Posts Tagged the enemy
One thing I noticed when I first became a Christian is that, in general, Christians look younger than average at almost every age.
Some may have had a little nip or tuck but surely not all. So of course I prayed about it. The scripture says:
“…who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” Psalm 103:5
And it seems to be so.
So these are my possible ten reasons Christians tend to look jolly well for their age:
- Peace – Deep peace stills the brow. Less worry, fewer worry lines- stands to reason.
- Deliverance -From addictions. Since June 2010 the Lord has delivered me of a taste for alcohol and a full-blown addiction to nicotine. And testimony after testimony tells a similar story.
- Sleep – There is just something about being right with God that means you get a deep and refreshing sleep
- Restoration – The Lord promises restoration, this appears to apply to cells as much as anything
- Healing -Clearly illness takes its toll on the countenance, and Jesus came to relieve us of physical suffering
- Support -Belonging to a church means there is always someone to turn to for a helping hand, reducing the strain on the individual
- Abundance -Good food and plenty of it
- Victory -We have victory over Satan and it is the enemy that comes to kill steal and destroy, but we have the authority and victory to prevail under the blood of Jesus
- Love- Living in love ramps up the happiness factor, which in turn increase endorphins and so improves our immune system, helping to keep healthy and looking well
- Faith = rest, God has our back, we do everything through Him, all glory to Him
This is brilliant!
You want to make a real difference in peoples lives? So what’s £15 to you? A couple of bottles of wine? Half of a computing game? a DVD? A single night at the cinema? A cheap handbag?
How about instead going to http://www.lendwithcare.org/ and lending from just £15.00 to an aspiring entrepreneur in developing countries?
This UK website is facilitated by the Co-operative and managed by Care International. The idea is so simple and wonderful. You lend from £15 to an entrepreneur supported by Care and associated organisations. You should get your money back so you can lend it all over again to someone else in need of help.
This is such a great feeling, helping people to help themselves and then you can help some more.
What does the bible say?
They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing. Psalm 37:26
who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken. Psalm 15:5
And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.
So how about putting the Word into practice and changing lives for the sake of a just a few quid?
Pat Robinson calls it the law of use. Secularly we say “use it or lose it”.
In the bible Jesus explains it via the parable of the talents and it is of course where we get our notions of talents and of “god-given talents” from.
First of all lets remind ourselves of what Jesus actually tells us in the Word:
15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” Matthew 25:14-30
For a long time I really wasn’t sure what to make of this story, it seemed so harsh on the poor servant with nothing. I read as much as I could about it and I have come to the conclusion that it is about faith. We have talents, gifts which maybe abilities or actual riches. Its no good to the Lord if we let fear stop us using these gifts. Fear is of the enemy not of the Lord. We must trust, have faith in the Lord,that when we use our talents all will be for the good and grace of God. What matters is that we use them in the service of the Lord, getting the Word of God to those who otherwise would be destined to perish.
How do we do this? Well I personally have always found writing easier than standing in front of people and preaching so that is what I do and here you are experiencing it at your leisure via the internet. As you read this I am touching a life, using many gifts: reading and writing, my laptop, my internet connection, this wonderful WordPress blogging space…. Potentially and with God’s Grace we can reach billions around the world in this way. With Google translate we can reach them in many languages.
Everyone will have different talents and the holy spirit is there to guide you in their use. Some may be brilliant fund-raisers and help finance the missionaries who are able to touch many lives in many lands. Others are gifted orators and can preach to crowds and millions by TV and radio.
What is this to do with my Business though? Well your Godly business’s role is to give people jobs and opportunities, to raise money etc etc But it is also vital not to waste the resources you have been given. I believe that we are called to be productive. Production is the key to everything. You can’t rely on service economy without somewhere someone producing (building,farming, mining, fishing, etc) something which needs services. And this is where everything seems to have gone awry. We need to get back to basics, we need to be productive and we need to USE the resources we have been blessed with!
