Tag: satan

The Quiet Lion

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When are the devil and his evil compatriots the most dangerous? 

When they are the noisiest

 Or, when they are the quietest

 Maybe I’d better back up just a bit and lay some groundwork. 

 The devil is likened to a roaring lion, who is constantly seeking someone to devour. Jesus said the devil only wants to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10).

Notice how a lion goes after its prey.

The lion not only ambushes its prey, it also stalks it. In other words, it doesn’t always make a lot of noise. 

At times, it is extremely quiet.

And that’s where the danger lies.

The quiet lion.

Unless the prey recognizes it’s being stalked, it makes no effort to defend itself. It goes about life with a business-as-usual attitude and focus. Looking for food and water, trying to find a place to lie down and rest; just the daily grind of routine living. Nothing exciting or out of the ordinary. 

 
That they’re aware of, anyway. 

Until they hear the lion’s roar.

But by then, it may be very hard to resist. 

There may not be TIME to resist! 

 Sure. They may find a way to beat off the attack. They may be stronger than the lion realized. 

However, they may lose a leg or an ear in the process. And, they may bleed to death after it’s all said and done. 

Wouldn’t it be better if the subtle, stalking movement of the quiet lion was recognized while he was still far off? 

Do you understand YOU and I are the devil’s prey? And there are plenty of warnings in the bible for the child of God. Warnings such as: 

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV) 

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.” (Luke 21:34 ESV) 

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41 ESV) 

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV) 

“…so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” (2 Corinthians 2:11 ESV) 

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13 ESV) 

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.” (1 Peter 4:1 ESV) 

It is MORE than wise to pay close attention to your spiritual surroundings. 

It is BIBLICALLY MANDATED! 

What I mean is, we’re instructed to walk humbly with the Lord, listening to the Spirit’s voice, so we can be aware of our enemy’s maneuvers. 

Maneuvers such as the manipulation of our minds with fear, greed, lust, or any number of schemes designed to get us to lay down our guard and leave our heart unprotected.

Know what I mean? 

Yes, the devil goes around like a roaring lion… but he usually won’t roar until he’s just about on top of his prey. 

Sure, like the aforementioned quarry, we may fend him off and claim the victory. And the scripture does say to “resist him steadfast in the faith”; so it’s possible to successfully ward off an attack. 

But at what cost? 

Is losing an ear (the ability to hear the voice of God) or a leg (the ability to do the works of God) worth running the risk? 

No, I don’t believe so. In fact, I KNOW it isn’t. 

There have been times in my life when I’ve allowed the quiet lion to get close enough to ambush me. And when he finally roared, I was already wrapped up in the paralyzing feelings and desires which I had allowed to grow unchecked in my life. 

Yes, with the Lord’s help, and the love and care of His people, I finally got the lion’s teeth removed from my ear and legs. But I tell you, it was some time before I was able to hear again.

And my walk has forever been altered. 

So pay attention, brothers and sisters. Don’t wait until you hear the roar before you begin taking evasive action.

Watch out for the quiet lion.

The life you save may be your own.

 

 

Satan Hates Women

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Satan hates women!

He hates women with an eternal hatred.

You may wonder how I arrived at such a conclusion.

Well, first of all, think of the many times throughout history that women have been victimized, traumatized, ignored and belittled, enslaved and treated as sex objects, looked upon as stupid and less intelligent than their male counterparts.

Throughout the world, in many societies, women are still treated as a piece of property; something to be owned, used, misused, battered, and traded. Nothing more than a slave.

You may be thinking, “It’s not that way in America, or other civilized countries.”

Oh?

What about all of the television commercials which use a woman’s sex appeal to promote beer sales? Why not give the job to an 82 year old great grandmother? One reason. Her looks.

Automobiles, smart phones, you name it… all use pretty women to sell their products.

And how about the “adult entertainment” industry? Sure, everyone appears to be having a wonderful time. But a closer observation will reveal the main focus of the industry is the male. Women are used to please the male; one way or another.

Fantasizing with online images, film or magazine images, is an affront against all women.

It lowers their value to nothing more than an object to be used, then discarded after one reaches their climax.

