Posts Tagged ‘Satan’

hope-hand

I am not sure if it’s just me, or is there a significant amount of difficulty, adversity and even downright despair in what I see around me right now? Life does tend to be ebb and flow most of the time whereby good and bad problems drift into our lives and then subside (yes, I believe there are good problems, like having so much work you don’t know where to put it all). But in my worldview, I see despair in both friends and family where there should be joy.

I believe that despair is one of Satan’s most powerful weapon because if he hits you at just the right moment, you literally feel no hope…or in other words, you feel despair. Do you remember when you were a kid and you wrestled with your siblings or your Dad and there was always the time when everyone “piled on” leaving the one on the bottom to scream in pain? That’s what Satan does when you are struggling with anything…he piles on driving you into despair.

Did you know that despair is the complete loss or absence of hope? I find that definition interesting because as a child of God, there is always hope…am I correct?

But yet honestly, who hasn’t felt despair even as a child of God? I think we all have, which tells me a couple things:

  1. Satan is alive and well on this earth and seeks to kick your butt anytime he can.
  2. How much are you actually trusting God during this difficult time?

Now, I completely understand that despair is an internal battle for control over what you are feeling inside. Satan is pouring every possible bad thing he can onto you and God is looking to you to reach out to Him and just hang on. That unseen battle is real and I know many of you have felt it before.

despair

I have a very good Christian friend right now in the midst of this type of despair. He is at that time in his life where his Mother requires an assisted living facility to help with her care but she doesn’t want to go and his fear is that she gets there, she will die. My friend is agonizing over this decision and it’s driving him into a bad place in his life. He feels there is no hope.

As is always true in this blog, I have a couple of verses I want to share with you and then some simple knowledge to pass your way. The first scripture is from Paul who frankly, lived a very hard life once he became a follower of Christ…NOT an easy one. Please note that this verse is clear about life…that he may have been down, but he was not crushed, or in despair. In other words, life is hard…but when you hang onto God, you can get through it.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed

(2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV)

Secondly, here is word from my favorite Bible character, David.

May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you

(Psalms 25:21 NIV)

Simply put guys, despair is a bad place to be and it will take God to get you out of it. That means no only prayer on your own part, but prayers from family and friends. As mentioned, you are in a battle and Satan wants to be victorious over you. He knows that beating you will have the trickle down effect on both your wife and children. In other words, everyone will be miserable. THAT IS HIS GOAL…and you need to recognize that.

I challenge all of you today to hang onto God and to trust in Him for hope. If you recall the story of David, he was near death to many times to count, but as the verse above states, “his hope was in God”. He recognized that without Him, despair would soon come.

I further challenge you today to claim Gods hope for your own life and climb out of the depths of despair. I understand that right now, these may be just words to you, but know that GODS WORD DOES NOT RETURN VOID.

Cling to Christ and what His Word says and He will cling to you…

Until next time guys…

 

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Hope-2-570x3791

Very near 3 years ago, I wrote this post based upon what I sensed and felt going on in the world at that time; sadness and destruction. As I listen and watch the world news over the last few days, with all of the horrific death and destruction in France, Belgium and the Middle East, I once again seek God for the very same thing…hope.

I cannot provide anyone with the reasons why all of this is happening other than simply the Bible talking about “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4, John 12:31, 1 John 5:19) prowling around seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8) those who don’t resist him. Believe me my friends, NOW IS THE TIME TO RESIST HIM. Don’t give up but rather look to Him for your hope.

God’s word is clear…”I will never leave you or forsake (forget) you” (Joshua 1:5)

So here again, are my 5 reasons we can have HOPE right now…

By its very nature, the word hope concerns the future, our future. However, I am not referring to a simple hope such as, “I wish I had a nicer car or bigger house”, but rather I am talking about Biblical hope, which is very different. Biblical hope consists of an assurance inside your heart or better yet, a firm confidence about future things because of Gods promises and His revelation to us. Guys, real Biblical hope in Christ Jesus is something that is never failing when you place your trust in Him. In fact Paul tells us in Romans 15:13;

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In other words, Biblical hope is inseparably linked with a firm faith in Him. They go hand-in-hand with one another. As a result, what is yielded is a confident trust in God that is unshakable when the adversity of life hits you like a wave….(Like right now).

