Tag Archives: Satan

In The Midst of It All

Psalm 23

The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

23 1-3 God, my shepherd!
    I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
    you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
    you let me catch my breath
    and send me in the right direction.

4 Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure.

5 You serve me a six-course dinner
    right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
    my cup brims with blessing.

6 Your beauty and love chase after me
    every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
    for the rest of my life.

heleads

 

I could read the 23rd Psalm over and over again and never grow tired of hearing the promises of God in it.  I love the way The Message Bible says it in such plain English.  Reread it a couple of times to yourself and begin to see what God is showing to you.  Do you see stress?  Do you feel like you have to do anything strenuous?  Did you think that God was angry at all with you?  None of these things are present here.

 

It is as if He is the play writer and is setting the stage for a magnificent performance.  He leads.  He guides.  He provides.  He blesses.  He protects.  He promotes.   In these verses you feel safe.  So….why do we not take this approach to everyday of our life?  If we fully trust in God then this should be our daily prayer.  Everyday we should look for the meadow and the still water.  Every day we should receive the overflowing cup and the prepared meal.  How have we gotten such a warped picture of Who God really is?

 

I don’t have everyone’s answers but this is mine.  Doubt.  Ya know how Jesus says it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed to move a mountain?  Well if this is true then how much doubt do we need to disbelieve the things of God….a mustard seed or less…  Satan prowls the earth like a roaring lion seeking to destroy lives and snare God’s people and surely this is what took my vision of the meadow and the still waters.  At some point something probably really tiny threw me in the wrong direction and I stopped believing.

 

How sneaky of the devil, who by the way, has no power over those who are in Christ. Begin today to read the 23rd Psalm until you believe it.  Don’t just recite it, make it personal to you.  See that God is talking about you and you alone.  Begin to find the faith to say, God is my leader.  God is my provider.  God is my Shepard.  God prepares a place for me.  I think that in a very short time doubt will leave you.  You will start to see God for Who is really is, a loving Father who goes before you in all that you do.

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Unthawed

Romans 15:7-13

So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it! Jesus, staying true to God’s purposes, reached out in a special way to the Jewish insiders so that the old ancestral promises would come true for them. As a result, the non-Jewish outsiders have been able to experience mercy and to show appreciation to God. Just think of all the Scriptures that will come true in what we do! For instance: Then I’ll join outsiders in a hymn-sing; I’ll sing to your name! And this one: Outsiders and insiders, rejoice together! And again: People of all nations, celebrate God! All colors and races, give hearty praise! And Isaiah’s word: There’s the root of our ancestor Jesse, breaking through the earth and growing tree tall, Tall enough for everyone everywhere to see and take hope! Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!
frozen2
Ever have someone tell you that you are not living up to your full potential?  How did that make you feel?  Did you feel threatened?  Did you lose whatever peace you had?  Maybe you felt frozen in place with no escape in view.  Perhaps this caused you to break down or go inward.  Maybe for some, it made you step out of your iceberg and do something different to change your circumstances.
Sometimes I used to look at my life through a window wishing I could change my circumstances.  I stood there staring into the promise of tomorrow yet I felt the door was forever frozen and I would never escape from this life I had made for myself.  I stood there not pitying myself but feeling satisfied somehow.  How deceived Satan had me.  I felt as weak as a snowflake that was trapped under an avalanche.
I am not sure what caused me to finally open that door, or at least try.  I guess I had had enough at some point and I was going to get my hope of a new tomorrow.  I assure it was not easy to break through the frozen tundra standing between me and peace, however with God all things truly are possible.  As I began to take one step at a time into the frozen atmosphere my spirit began to stir and come back to life.  Suddenly I felt the sun on my face.  Soon I could feel again.  Then in what seems now like a blink of an eye, I was free, roaming in warm climate once again.
What do you need to be unthawed from?  What hold does Satan have on your life?  Are you frozen in time?  Are you looking out that window seeking release?  All I can tell you do is close your eyes and take the hand of God.  Trust that He has a good and perfect plan for your life.  Begin one step at a time to become unthawed.  Surrender whatever it is to God and watch Him blink His eye and remove you from the situation.

Trapped or Deceived?

A Future in God ] So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.” 1 Peter 1:13MSG

trapped

Do you ever wonder why some people never seem to change no matter how bad their lives are?  They seem to be oblivious to the situation at hand, when we can all see the disaster right before our eyes.  I used to feel sorry for those kinds of people until I took a good long hard look in the mirror and saw that I was one of those people.  When I had this great epiphany of what I was sitting right in the middle of, suddenly I felt trapped.  But…was I really trapped or just deceived?

Like a spider weaves a web to entice it’s victims, so does Satan.  It often starts with one lie.  One misleading.  One deception.  One twist of the mind.  Once we begin to believe the lie then he begins to bind us to that deception and soon we are trapped.  No matter how hard we try at this point, we see no way of ever getting loose and this is where we just give up.

