When I was growing up, hearing anything related to satan and his demons scared the bejeebers out of me. I didn’t want to think about him, let alone say his name out loud for fear of attracting a hellacious attack.
After college, I learned that while satan is very real, believers have been given the power and authority to defeat him. Unfortunately, many of us lack understanding when it comes to spiritual warfare and end up getting our hinnys kicked by not showing up for the fight.
We are in a battle for our minds. Satan is masterful at planting thoughts and manipulating our emotions. And since we tend to believe our thoughts and feelings originate with us instead of questioning where they come from (2 Cor. 10:5), we end up putting our oars in the boat and floating along where he wants to take us.
What would happen if we challenged our negative thinking?
Satan is crafty and I believe he’s pulled the wool over the eyes of the world and the church.
We live as if it’s normal to be sad and frustrated and unhappy. We accept other people’s judgmental thoughts and raise them two rumors, abetting and fueling the gossip swirling around us.
I get it. It feels good to spread dirt on people. We feel seen and valued when we are the source of information. But this is why we are unhappy. We are living in and feeding the wrong kingdom.
We hate being depressed. We hate the tensions and back biting. But I wonder if we looked closely enough would we connect the dots that have led us down disappointing paths?
The path of disconnect and unhappiness and depression is littered with seemingly small choices and inconsequential comments that take us further from Love.
When I complain about my co-worker, grumble at my husband, judge our politicians I’m choosing to unify with the enemy’s kingdom. I’m choosing satan’s weapons of choice. Without realizing it, I’m actively participating in a spiral into negativity. The very place we hate living.
It is so much harder to turn the other cheek, to forgive, to think the best of others when their choices may be affecting us in damaging ways. Choosing well—–choosing to love, to forgive, to be gracious—–isn’t the easiest path. But it is how we practice taking up our crosses to follow Jesus (Matt. 16:24).
We practice defeating the enemy and stepping into freedom by becoming more like Jesus. Not through reading the Bible more, though that arms us with knowledge about Him. It shows us His character. It teaches us how to live in His kingdom. It’s full of amazing wisdom and knowledge that we desperately need to live fulfilled lives.
But the most effective way to become more like Jesus is to spend time with Him, getting to know Him. Talking with Him. Being still in His presence. Listening. He’s a Person that longs to spend time with you. We can focus on our behavior—–work to stop gossiping, obey all the Bible says. But outward compliance has nothing to do with inward transformation. Transformation comes from being with Jesus. People were changed by being with Him.
You’ll be amazed at the joy you’ll feel by sitting with Him a little while. We can’t help but be changed. He’s that good. And that powerful. He’s absolutely amazing and He wants to spend time with YOU.
Father, I want to get to know You. I want to spend time with You. But I’m afraid. Help me find the moments in my day to share what I’m feeling. Holy Spirit, teach me more about Jesus and how to be like Him. I want to know each of You more intimately in my life. Reveal Yourselves to me and take me deeper into relationship with You. Thank you! In Jesus’ name, amen.
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