chronicles 16.
Asa went his own way for victory and Hanani the seer told him in verses 7-10 “ Because you have relied on the king of Aram and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim an immense army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”
The Lord seeks to bring victory to those whose hearts truly and desperately depend upon Him alone.
It is not an easy thing to live in a state of desperate dependence. This present age teaches us to go for it; to make our own futures; to live our best lives now; to be more than the next guy; to prosper at all costs. God seeks for us to depend upon him to bring to us the future and the present that He desires for us. Our striving on this earth must be, as Paul Says in Colossians, “striving according to His power, which mightily works within me”. In other words, even in seeking to bring a good resolution to our problems, we must do so in a manner that places us in a position of humble submission before the Lord of Hosts. It is not proper that we rely on Him in our minds, but then act in the flesh to bring swift resolutions to our own issues. When we act in such manner – we disregard the victory that God has assures and set ourselves up for strife and discord. We must ask the Lord to develop within our hearts a trust that moves us to stand firm in our faith in God and in our belief that He will work the matter out for our good and for His glory. Yes we must ask the Lord because without Him granting us grace – we would not be able to trust Him at all! We might be tempted to take out a payday loan to satisfy a debt – but we will end up losing more than the original debt when we realize that our resources are not enough to satisfy the payment. We might make a deal with someone to lessen some debt that we owe – but people are rarely satisfied with the deals they make with debtors unless it leaves the other person in ruins. If, however, we stand still and rely on the Lord; being strong and courageous and not doubting our victory, according to the Word of the Lord, we not only receive victory but divine favor!
O! that we would learn to trust!
Father, we need you to grant us the grace to trust you more. I plead for myself that you will make my heart one that relies on, desires, trusts and loves you above all! Father, there are many things facing me in the days ahead and I have been feeling a bit apprehensive, but today – I commit to lay my needs at your feet. The needs are earthly, in the flesh’s realm, and you are the God of all flesh. I know that you know what I have need of. I know that only you can provide everything that I need. On the word of my own testimony, I can say that you are a faithful deliverer and provider. Help me to be strong and courageous. Gird me up, Lord, when my faith falters. I am trusting in you to see me through! I am weak – You are all powerful! You are my God, in whom I trust. I know with assuredness today that all is well! Amen