As I have shared before I was in a 22 year marriage to a man bound by addiction.  I know that I am the one who chose to marry.  I know I was the one who chose to love for so long, but is it all me? I really don’t think so.  I believe that Satan knows God has great plans for each of our lives and he will do everything in his power to stop us from succeeding.

How often do we get sucked into something we just know is not right but we talk ourselves into doing it anyways? Even though we seem to already know that it will end badly we move forward with it.  Maybe it’s time for us to decide not to be deceived by the schemes of Satan.  Perhaps it’s time for us to stand up and shout to the Devil a big healthy NO!  How do we do this?  Study the Word and use it as our weapon.

When we come to the understanding that nothing can stop what God has started in our lives, we can begin to understand the meaning of life.  We were created by a God who just wants to be loved.  As He begins to move in our lives we will certainly come against opposition but when we have the Word of God as our sword, we cannot be stopped.

Impossible Impossibilities

Luke 1:36-38

“And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.” And Mary said, Yes, I see it all now: I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say. Then the angel left her.
Bridge2
Satan is a good user of smoke screens…did you know that?  He can make the easiest thing look completely impossible.  He will do everything in his power to make what God has for us look like something we don’t even desire for our lives.  He wants us to miss out on the things God has for us so he creates these smoke screens in front of us to block the vision. He does not want us to stop and rest and see the bridge that is just steps away from us.  He still does not realize that he has already lost the battle.
Often it takes taking a moment to connect the dots to really see what God is up to.  Sometimes He gives us parts and pieces to our plan and purpose.  He might give us a piece on Monday and then let you try to figure it out and then give you another part on Thursday.  Perhaps then it might take hours, days or even weeks before you begin to see the whole thing pan out right in front of you.  As you begin to see how the “dots” or events connect to make a very clear picture, your faith increases and wisdom is gained.
God uses this tactic with me often, which means I have a lot of “A-Ha” moments.  Sometimes I feel like I should have figured it out sooner and then I realize the enemy is just trying to erase my dots.  He does not want us to come to the full revelation of what God has in store for us.  He delights in our delays and set backs.  But, you see, I by faith know God has a better outcome for any situation than I can ever dream of.  He longs to give us things and lavish upon us His riches…we just need to be walking it out with faith.
Finding your bridge in the fog and then taking that first step can be tricky. The devil will do everything he can to cause you to stumble.  He is good at instilling fear for situations and that is why from the first step on the bridge to the last we have to trust in God to guide our steps.  We need to believe in the plan.  We need to know we are winners.  We need to know that we know that we know that we know God is once again in control.  He is really good at making what seems impossible, completely possible….every time.

After the Rain

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 NLT

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After the rain pours out on the earth, things come to life.  Dry flowers are quenched of their thirst.  The soil soaks up the refreshment poured upon it.  The birds come to play in the little puddles.  Children come to make mud pies and jump and play, splashing water everywhere.  Everything just comes to a place of hydration and peace.  Things begin to grow and roots become stronger.  Is it not the same with God?  Let me explain.

I have been attending revival meetings now since 2009.  The first one I attended was 54 days long and changed my life completely.  As I spent night after night in worship and spending time on the floor in prayer, God was able to change my thinking in several areas of my life.  As He poured into me, I grew.  I opened my heart like a flower seeking to be drenched by love.  I finally could see the call God had on my life.  I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I had a purpose to fulfill.  After several months of intense one on one time with Jesus, I was ready to move into the things God had prepared for me.

Now here I am in 2013 and we are on the verge of revival breaking out all over the city and what is happening to me?  I am feeling nervous and excited all at the same time.  I know the time is nearing that I will have to get out of my box and declare my purpose.  I will soon be sharing Jesus with everyone I meet no matter where I am.  As we begin to settle into our new building smack dab in the center of the city, I get a front row seat to see just what God can do with little nobodies like me.  Why am I so scared?

Well, after being drenched by the raining down of His love all this time, I have become comfortable with this God I have been seeking.  I have been soaking in all of the teachings and reading His Word. I am filled from head to toe with the knowledge of Jesus and now it is my time to pour it all out.  So why am I in fear? Because part of me feels like if I empty it all out, I will never be full again.  This my friends is what we call discouragement and disbelief in what God can do.  It is what the enemy does to hold us back.  The last thing Satan wants to do is watch us spreading the Good News to everyone we meet so he gives us this lie that once we pour out God, we won’t be able to get a refill.  Pure lies.

I know in my heart of hearts that whatever I pour out in the name of Jesus, God will give me a refill every time I come before Him at the altar.  Just like tonight in a normal service, He poured His love all over the place and we had but to be still and allow Him to rain His grace upon our lives.  Are you dry and in need of a downpour in your spiritual life?  Then it’s as easy as saying, “Lord, fill me up, I am in need.”

