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Monthly Archives: March 2018

Bullies of the Bible part 5: Satan

Last year I started a post series entitled Bullies of the Bible. We left off with the Sinful Nature. And in my mind when it comes to who makes the top of the list of bullies from life and from the Bible it is almost a tie between the Sinful Nature and Satan. However if this was a horse race Satan would cross the finish line first, by a nose.

In the beginning before the Sinful Nature was yet born, Satan was already alive and wreaking havoc. It was Satan who deceived Adam and Eve in the garden; and from this deception Sin was born. Satan was the one who brought turmoil and despair into Job’s life. And if we think long and hard about it he is the one who is calling the Sinful Nature out in us. He draws out the Sinful Nature in our hearts much like we would use salve to draw out a deep splinter where we have one.

Satan has taken on many forms: from a serpent with Eve to an angel of the light in Job, or from a dragon in Revelations 12:7 to a lion in 1 Peter 5:8. So, whether he is Kaa from Disney’s the Jungle Book or Godzilla destroying Tokyo or even Scar from Disney’s The Lion King, he is definitely a bully.

Satan works differently from most other bullies. He isn’t interested in your lunch money or some other material thing you have, he is interested in you. He is seeking an army, a mighty army, with one purpose and that is to overthrow GOD (as if he could).

Satan wants your heart, no, your soul! He is a lion prowling around looking for souls to devour. And much like Scar, he is a liar.

Jesus says this about Satan, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)

As I said above, Satan helped usher in the Sinful Nature. He knows yours and he calls it by name. If you think about this, you know it to be true. And, why does he do this? Because if you are worthless to GOD (which is not true), then you are powerful to him. Which, by the way, is a lie. Also, Satan doesn’t share his imaginary power, he just deceives you to steal yours.

I love using examples, so here are a few:

Marriage:

God joined us to our wives or vice versa in our union with a portion of his Spirit.(Malàchi 2:15) And Paul tells us not to grieve this Spirit. (Eph 4:30)

Yet, we allow Satan to call the sin in us out when it comes to faithfulness in our marriages. Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, “That if we look at someone with lust in our hearts for that person we have committed adultry.”

Yet, here is Satan playing the adulterous woman, in my case anyway, that Solomon warned us about in Proverbs 5:3 saying, “For the lips of the forbidden woman drip with honey and her speech is smoother than oil.” He goes on to say that, “Her feet go down to death.” (v.5)

Why not Satan? I mean, as we have seen, he can be a dragon. Why not the forbidden woman? His lips drip with honey, his speech is smoother than oil. Remember, he is the father of all lies. And his feet go down to death, in the sense that the wages of sin are death! After all, he ends up in Hell and so do his followers.

Time, Money, Other important things

Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

What is your treasure? What thing or things do you treasure the most? What does Satan tell you that you can’t live without? Is it Sunday sports instead of Sunday worship, is it prestige and power instead of being humble and serving? Is it loving thyself instead of loving others?

Can you see the difference? I point to these opposing things because either you are a disciple of Christ or you are bullied into being a disciple of Satan. And Satan’s bullying isn’t painful at the time, instead it may feel like intense pleasure. He uses our fleshly desires against us, he wants you to store up treasure here. He is always pulling us away from Christ.

In fact, we know this is true because Jesus says to those opposing him, “You are of your father the devil and your will is to do what your father desires.” (John 8:44)

GOD’s kingdom is one of serving others, Jesus said, “to be great in the kingdom of heaven you must be a slave to all,” Satan says to be great in his kingdom, you must be greater than all. Arrogance is one of Satan’s traits. (Ezekiel 28:17)

The Word of God is clear, however, on how to resist Satan, In James it says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”(4:7) However, this is hard so we have to ask God for wisdom to be able to see when Satan is attacking. And James has that covered as well. He says,”If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who give generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.”(1:5) Make sure to ask in faith though.(v6)

Prayer,

Oh, heavenly Father, I am sick of Satan pulling some of the strings in my life. And I would like to give you full control. I need your help and guidance in my life to be more aware of Satan’s scheming and to be able in those moments to submit to your lordship in my life. Please LORD help me to resist him.

In Jesus name, Amen!

Bibliography,

The Jungle Book, Walt Disney, Oct 1967

The Lion King, Walt Disney, June 1994

Godzilla, Ishiro Honda, 1954

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Reconciliation

This week I found out that a brother passed away. He has been sick for a while, however he died from something else. His death however has got me thinking about so many different things.

First, I am beating myself up because with him I have been a lazy sibling. At one point we were coming together weekly and praying together daily but lately he has just been passing through my thoughts and occasional prayers.

It seems that when someone moves out of the flock that we belong to we treat their importance a little bit different. Examples of this range from a growing distance in our relationships; out of sight out of mind or not seeking them out. To a complete almost apathy to the relationship, which shows up as not praying for or thinking about or even a complete death of the relationship.

Seasons come and go and sometimes friendships only last a season. Think about it how many times has God moved someone into your life to help you through some tragedy and then years later that person is no longer a part of your day to day life. Maybe this has only happened in my life? Sorry for my rant.

Secondly, this death has me thinking about reconciliation. Does that sound weird?

Reconciliation in essence means to exchange. No that doesn’t sound right, does it? See when God reconciled us to himself through Jesus’s death on the cross, He (God) exchanged our broken, sinful lives that lead to eternal separation from him, with His Son’s righteousness and a life with him eternally. So now we have this reconciliation with God and because of this we can cry out Abba, Father.

But there is another kind of reconciliation, and that is between us and those in our lives. In the gospel according to Matthew, Jesus says,” So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift.”(5:23-24)

I bring this up because my friend who died has two sons and his relationship with the one of these sons was broken, and although my friend had sought to fix or exchange this relationship for a good one, the son refused.

James says, when talking about relying on the future,”What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”(4:14)

I bring this piece of scripture up because my friend found out he was dying and died five days later. His son refused to be reconciled maybe hoping on tomorrow but it never came. His chance was squandered.

We are told to seek first the kingdom of God and that kingdom is one of reconciliation. And 2 Corinthians 5:18 says that,”we have been given a ministry of reconciliation.”

There is a clock for each of our lives and we do not know at what time it will stop. Only God knows, so let me put this out there. Open the gift of reconciliation that God is offering you and then seek to be ambassadors or imitators of God and give that gift to whomever is in your life that needs it.

PRAYER:

Oh Abba, Father, thank you so much for exchanging my decaying life for a life that is whole and with you for all of eternity. LORD please help me to examine my life and to seek the things of your kingdom, especially when it comes to forgiveness and reconciliation. And I pray this in the matchless name of Jesus, Amen.

(Enter into His eternal rest Paul Duff)

If you like what you have read please comment, and may God bless your day!