So with all of the chaos our world is throwing at you every single day, I wanted to give you some actual reasons why you can still have faith and HOPE that things are going to still be alright…So here are my 5 reasons for all of us to have HOPE right now…

  1. God is still on the throne – He hasn’t gone anywhere. He is still alive and at work in our world. I know it is very easy to look at what happens in this world and say God is dead or may he is just sleeping because I have heard that before. But I assure you He is alive and well and knows exactly what is happening on this earth.
  2. With man, things are impossible…but with God, ALL things are possible (Mark 10:27) It is so very easy to just give up and give in to all of the adversity that is constantly thrown in our direction because we simply forget Gods promises. Bottom line, God has NO limitations. His ways are NOT our ways and therefore he will not react or think as we do…our response needs to be to simply ask, to trust, and to hope in Him.
  3. You Are Not Alone – As we are told in Joshua 1:5, He will never leave us nor forsake us and I’ve come to realize that me trying to understand the why’s of this world is NOT my job. My job is to completely trust in Him…even though I don’t understand. LET GOD DO THE HEAVY LIFTING. Do you remember the story of Peter when he got out of the boat and started walking on the water to meet Jesus? (Matthew 14:29-30) He was actually walking on water until he took his eyes off of Christ and then what happened? He started sinking fast…and what was his reaction? He cried, “Lord save me!” which is exactly what we are supposed to do…
  4. All of what you are going through right now is only temporary – Weeping may last for the night…but joy comes in the morning (Psalms 30:5). It is easy to “get caught up” with what we SEE. But I am here to remind you that Jesus has prepared a place for all of us IN HEAVEN (John 14:2) and this place we see around us, will all pass away. It is only temporary. Heaven is eternal.
  5. I know how this story ends – All of the difficulty and adversity we face every day sometimes can be overwhelming. In fact, it may seem like the bad guy in this world may be winning. But let me assure you with an overwhelming confidence. Have you ever read Revelation? Because I know who wins in the end. You and I will be victorius.

But you MUST STAY THE COURSE. Don’t give up. Have faith and put your trust in Him and He will give you reason to HOPE…

 

Until next time guys…

thoughts

Are you one of those guys who just absolutely LOVE’S competition? Over the years, I have found that I am a guy who turn’s pretty much everything I do into a contest…and I really can’t help it…I think it might actually be in my DNA because I so enjoy the thrill of competing or engaging an opponent. Whether it’s shooting dirty clothes into the clothes hamper with my son, throwing darts, or playing a competitive sport, I relish my opportunities to compete and be challenged.

That got me thinking about how we men have challenges beyond the physical that involve battles for our thought life. As strange as that sounds, have you ever considered that inside your mind is a war zone and there is a constant competition for who is going to win the battle over what you think about?

Think about that statement for a second…

Inside your head, there is a battle going on where good and evil compete literally every second of your day as to who will gain control.

Now, if you think I am over exaggerating this issue, I have the Bible to back me up. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Paul tells us that it’s our job to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”.

In other words, we are expected to be in control over what we think and if we have a thought that isn’t “Godly” we are to limit it and make it obedient to Christ.

Now, I may have lost some of you already because what I am saying is very difficult to do…even if we WANT to do it. If you are a guy reading this blog who walks with God then you already know that we are bombarded with images and situations that cause everyone of us to think thoughts that are NOT Godly…

By the way, in case you didn’t know this already, that IS Satan’s plan. You see the way to your heart is through your MIND and if he can gain control over what you think about, then he has you…that is why Paul said this 2000 years ago because he knew even then, that one way Satan would attack men…was through our thoughts.

