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Category Archives: Bullies

I am not a Back-handed Honor Seeker, or am I

I think for the most part all of us in one way or another desire to be honored. We want our spouses to honor us, our children, our families, we even want co-workers and strangers to show us honor.

To seek honor is a good thing; it is a wise thing. Solomon penned in Proverbs 3 that the wise inherit honor whereas the fool disgrace. However, there are people (and if I am honest I have drunk from that man-made cistern) that put receiving honor above other people and relationships. To make this a bit easier to digest, some people make success in receiving honor more important than actually being honorable.

Let me ask you a question; Do you believe that while being wise you can be completely foolish about things you yearn for? I think that for the most part, we are all good-willed people, none of us truly seek out being evil. That being said, how is it that we allow ourselves to become so blinded by our fleshly desires?

This posting is about a man (or us) in the Bible that did just that. He wasn’t super-evil he just allowed his quest for honor and power to unravel him. His name is Haman and we can find him in the book of Esther. Haman was wise and hard working. We know this because King Ahasuerus promoted him above all the other nobles in his court (3:1). The King trusted Haman in making decisions concerning his Kingdom (3:9-11). The King also sought counsel from Haman concerning everyday things; like giving honor where honor was due (6:6-9).

Haman himself even loved to boast about his stature in the Kingdom to his wife and friends (5:11-12). But all of this honor wasn’t enough for him, he wanted more. All the honor that the king, the queen, the governors, and the other officials gave him just wasn’t enough. Everyone in the kingdom was showing him honor but one person. ( on a side note this was a big kingdom, it stretched from India to Ethiopia, and contained 127 provinces)

Haman allowed this one person who refused to bow down to him to effect his own decision making. He allowed one small thing to fester which ultimately showed his foolishness and brought death. But even worse than death Haman’s disgraceful story would be told and read for all of eternity because God’s word is eternal.

So back up to what Solomon wrote: the wise inherit honor whereas the fool disgrace. I can sympathize with Haman because I have been him. From time to time I have said that the honor or the privileges that the King of King’s has set before me are not enough. I have been foolish. LORD change me!

Prayer:

LORD, thank you for revealing these things to me and thank you for sending your son to me. Please continue to change me, to transform me into a likeness like your own.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

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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