And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38&39
I recently watched “Twisted” by Andy Stanley which inspired me to write this blog.
"Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil." - Ephesians 6:11
The devil is real and he roams the earth. He has a plan for your life, and if you don’t recognize the lies he tells you, in time it can become fatal. Sometimes it can be a scary thought. But at the same time, when you have God with you, it can seem a little pathetic. The devil is obsessed with you. He has been observing humans since the beginning of time. He is desperate to see you fail.
One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them.“Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan.
Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”
Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”
Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God.You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”
“All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence. -Job 1:6-12
Satan is given permission to test Job. Literally everything was taken away from Job. To sum things up, Job was tested multiple times, yet his faith in the Lord remained and in the end he was blessed by the Lord twice as much as before. (Job 42:10)
The story of Job shows us how determined Satan is in messing with our minds, and it also shows how he uses others in the process. Jobs friends and even his wife tried telling him different lies about his life and what God was trying to show him through his trials. His wife even told him to curse God. “His wife said, “Still holding on to your precious integrity, are you? Curse God and be done with it!” (Job 2:9)
Satan cannot force you to do anything. He does not have access to your mind. He can put things in your path, and observe your emotions, but he only has the power to tempt you. He knows how humans work, because he’s been around since we were created.
"The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." -John 10:10
Recently I have been reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (my homeboy for life) This book can be summed up as the spiritual battle between good and evil from Satan’s perspective, and how Satan attempts to destroy faith and promote sin in our lives. The book really portrays how much God loves us and how Satan uses lies in our lives. Lewis does an excellent job of portraying how Satan will take the truth and twist it just enough for it to become a lie so easy for us to believe. In the fourth chapter it discusses prayer.
Years ago I was extremely naive spiritually and I didn’t understand how serious faith was. I went through a traumatic time, and in a matter of 24 hours my life was changed. During that 24 hour period all I did was pray. Praying that the circumstances would change and that good would come out of the situation. To sum it up the circumstance did not end the way I expected (or would have liked.) After that, I literally stopped praying. I just never opened my mouth to speak a prayer. And lately God has been speaking into my life just how important speaking prayer is, and how absent it has been in my life. Within the past few years I realized that prayer is definitely a crucial part of growing in Christ. But because of that traumatic time I just couldn’t pray the same. So I journaled. I wrote prayers, I thought prayers. But never in the past 4 or 5 years in my life did I open my mouth and pray a sincere prayer from my heart.
Until a few days ago. And it was liberating.
But that’s the thing. The devil liked that I wasn’t praying. He enjoyed the fact that one instance could have changed my prayer life forever. It could have stunted my growth spiritually, and it did for a while. Even though I was doing other things such as writing and meditating, it wasn’t as powerful as crying out to God with the voice He gave me, making the devil flee from my life.
What I’m trying to say is it starts small. Hitler did not wake up one day believing that the extermination of the Jewish population was a brilliant idea. It was something that was planned meticulously. Most likely, some sort of truth in his life was slightly twisted into a lie that he believed, and overtime it grew and became more dangerous.
With all of this said, the devil has a plan for each of our lives, but God has a bigger plan.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11
Think of things which are holy, and you will experience God’s peace.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” -Philippians 4:6-9
Don’t let the devil lie to you. Resist him and he will flee from you.
"So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." -James 4:7