I expect that not a week after the riots are finished you were surprised that you weren’t any happier for owning your new shoes or watching your new telly.
I expect you are every bit as bored and uninspired with life as you were before the riots.
Guess what? You really aren’t any different to those celebs you follow in the rag press in a desperate attempt to find something, anything, interesting to inspire you to get out of bed every day. Know what? No matter how rich they get even rich celebs still do stupid things and still look miserable and ill.
So you wanted to show the police and “the rich people” you can do what you want? Shocking, NOT. Everyone always knew you can do what you want. You have free will. So not a biggie. Charlie Sheen can do what he wants. Drink till his liver explodes, take drugs till his nose falls off, sleep with hookers til his body rots with STDs. He’s rich. You sure showed him! LOL.
For all the stuff that was knicked, for all the cheap wine that was drunk, for all the property that was destroyed, here we are and your life is still every bit as empty as it was a week or two ago, isn’t it?
You were the victim of a BIG CON. Sadly you were played by the devil and now you nurse a riot hangover and peer into an emptiness that can’t be filled with toxic inebriation and material goods, and never has. It just wasn’t as much fun as you expected it to be was it, the rioting.
You let the enemy convince you that once you had all the trappings of richness you would be happy. What an empty promise. How sad. What a waste.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” John 10:10
Steal, kill and destroy. Sound familiar rioter? You were used. That doesn’t feel great does it, being used?
How would you like a life where you could have your own business, raise a happy family – full of love. Have plenty of joy. Every single day. Never be bored. Never again need to numb yourself with drink, drugs, TV, ipod touches, stealing, wrecking, gaming?
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
Jesus wants you to have it all. Why not try Him? You’ve tried everything else! Why not click the link and read a bit more of John?
If you really want to shock society, following Jesus will do it! It has for over 2,000 years. Try it, if you’re brave enough.
I’ve ordered my five fundamental F’s in my daily order that I attend to them, and noticed that it makes them alphabetical and easy to remember. Score!
The first thing I do every (weekday) morning is get into the Word. Sometimes this is not easy, especially in winter in the dark, and of course the enemy will try anything to stop you so that you find yourself tempted to just press that “snooze” button a few times. It takes just a little push to get past that, but the rewards are immense. I get up early so that I can concentrate and meditate before the children get up looking for breakfast, P E kit, lunch money. This two hour session sets me on my path for the day. I read the Word, pray, confess the Word and sip coffee watching Godly TV.
After a couple of hours in the Word, I am Much more able to greet my 3 boys in a positive, encouraging, patient and loving way. They tend to wake in a good mood and we have a happy breakfast before they all get off to school. I walk my little one to school, and I thank God for everyday I have that I can give him a loving little kiss on the forehead before he gets to the “Mom, get off,not in front of my friends” stage. Back home I get straight onto the washing, cleaning, tidying the garden… Looking after my nest.
I check my finances daily. I went through a horrible stage of thinking I was entitled to my every whim and I paid the price in a mass of consumer debt for stuff that didn’t bring me the happiness or satisfaction the advertising man had promised! What astonishes me now is that I would make the same mistake over and over and over and still not learn my lesson. It took years to fight my way back out of the pit of debt. It is a hard slog paying off debt, but it is truly amazing what you can achieve with very little cash as you do it. I might not be completely debt free now, but my head is well above water and I have learned to handle my cash responsibly. And now if I run out of cash I just make do until I get some more!
I am fanatical about business and I truly believe that a business founded soundly on Christian biblical principles can not fail to succeed. This is because any business based on helping others to solve their problems and which is grown organically (i.e. without borrowing to finance growth), has no seeds of failure in it.
Once the chores are done I head most days for the gym. If I get there early it is quieter, I am still fresh and awake and I make the most of it. If I have time I can also follow a workout with a relaxing hot tub session.
If I can I also work a walk into the day. This is a good time to meditate, pray and or pray in the spirit. Filling your lungs with oxygen inevitably increases the oxygen to your brain and aids clear thinking and de-stressing. This is a great time to literally walk with the Lord.