Hey Guys…know this… there is a way to gain victory over your thoughts but like everything else we do, we have to work at it and most of all, be consistent. Its just like working out in the gym…when we skip a few days, its far easier to just keep on skipping until we never go at all…it takes a consistent routine, day in and day out, to make the physical progress as well as overcoming the mental part of just going in the first place.

Overcoming our thought life is exactly the same; it takes a constant effort on your part to gain victory. In this case though, we cannot skip days…we must be consistent each day and put on our armor knowing full well we are in a battle against and enemy who seeks to destroy us…

I put together 4 steps necessary to control your thought life to help you for the future.

  1. It takes Fortitude. Just like your Coach used to tell you, “you got to want it”. If you are sitting on the edge as to whether or not you want to control your thought life, then you have already lost.
  1. Be Consistent. Each day give your thoughts over to Him and then work to be conscious of what you are thinking about. Some of us allow our thoughts to drift off into what ever and that is a wide open door for Satan to walk through. Paul even tells us in 1st Corinthians that he “dies daily” to Christ, which simply means he hits the reset button everyday before he went to work.
  1. Hit the Reset button everyday. Paul even tells us in 1st Corinthians that he “dies daily” to Christ, which simply means he hits the reset button everyday before he went to work. We are going to fail…we just need to know that we can reset each day and begin anew…clean, fresh and sinless in Gods eyes.
  1. It takes a Team. Sometimes, and I know this is hard for men to do…but if we have a buddy that we can talk to during our weak moments…that just may be the difference between success and failure.

Guys, let me end this post this way. Please understand that even if you work to apply what I have said today, you are still going to mess up now and then.

HEAR MY WORDS!

 Do NOT give up. Keep fighting on. God Forgives and He FORGETS.

 Just because you screw up does not mean it is game over. Life happens and things don’t always go the way we want them to. In those times, we have to seek God even more.

 And He will extend His grace and forgiveness to you. You can count on that.

 You CAN do this…

 Until next time guys…

guard-your-heart

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

When was the last time someone told you to guard your heart? Has anyone ever told you that before like maybe Mom or Dad? On the outside, guarding ones heart does seem like an odd thing to say, but from a Christian perspective, it makes all the sense in the world.

But I always do find it interesting when I find scriptures that reference exact circumstances I’m in now or see others going through and I realize that God was way ahead of all of us when He gave us this Word of His. Where else will you find instruction about guarding your heart? Who else but God would have cared enough about us to give us instructions as to how to do this in the first place? You see, if you look at the Bible as just a storybook, and I have met many who do, you are missing Gods point. His intent with scripture was to provide us a road map to use while on this journey called life. It is up to us and it’s our choice as to whether or not to use it…

So if we get back to this scripture above about guarding your hearts, and we look at it transparently and think about the FACT that…Satan only wants your heart and nothing else. Because when he gets that, HE HAS YOU.

Do you believe that? When Satan breaks through your heart barrier, it takes a superhuman effort to resist him and when was the last time any of us met a super human? That’s because they don’t exist. The reality is, the only way you or me can only hope to resist Satan’s attack on our heart is with Gods help. Our job is to seek God and everything else just works out according to His will. It really is that SIMPLE.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

What I am telling you is simply this…

Be aware of who and what you give your heart to…

Guard it safely as God has asked us to do…

Don’t be ignorant of what I have told you…

Until next time guys…

1_peter_5.8-9_nkjv_wallpaper

I wanted to start this New Year off by going on the offensive against our common enemy…Satan. All of us are preparing on this last weekend of the holiday to head back to our regular routines…whatever that means for you, however before you take that first step this coming Monday in January, I wanted to remind you guys of the power that exists within you as believers in Christ and that when faced with life’s difficulties, we can wield this power and achieve results. I have used the verse below before in this blog but from my vantage point, it never gets old and frankly continually cuts when it needs to. So as you begin your New Year for both you and your family, I remind you to always remember to resist the evil one…

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:8-11 NASB

This is one of those very powerful “get your attention” verses in the Bible put there to remind all of us that we are not at a country club in this life. It is an unseen war for your soul and Satan is the General in charge who is looking to beat you at all costs and he does not care who gets in his way because the more destruction he can release on you and everyone you care about…the better. Bodies in his wake are a victory for him.