Guilty Without Charges

1 John 3:20

Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and He knows everything.
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Yup!  Guilty! I messed up for sure this time.  Never going to get forgiveness this time.  Just can’t seem to do anything right.  I might as well just quit while I am ahead.  No use trying to move forward, never going to make it.  Ever have any of these thoughts running through your head?  What about creating a war in your mind that does not even exist.  Or, what about having this fear well up inside of you and you begin to play out the worst actions over in your mind over something that is nothing.  Gotten yourself all ready for a punishment that is not even coming?  If so then you do the same thing I do, charge myself guilty when there is no crime.
Sometimes in life for a number of reasons, low self-esteem, childhood issues, self-doubt and many more dysfunctions, we find ourselves sentencing ourselves to our own personal jail.  We begin from the moment our mind tells us we might be in the wrong, and we run with the lies it begins to tell us until it eats away at us..  Little by little as you begin to accept the lies as truth, you have yourself so worked up you either want to run away or no longer live.  These little nuggets of untruth become the very boulders we attach ourselves to, leaving us helpless to see the truth so that we can find freedom.
Sometimes those untruths start when we are very young. You are not good enough.  You will never amount to anything.  No one else in the family went to college.  You will be lucky to find a job.  No one is going to hire you.  You are a failure at life, nothing good will ever happen to you.  Lie after lie whispered into our ears for years.  It’s no wonder we are afraid of God and everything He has to offer us.  How can He ever want us, we are not good enough to be in His presence.  Let me be real with you for a moment.  Satan lurks around looking to kill, steal and destroy God’s people and we have fallen into some deep traps of untruths.  We need to at some point realize we no longer want to be chained to our insecurities and untruths and find this desire to change our position.
For God, failure is not an option.  He sent His son to die on a cross to cover ALL of our sins…past, present and future.  Anyone who believes in Jesus will be saved and spend eternity in heaven.  It is by His grace that we are able to breathe.  It is by His grace that we have been given a second, third, fourth, fiftieth chance at life.  It is by His grace that we are saved from the enemies lies.  When will we learn to just surrender and listen for His still small voice to guide us?  When will we stop sentencing ourselves with our own condemnation?
I just want to speak grace to anyone who might be reading this.  I want to speak life into your being.  Stop listening to the lies.  Stop making the boulder bigger and the chains stronger.  Believe in God and He will take care of you.  His Word is truth from cover to cover and His grace is enough to cover any sin.  His grace is enough to free you from your chains.  His grace is enough to allow you to be loved.  May you right now in this moment be filled with peace as you surrender everything to Jesus and allow Him to move in your life.

Got Ugly Past?

Philippians 3:13

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
043healing
They say honesty is the best policy and that’s how real I will be tonight.  I have seen some good things in my life and I have also seen some bad.  They also say you have to take the good with the bad, but why?  It’s like swallowing a pill without a liquid to wash it down, it gets stuck.  Another saying is bad things happen to good people, which is true but good things also happen to bad people, we just don’t publicize that one as much.  The point of my blog today is simple….we cannot hide what hurts us, it will sneak up in the most inopportune times in our lives.
When I was around the age of five, I was molested.  I was placed in a shed, doors where closed and inappropriate touching and kissing took place.  I spent some time in counseling when I was 18 and I thought I had walked out the whole process of forgiving and leaving this in the past until just recently.  I have had several shady relationships and have been taken advantage of in several ways but I did not add these all up together.  Never knew why I could not stand small spaces.  Never could quite understand why kissing was hard for me.  Really confused sometimes why it was hard for me to receive love.
As most of you know I recently got remarried to a wonderful man of God who loves me so deeply it’s hard to accept at times.  Just recently I was pushing him away and I had no comprehension as to why I would do this to someone who treated me like a princess twenty four seven.  Well last night at about midnight I was flooded with all of the ugly stuff from the past.  Yes I had dealt with the molestation but I never dealt with all the other “little” things which happened after that.  I had let these things just simmer somewhere in my past, not giving them a second thought….until last night.
Last night Satan decided to show me a whole picture show of my past violations and it hit hard as ever.  It took until two in the morning to walk through the forgiveness process. I cried, I tried to hide and I even tried to run but Jesus would not allow it.  He used my current husband to pull me out of my funk and show me the right way to feel.  I let go all of what was hindering me and the freedom which flooded my soul was explainable.  I have not forgotten what happened but the pain and hold it had on me is completely vanished.  I now can fully love my husband for who He is and not for what Satan was trying to show me he was.
Are you dealing with wanting to hide?  Has the past pains caught up with you?  Go now to the Father and deal with the issues.  God does not want you to be bound by the past.  God wants you to be free not to hide.  I encourage you today to just let ONE past hurt go.  I don’t care which one it is, just let it go.  Do not let the past have a hold so great on you that you cannot enjoy the here and now God has provided for you.