The rest of the day is filled with blogging, writing, speaking, working with others, growing things, people, organisations and businesses.
After school is break-time for me and the kids. A session in the family hot tub is a great time for family communication. Cooking the daily family meal together is another chance to bond. Plus I want to know my boys will all be equipped to feed themselves and their own families when the time comes.
The evening is wind-down time. Light reading. Godly TV. A family film….
Thank you prayers and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
“You’ve changed!” Spewed out with venom on a popular TV soap or daytime talk show.
When did changing become so despised by the world?
It’s a problem for Christians, if we allow it to be a problem. Its a popular tool of the enemy at the moment, getting your family and / or your friends to shout this in your face. How dare we change? We aren’t people pleasers anyway are we? No its okay, we’re pleasing God.
“Thanks” I say.
Last week my son told me I’d changed over the past year. “You’re nicer now Mom” I nearly cried. Thank you Lord, its your work, not mine.
It made me take stock. Over the past year or so I’ve stopped smoking, I hardly drink any more, I shop much less and have got my finances under control. I have new patience and so now I have my temper under control. But its the peace, oh the peace of the Lord that’s the biggest change. Thank you Lord, thank you for the peace.
When you think about it, the world has an awful lot invested in us not changing. Advertisers encourage us to carry on like out of control teenagers well into our adult lives, drinking, smoking,being selfish, worrying about the latest fashions, being irresponsible with family finances. That’s madness at any stage of life but as a grown up? We set ourselves sane goals of having a nice home, a loving family and then we set about doing everything we can think of that will stop us achieving those goals. Wasting money, wasting time, putting our focus on an ex who treated us like rubbish in our teens instead of lavishing our attention on our spouse. Watching Two and Half Men on tv, then wondering why our sons have no respect for women. How things have changed since The Waltons.
We scratch our heads when our finances are a mess. We cry out “what went wrong?” when our relationships fail. Maybe we should have changed when a spouse or a child tried to talk to us about our faults. Maybe we should have changed when the boss mentioned our late starts. Maybe we should have changed when the bank sent that first letter.
I’ve changed, and I’m changing, and I’m going to keep changing too and I thank God for it!
If you’ve changed too, congratulations, good on you. Let’s pray we keep on changing too, under God’s direction.
But if someone’s trying to talk to you about change, in a positive way, maybe you should stop ask yourself whether the Lord is maybe using this person to truly help you onto a better, happier path?
You can change, Woo Hoo!
I’ve been a Christian for quite a while now and I must confess to being very confused by the mega minister issue.
What have some Christians’ got against living well in this world?
Well if there is one thing I have learned it’s to check it out with the Book.
Matthew 7 has a lot to teach us about how to regard these worldwide preachers and teachers.
Judge not, that ye be not judged Matthew 7:1
ABC, in 2007, in a piece of seriously biased reporting called ‘Fleecing the Flock‘ went on a rampage against some mega preachers purely on the basis that they have nice homes and planes. And all the networks seem to love to attack mega preachers for having nice lives. But why on earth shouldn’t they? Their job is to go to many nations and preach the gospel and be an example to people, so that people will actually want to get saved! If Joyce Meyer preached in old rags and lived in a shack I can fairly confidently say I wouldn’t have thought she had anything much to teach me that would do me any good, and I wouldnt have been saved.
I believe the Lord values the saving of even a single soul well above the $100,000,000 or so annual turnover of Joyce Meyer’s ministry.
So, if people choose to freely support ministries, and in turn become less sinful and turn their broken lives into healed ones, surely the government should be celebrating the tax-savings they accrue in not having to support social services, health care etc. for millions of deadbeat, smoking, drinking, drug-taking tax-wasters who instead have been convicted by the Lord of their wasted lives, and transformed into model citizens?