Guys, I would like to point out the obvious for you…simply by using the word “resist” in the verse above God is telling us that we have the power to resist. Life is not a game of Russian roulette where we know eventually someone is going to get it and we just hope the bullet is NOT in the chamber when its our turn. Just because Satan is out there prowling around looking for you doesn’t mean he will win. My point is that your life is NOT already LOST. It is NOT inevitable that Satan is going to gain victory. In Christ, you have the power to tell Satan to “take a walk, I am NOT interested in what you are peddling today.”

Were you even aware that you could resist him?

I will tell you something else, when you wield the power that His word tells us we have because of Christ, did you know then that Satan is no longer a lion but rather more like a kitten? He can’t devour you, or affect you, or beat you, when you resist him in strong faith. When you deny him access to your personal vulnerabilities by telling him to take a hike, Satan is powerless.

What I don’t want you to hear me say however is not to be aware or be on the alert. Satan still knows your weakest areas where you are most likely to be vulnerable and those are the specific spots he will target in your life. He is not dumb. He knows where to stick the temptation and when and to NOT be prepared for that to happen is your fault not Gods.

Here is my bottom line…

You must RESIST and because of Christ…you have the power to…

Happy New Year…

 

Until next time guys…

 

Sin-archery

All of us have had friends or even family that chose to go a different way other than Christianity and for those people in our lives, we continue to pray that they will someday soon, see the light that is waiting for them…In today’s post, I want you to focus on that choice they made and why they made it? Here is what I mean; what was so attractive about sin that made them change their course in life and move towards it, rather than Christ? Now you say, “they didn’t choose sin, they chose (insert choice here)” In reality though, if you did not choose Christ, then you did choose sin. Here is why I think that way…

I have titled today’s post Sins Destructive Purpose because I wanted you to have a better understanding through symbolism, of what sin is and what sin does…

What Sin is:

Sin is dark, Sin is thick, and Sin is dense

In my real life, I work with ink in the printing world and there we have what we call regular black ink we use all the time, but we also have something called dense black for specific applications. Dense black is filled with an over abundance of black pigment to make it ultra black and highly opaque. You cannot see through dense black and therefore, light cannot pass through. One more point, if you get dense black on your hands, it doesn’t clean off…it take several times of cleaning to lose the severe stain it leaves.

Please understand me that sin is the same way, it’s filled with the darkness of the worst kind and it has a disgusting ability to stick to us. In fact, it’s like dense black like I mentioned above, because even when just a small amount gets on you, sin just doesn’t come off.

Sin has an Odor

Without being completely disgusting, you can think of the worst experience you have ever had that involves smell…road kill, skunk, changing a diaper…the smell of sin is far beyond our ability to imagine. It infects, permeates and overwhelms an environment like nothing else. Sin is a “senses overwhelming” experience…that CANNOT be hidden. If sin is near, and you are tuned into its presence as a Christian, it cannot hide. However, believe this or not, the stink of sin is attractive at some point…otherwise why would so many people go that way?

 

What Sin does:

Sin is Alive

Sin is a disease that understands you…and you are a fool if you think otherwise…sin is driven to destroy. Sin only purpose is destruction. Satan is behind sin…he controls its desire to seek, to hunt and to attack and YOU are in his cross hairs. When you move, it moves. When you think…it stops to wait to see what you are going to do…then it reacts. Sin is the ultimate in negative interactivity…

Guys, After reading the above, you probably feel like you need to take a shower but I felt impressed today to share the reality of what sin really is so you are prepared for defense. The bottom line is right now, you have the same sin like I described above, in you or on you and if you don’t do something about it, well, I think you know what ultimately will happen.