Pornography degrades human dignity, especially the dignity of women.

Sex trafficking, the buying, selling, trading, raping/using of young girls, men and women, is a world-wide atrocity. And while men, and even young boys, have become the sex slaves of some violent and perverted traders, the victims are predominantly female.

Just another example of Satan’s hatred toward women.

Yes, Satan hates women and is doing his best to keep them far beneath their God-given destiny. He wants them to forever view themselves as insignificant, valueless, subhuman beings. Sex objects, baby bearers, servant to every male.

Why?

Satan is the type to hold a grudge.

Remember? Many, many years ago, in a garden called Eden, a man, a woman, and a serpent had a little conversation.

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.

“So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.”(Genesis 3:1-7 NLT)

Along came the Lord God and began to question the man and woman.

“What? Why are you two hiding from me?”

The woman, whom you gave to me, handed me the fruit so I ate it”, said the man.

“Oh? And young lady, what do you have to say?”

“It was the serpent’s smooth and deceptive speech that caused me to forget your words and pursue the forbidden fruit.”

Or, in other words, “The serpent deceived me. That’s why I ate it.”

Did you catch that? The man shielded the true deceiver while the woman exposed him.

Yes, it was the woman who responded in truth when interrogated by God.

And it was the testimony of the woman that caused the Lord to turn to the serpent, the devil, and say, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:13-15 NLT)

Ever since that time, Satan has hated women.

And he is doing his best to get the world to do the same.

Husbands, loving your wife because she…

Is beautiful
Pleases you in bed
Is a good mother
Has a lot of money
Let’s you have your man cave
Is faithful
Is popular
Isn’t like your mom…

isn’t necessarily love. What happens when she can’t “perform” in any of the above categories?

Don’t act like the devil. Don’t hate your wife. Love her in the same way Christ loves the church.

He gave Himself so the church could really live.

Don’t hate women.

Don’t use them for your selfish pleasure.

The Lord came to seek and save, among other things, the value and dignity of the one who told the truth.

The woman.

Good or Evil? Who Decides?

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Is it possible for someone to be a good person but not believe in Jesus? What if they couldn’t care less whether there’s a God in Heaven? Maybe they don’t even believe in a Heaven or a Hell.

Can that person be a good person, or are they evil through and through? What does it take to be classified as good? How bad must someone be to rate being called evil?

Is the dividing line between good and evil simply a matter of faith? Something like faith equals good and no faith equals evil?

We probably all know someone, or have heard of someone, who epitomizes evil. However, I don’t think it’s possible to find someone we all can agree is evil. Or good, for that matter.

For the sake of discussion, I’ll use Adolf Hitler as our example of evil. How can he be judged as evil? Because of his evil actions during World War Two. His attempt to exterminate the Jewish people was evil. In my book, anyway.

However, there are people in the world who would argue with me; and tell me Hitler was good!

Why would they say such a thing? Because Hitler also did some good! He was a great community organizer, rallying the German Nation in patriotic unity. He was also good for the German economy, for awhile, at least.

So, I can’t use his actions to determine if he was good or evil.

There must be a better way to decide.

Most people agree that Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi were good people. Mother Teresa is known for her ministry of compassion, while Mahatma Gandhi is known for his nonviolent leadership in India’s independence. Both were an inspiration to their countrymen, and the whole world.

But again, there are some who would disagree. Looking on the internet, I found a number of articles questioning both Mother Teresa’s and Gandhi’s integrity and character. It’s been said that the world’s second favorite mother wasn’t always ethical with her handling of the finances; millions and millions of dollars. Gandhi was a known racist, despising the black man his entire life.

I find it hard to believe like you. But I cannot say someone is good because they do good things.

What if we just made a rule, something like: whatever the majority believes is correct. If the majority believes someone or something is good, then it’s good. If evil, well, sorry but that’s the way it is.

So where do we go to find our majority? How many should be polled to create a correct assessment? Could the majority’s belief differ, if the polling data was gathered from different people groups, with different levels of income, and various age groups?

Is it safe to let society determine what is good or what is evil?

No. It is not.