How is freely giving a few dollars to a mega minister more concerning than giving a few dollars to a mega corporation that sells you carbonated water, colour and sugar in a tin can for a truly unholy mark-up? How is it worse than giving a major corporation hundreds of dollars for the right to use some infinitely replicable computer code called software? Or a giant corporation some dollars for some other digital code called music or game, delivered electronically? We can happily waste billions upon billions of dollars on rubbish that rots our bodies and our minds, but not financially support a gifted minister in their teaching?
That is warped.
Is it maybe because if everyone were saved, and living the good life, investors would lose a lot of money? Hmmmmmmm. Well the holy spirit has certainly done a job on my personal spending habits in the last year or so. I no longer smoke, don’t drink much, have lost my shopping habit (doh, it was just a habit!).
Back to Matthew 7 and our Lord:
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Matthew 7:11
So these preachers, having learned this scripture, applied it to their lives, transformed their lives and freely share the fundamental truth with others, um, how could that be bad?
15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Matthew 15-18
So I would think that there are two ways of testing mega preachers against this scripture. What fruits do they gather for the kingdom? Well millions come to Christ through them via personal appearances and television/radio/new media, and they touch lives in the developed and underdeveloped world. And if they can do that more quickly and efficiently by private jet, if that helps them to get enough rest and spend time with their family, I am not in the least surprised the Lord would furnish them with such a tool. And if you are surprised, I would be concerned for you that you are faith deficient beloved.
What fruits do they bring in their own lives? Decent homes, cars, families. Good examples of what is possible with Christ.
And what does the bible tell us to do with regard to travelling missionaries and teachers?
For these [traveling missionaries] have gone out for the Name’s sake (for His sake) and are accepting nothing from the Gentiles (the heathen, the non-Israelites).
8So we ourselves ought to support such people [to welcome and provide for them], in order that we may be fellow workers in the Truth (the whole Gospel) and cooperate with its teachers. 3 John 1:7-8
I cannot account in any way for the outrageously hard time these people get from the media, both within and without the church, without reference to the work of the enemy: Envy.
Oh ye of little faith. What does it matter, so long as souls are saved?
Paul said:”... The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.” Philippians 1:18
When I first became saved it was release from poverty, well my perceived poverty, and stability that I craved. I vaguely remembered, knowing virtually nada about the bible, that there was a bit about your cup running over. I set out to find it as one of my first forays into the wonderful world of the Word. And I found psalm 23.
Now many many months of fairly intense biblical study and I now believe that this psalm is even more amazing than I first thought. It has only 6 verses, so is easy to memorise, but what is astounding is that, to me, it encompasses an aide memoir to the whole message of the Bible.
Lets study it verse by verse and hopefully you’ll see what I mean:
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Whenever the enemy tries to shake my faith in my Father’s provision I shout this verse out loud at him , and I mean it. This verse clearly states that the Lord is our supply. The Lord. Not man, not nature, not technology, not government. The Lord. Until you get this deep into your psyche you will not be ready to receive the Lord’s many blessings.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Now that you know from verse 1 that the Lord is your supply, verse 2 adds that He is good, his will for you is good.. He will not lead you astray but will lead you straight into your provision. And lead you to the still waters. Often in the Bible water represents the Word, so He will lead you to His Word.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
The Lord is your supply, He leads you only to good things and He restores your soul. He restores it through grace and mercy and His grace is refreshed daily. He can restore your life, your relationships, your business, anything you thought was lost or stolen from you – our God can and will restore if it is rightfully yours. He will help you to walk a righteous path, He does not expect you to do it from your own strength, but He is there with you. Like a shepherd He is with you looking out for you and keeping you going in the right direction by the right path.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
What is our role then in all of these blessings? Not to fear our circumstances, but to always be mindful that we walk with our Lord. We should not fear evil because through the cross we have authority over evil. He overcame death for us. And to obey his direction. His rod and his staff are not for punishment, but to correct us always back onto the righteous path that is already there for us. We cannot see the big picture but He can, He can light our steps, we just have to follow His guidance through direction of the Holy Spirit. We can see that these old testament verses clearly foretell of salvation through Jesus Christ.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
This verse tells us about the magnificent blessings of the Lord that are our birthright, even in the face of worldly persecution. We will be envied in this life for our heaven sent blessings, but our enemies will not prevail. We are anointed ones, Christians, our cups cannot contain the blessings poured for us by our heavenly Father.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
We can receive God’s mercy, through grace. He has overcome death for us and we will abide in the Kingdom forever. Everlasting joy. Astounding.