Let me briefly share with you about an experience that Christ had and how it moved him when he encountered sin. There is story in the New Testament about a friend of Christ that was ill and then died shortly after that. His name was Lazarus. Jesus was in another city and when he got word of his friends illness, he delayed another two days before leaving (you will have to read the story to understand why he did this) but when Jesus did arrive, he encountered a great deal of sad and weeping people that leads us to the verse I want to share with you:

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. John 11:33

In this instance, why was Jesus so deeply moved in spirit and troubled? After looking into this further, I found that Jesus was grieved and angered by all the misery resulting from sin, Satan and death.

The anguish He saw around him saddened him greatly, but it actually made Him angry even more. Jesus hates sin for all of the reasons I showed you above because of what it does to you and me…He hates sin. And guess what? He wants you to hate sin as well…Look at Hebrews 1:9;

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

I am not going to leave you hanging though…sin can be defeated through the redeeming power of what Christ did on the cross. All of the nastiness I described above can be wiped away by simply submitting to the Christ’s plan for you and most importantly, asking for forgiveness…

Today’s title was Sins Destructive Purpose; which means, God has a plan for you, but so does Satan and for any of us to think otherwise is certain death. Guys, I care about you enough to be truthful to you and to share what I think is important for you in your own spiritual lives. Satan seeks to devour and God seeks to save…is sin really that attractive when you know what happens in the end of life’s story?

You get to make the choice…

I choose to eternal life…what say you?

 

Until next time guys.

 

 

resolveSometimes I find myself sometimes frustrated with people who struggle with making what I call “simple decisions”. Have you ever been in a line behind someone who can’t decide what kind of coffee they would like or whether to use paper or plastic bags? I often wonder how indecisive people make it through life when basic decisions seem to elude them. Now please don’t misunderstand me, I am not picking on anyone here, I am just very different about things like that.

With that said, I have found the same to be true when people choose religion or a god based upon that lifestyle. For some, they pick gods that are very similar to themselves in that there are very few rules or guardrails to worry about which means they can do what they want…no real decisions or commitments to make but the best part is, they can opt out at any time.

Other people go down a completely opposite path where they decide to commit totally and give up huge portions of their time and money to stay connected to their god. Some even commit their families and give up personal opportunities all in the name of religion…On this side, opting out is far more difficult.

Now again, please don’t misunderstand me here, I am just trying to point out the vast differences between how and what my observations are when I watch people and the great differences in what I would call resolve.

In the dictionary it says about resolve:

To come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something): I have 

resolved that I shall live to the full.

Resolve is a strong word in my mind because it connects directly to making a decision and being determined to stay the course. When it comes to becoming a Christian, it takes great resolve to make that first step and move forward in young faith and I admire the ones that do. Many times however, like other things in our lives, the “new” can wear off and frankly, that is where your resolve comes in. Only because I have been a Christian for many years do I see this more in my own life. Honestly, sometimes I have to “make up my mind” that will not deviate from the path I am on even though it may be tiring or NOT the path of least resistance. I have determined for my own life that I am choosing God and where He takes me I do not know…but I do know that on this journey, I will not stop holding onto Him. Determined. Resolve. Anchor.

Have you made up your mind to do something and then resolved to stick with it until theI-resolve end? Maybe your marriage is on rocky ground but you are resolved to continue to work things out? Maybe your job stinks but you are determined to bloom right where you are? Sometimes we choose “resolve” in these areas because we don’t think there is any other way but to be truthful, there is. We can also choose to change or even improve these areas with effort…but when it comes to your God…it takes all the resolve you can muster…why? Because God has never promised an easy road for you or me. Your road as a Christian will probably be a rocky one not because you are a Christian, but because you have CHOSEN to be a Christian. Because of your choice, that puts you in a different category in the eyes of Satan. It will take all of your resolve to stay committed…because you are under attack.

Remember this for your dose of encouragement:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

The purpose of this post is NOT to convince you to have resolve in your journey but to encourage you to KEEP your resolve. Guys…make your choice and then move on…be consistent, push forward, and know that God will not leave you hanging out there alone…He will be right there at your side honoring your resolve to serve Him.

Guys, today I encourage you to make serving God your resolve.

Make your choice…

Stay determined…

Live for Him…

 

Until next time guys…