Every human being is capable of doing good, or doing evil. Every one, without exception. So mankind really isn’t the one to determine good or evil.

Like it or not, there’s only one qualified to make the call. Believe it or not, there’s one who’s already made the call.

God.

You who don’t agree; do you know someone better qualified? Or are you saying there’s no such thing as good or evil? No God and no devil?

But back to my original question: is it possible for someone to be a good person but not believe in Jesus?

The answer is…

No.

A person may do tons of good things. They may find a cure for cancer, or broker peace in the Middle East. They could save the whales, the trees, and California’s budget problems; all good things.

But in order to BE good, a person’s innermost being must be good.

The standard, the benchmark for “good”, the only one who is good says:

“As it is written, None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one. No one understands [no one intelligently discerns or comprehends]; no one seeks out God. All have turned aside; together they have gone wrong and have become unprofitable and worthless; no one does right, not even one! Their throat is a yawning grave; they use their tongues to deceive (to mislead and to deal treacherously). The venom of asps is beneath their lips. Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction [as it dashes them to pieces] and misery mark their ways. And they have no experience of the way of peace [they know nothing about peace, for a peaceful way they do not even recognize]. There is no [reverential] fear of God before their eyes”. (Romans 3:10-18 AMP)

None good, no not one. Sin, or a trespass against God, a neighbor, or even one’s self, disqualifies anyone from being good. It’s not the way he made us, but it’s how we turned out after the evil one deceived Eve. When Adam willingly, knowingly, took the fruit from Eve’s hand and took a bite.

God didn’t create us bad, and it’s not how he wants us to end up.

“For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:22 – 3:26 ESV)

God has done something about man’s bad condition.

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned – for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:12-17 ESV)

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:22-23 ESV)

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 ESV)

By faith in Jesus’ substitutionary work on the cross, along with his subsequent burial and resurrection, God begins a change in the believer’s heart. The old leaves, the new comes.

The good one (Jesus) gave his life for the bad one (me), so the bad one (me) might become righteous in God’s sight.

He makes us good. His Spirit gives us the power to resist evil, and do good.

It all boils down to this: doing good things is great. It’s commendable and great for the world. Good deeds should be applauded and encouraged. But doing good doesn’t change a bad heart. It has to be made new. Born again. Recreated in the image of good.

God’s standard of “good“.

Thank you for reading this post. Please comment, I’d love to hear what you think. For more posts and a weekly newsletter delivered to your email address, please go to http://eepurl.com/PaJK5 and sign up. Thanks.

Paul’s Thorn vs. God’s Grace

20130622-112327.jpg“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NKJV)

How many times have you read this passage like so: “And He said to me, ‘No, you will have to suffer with your thorn for the rest of your life. And if you keep complaining, you may have it a while longer'”?

That’s sort of the way I was taught, and thought to be true until I started looking at this thing called Grace.

See, if Grace meant “No”, we would certainly have a time believing the Good News, don’t you think? Like, “for by ‘No’ you were saved…”, or “they who receive the abundance of ‘No’…”. How about, “Noah found ‘No’ in the eyes of the Lord”? Or even, “the law came by Moses, but ‘No’ and truth came by Jesus”!

What if you were moving from from your house, and asked if you could borrow a truck from me. What would you think if I said, “My truck is sufficient for you, for the true value of my truck is demonstrated when you need it the most”? Does it sound like I was saying, “No”?

I believe the enemy of Grace and Truth has sold that lie to the Body of Christ! God’s Grace is SUFFICIENT! It’s MORE THAN ENOUGH! The truth Paul was trying to teach was, “There is nothing you are facing, or will face, that can’t be covered by God’s Grace.”

Paul’s Thorn? I heard the thorn Paul tried to have removed was bad eyes, a certain disease, even a nagging wife! Yep! After all, Paul and Silas had a son named Timothy… (I’ve heard it said). No, the thorn, or as we would say, the pain in the neck, was a messenger, demon, of satan sent to beat him blow after blow (buffet – KJV).

Read through the Book of Acts and notice all the times Paul got beat up! From his early days of preaching in Damascus and Jerusalem, throughout most of his remaining life, whenever he’d open his mouth to preach, someone tried to shut him up.