“God has greater blessings in store for you! He has favor in your future like you’ve never imagined. He wants to take you places that you’ve never dreamed. But in order for us to partake of all these blessings, we have to increase our capacity to receive.
Think about this: if you have a one-gallon bucket, and someone has fifty gallons to give you, the problem is not with the supply.”
I’ve pinched this thought from Joel Osteen’s Daily “Today’s Word” email which he kindly sends.
These are always worth reading, but this message today really hit home. The problem is with the receiving. To receive we just need to believe but we find it so difficult because we have been conditioned by the world not believe in the blessings of God. We lose our blessings through lack of faith
Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Matthew 16:8
The enemy can only work in our thoughts to the extent that we allow.
As I am working towards a new business to commence in the autumn, doing the groundwork and the research, I am following the guidance of the Holy Spirit at each stage. I notice things are falling into place in astounding ways and yet I still get little niggles of “What if it all fails?” now and again. Now I KNOW that is the voice of the enemy being negative, I KNOW he doesn’t want me to succeed in this new venture and I KNOW that I am walking with the Lord in the work I am planning. The Lord is my business partner and that together we cannot ever fail.
The only possible way this new Godly enterprise might fail to prosper is if I lose my faith in my Partner. And so the enemy starts with those little whispers of doubt. He brings on temptation to sin, which would stand between me and my Holy Partner.
Cast those thoughts out and KNOW in your heart that your bucket is much bigger than ever, and getting bigger every day!
I’ve been thinking a lot about compulsive behaviour recently.
to make one yield or submit
- (irrational impulse) an urge to do or say something that might be better left undone or unsaid
Synonyms: irresistible impulse. Type of: irrational impulse
- (irrational motive) an irrational motive for performing trivial or repetitive actions, even against your will
Synonyms: obsession. Type of: irrational motive
- (causing) the act of using force to cause something to occur
It seems in thinking about compulsion that it is a 3rd party activity. Someone or some thing compels us to do or say something affecting someone else or ourselves, generally negatively.
This doesn’t make a lot of sense to our logical minds. We have laws and go to a great deal of expense in our Western society to protect our freedom of choice, freedom of action. So why do we allow ourselves to be ‘compelled’ into irrational behaviour such as compulsive eating, drinking, smoking, drug taking? Well of course its addiction. But what does that tell us? That we can’t stop doing it so its addiction, if its addiction we can’t stop ourselves from doing it. A circular argument that helps no-one.
It seems obvious that the western world has spent massive amounts of money trying to unravel the mystery of compulsive behaviours. The total budget of the three NIH [US National Institutes of Health] institutes that work in addiction research in 2006 was $2.9 billion. And yet we see no solution for millions and millions caught up in addiction to tobacco, alcohol, drugs, pornography, gaming etc. We can discount the “substance” element as porn/gaming don’t require ingestion of an external substance.
But thinking in terms of compulsion rather than addiction seems to unmask a crucial element. Who is the 3rd party putting a sufferer under pressure? Isn’t this exactly how the enemy works? Temptation and submission.
What does Satan want? To kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10) He does it through temptation, do compulsive behaviours not kill,steal and destroy lives? The enemy wants you in bondage to him, so that you are not free to enjoy the life Jesus came to earth and died to give you.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
but “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” (from 2 Peter 2)
What’s the answer then, how do we get finally free of the bondage?
The Word. In the gospels each time Jesus was tempted by Satan he fought back with the word.
St Peter said:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesisans 6:12
So how do we fight back?
Read Ephesians 6:12-18 and become equipped, especially with “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God“