I wonder who instigated those beatings? God? No! The devil? YES!

There was a time, after going back home to Tarsus, Paul almost put away his preaching jacket because of the persecution he was enduring. Like us, he found the beatings to be less than desirable. And like us, he asked God to make them stop!

God’s response was one of encouragement and strength! In fact, it made Paul rejoice. Rejoice in beatings, in weakness, in confusion? NO! Rejoice because the infusion of God’s Grace, His help, is FAR GREATER than anything he had to endure!

Later on, in the last chapter of Acts, it appears Paul’s beatings had come to an end, “no man forbidding him.”

Any doctrine or teaching that yields territory to the devil, is of the devil. The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are not in cahoots with the devil. The devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came to give the opposite! The devil does not want us to understand the things of God. God does. The “messenger of satan” is what Paul called it, not the “messenger of God.”

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”(Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)

Remember, we have an invitation to meet with God at His Throne of Grace; His Throne of help. Regardless of how relentless the enemy has been, the help we’ll find at God’s Throne is more than sufficient.

So we can say with Paul:

“Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

The Thorn loses its power in the Presence of God’s Grace!

An Open Letter To Worship Teams (part 1)

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Long before Creation, as described in Genesis 1, and long before Adam yielded his position and authority to the Serpent, something was happening in the heavens, and in Heaven itself.

Worship!

All the host of heaven worshipped the One Who sits on the Throne; Who was, and is, and is to come, The Almighty.

Their “worship leader” was known as a highly gifted angel named Lucifer. The prophet Isaiah would later describe him as a “bright star of the morning”, but also someone who wasn’t content with his heavenly role. Ezekiel described Lucifer as “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and beauty. Every precious stone was his covering; he was perfect in every aspect.” He was known for his music, and his place of ministry was in the very Throne room of God.

His was a glorious position, and if coveting was allowed in Heaven, his was a coveted position. But he didn’t see it as such. No, he somehow became enamored with his gifts, his anointing, his position. He saw himself more important than he really was. He began to entertain a thought, a thought that would eventually affect all aspects of heaven and earth. The thought? “I can do what God does, only better! Why should God get all the glory? I’M THE anointed one, the beautiful one, the gifted one! I should be receiving all the glory and honor. I SHOULD BE WORSHIPPED! I WILL BE WORSHIPPED!”

Well, we all know how that worked out.

Although Lucifer was cast out of heaven, and renamed satan or devil (adversary), he has not lost the desire to be worshipped. And though he is no longer the “anointed cherub that covers”, there is still a special connection with music and spiritual things.

Music is, in my opinion, the most powerful force in the universe. God’s love is powerful as well, but music can be a “carrier” of that love, or, it can be a carrier of hatred, lust, perversion, peace…fill in the blank. People can have their head and heart turned TOWARD God through music, or turned AWAY from God. It is such a powerful tool.

Music “creates an atmosphere”, setting the stage for what will follow. Whether at a ball park, in a tavern, at a rock concert, or even in a church, music, specifically the spirit behind the music, opens the door for the unseen realm.

I’ll discuss some specific points later, but suffice it to say the spirit in which worship is presented in our churches does have an affect on what ensues. A worship team who’s focus is perfection and performance will carry that spirit into the “worship” time. A team who knows they’re good and relishes the praise of the congregation will release that spirit as well.

But a team who’s heart is focused on worshipping God becomes a door in which the Spirit of God can “enter” through. All He is and all He can and wants to do becomes “near” as the team leads in true worship. Sure, people in the congregation choose to respond or not to the “atmosphere”. So do people in taverns. But a team has only one primary responsibility…

Worship God!

God alone is to be worshipped! He alone is to be praised! We are people gifted and anointed by Him to help establish Heaven’s “atmosphere” here on earth. It’s not about us. It’s not about how good we sound, but how our hearts are in tune with Him.

Lucifer really wants to be worshipped. He will even temporarily settle for some “backhanded” worship. The kind he enjoys when God’s people become enamored with the gifts and callings of the worship team, rather than having their focus on the Almighty.

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