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Posts Tagged ‘Satan’

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Halloween is approaching and you now see people decorating their houses with lights. It has become such a commercial holiday. But not only is it about candy and costumes, we are more and more glorifying the horror that represents it. In Hollywood, zombies and ghosts are no longer these feared things. We have movies that glorify them and make them cool. I have a friend who is really into zombies and horror video games. She loves that stuff! I see bars having “The Walking Dead” nights and downtown zombie walks. I honestly feel like I’m missing out on something because I don’t watch the shows. But in reality, evil is very real and it is in the world. It’s not something to adore and we as believers need to be alert and ready.

How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”  

Isaiah 14:12-14

Not everything bad comes from come from Satan (we like to blame him for everything). The root of evil is pride – the pride we have in our hearts. In this passage, Satan was once the most beautiful angel in heaven. But he fell because of his pride, because he wanted to be better than God. Self-centeredness, bitterness, jealously, idolatry, greed – Pride comes from the evil in our own hearts. Satan likes to tempt us to act on these things. Evil comes from our choices when we let the desires of our hearts overcome us.

Satan likes to work in the complexity of our lives –

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

– C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

How did Jesus defeat evil? He became nothing. As Satan tried to control Him, Jesus let’s go. How do we defeat evil, become nothing. Let go. Become weak and follow Jesus. We have God’s power in us to overcome Satan.

For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you.

2 Corinthians 13:4

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I had a pretty long conversation the other day with a friend of mine about spiritual warfare. She is big time into thinking demons are very real in our daily walk. Last week I studied about Folk Islam. It’s a catch-all phrase for Muslims who practice both orthodox Islam practices with animistic practices. Most Muslims believe that God very distant from them and that they need to rely on things like magic and rituals to harness supernatural powers because they themselves feel powerless. Just studying this spiritual realm of Islam has gotten me asking me my own questions of what I believe about the Spirit world.

Maybe we don’t always practice animistic ways as Christians to manipulate God, but do we truly always turn to God for everything? Is there really any difference in how we approach our probelms than those that practice rituals when a loved one is sick? Many of us choose to take our own actions instead of asking and trusting that God is Sovereign. As Christians, we need to understand that Spirits are for real and you see this throughout scripture (For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Ephesians 6:12). Jesus and the disciples really did drive demons out of people – they weren’t just stories. We need to be prepared daily for these forces of darkness that prey upon us with Christ’s supernatural authority that he gives us. It’s why he died on the cross for us. I have been better at not trying to look at others as an enemy, but more that Satan is using them to tempt me and cause brokenness in my relationships with them. I try to pray in the Spirit for all occasions and trials.

Evil Spirits in India

When I was India, I was walking through the red-light district and saw pictures of demons posted on these huts where prostitution took place overnight. I also saw shrines that housed cobras for worship. I felt a darkness over this place and I remember having to pray in that moment as I knew evil Spirits resided here. I also attended a worship service out in a remote village and witnessed people shaking and foaming at the mouth as we sang worship songs (My Pastor had a look of terror on his face – I don’t think seminary prepared him for this). Just seeing people oppressed by Spirits firsthand made this spiritual realm more real to me.

I think my comfortable lifestyle in the U.S. makes me overlook the spiritual battle going on in my own backyard. I tend to forget that there is a war going on here too. I truly believe people can be oppressed by demons when they are enveloped by their own sin. I believe Satan puts a clamp on us and blinds us to the truth. I can think of many times that I was in sin and don’t remember it. This just makes me remember to pray for those that are lost and to be prepared spiritually for the battle Satan is waging on us.

“Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.   Luke 10:17-18

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Cruelty

But in real life people are cruel for one of two reasons – either because they are sadists, that is, because they have a sexual perversion which makes cruelty a cause of sensual pleasure to them, or else for the sake of something they are going to get out of it – money, or power, or safety. But pleasure, money, power, and safety are all, as far as they go, good things. The badness consists in pursuing them by the wrong method, or in the wrong way, or too much. I do not mean, of course, that the people who do this are not desperately wicked. I do mean that wickedness, when you examine it, turns out to be the pursuit of some good in the wrong way. – C. S. Lewis

There good people and there are bad people. But I’m trying to wrap my brain around people who have good intentions and bad things to get good things. Maybe they don’t realize their actions or the error of their ways. I don’t get people who are cruel. I have had people do absolutely awful things to me and completely justified in doing it. Is is selfish? How do they get over the guilt? I would think that eventually its got to sink in. It just feels like a short cut to get an advantage over someone in order to get their way.

I wish I could write out what my thought process is over this. But I guess my overall concern is how we should react to people who are cruel or wicked. Everything I read in scripture says not to bring yourself down to their level. It says we are to trust that God is fair and will judge those who do wrong to us.

“My child, do not go down their way, withhold yourself from their path; for they are eager to inflict harm, and they hasten to shed blood. Surely it is futile to spread a net in plain sight of any bird, but these men lie in wait for their own blood, they ambush their own lives! Such are the ways of all who gain profit unjustly; it takes away the life of those who obtain it!” Proverbs 1:15-19

Ultimately, Satan is a liar! And he uses others to try to knock us down. We need to remember that when others do harm against us. Satan will go to any lengths and will use anything to try to put division between us and God.

“He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

I was going to grab my pastor before a Bible study last night on this subject. But I decided to wait and see if God would speak to me through his study. And of course… he did. He did an amazing study from Ephesians 4:25-32. I love how he points out that we are to walk with the Holy Spirit and not grieve him. That we are not to let Satan have a oppotunity to cause more damage. Responding in a Christ-like manner will frustrate him. The battle is not against flesh and blood, but ultimately against him. We must be strengthened in the Lord and be ready to stand against these spiritual attacks.

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Under Attack!

This past month has been an amazing month for me. I’ve grown very close in my walk with Christ. I have has several amazing opportunities come my way through the church. I’ve gotten myself in great shape. And my best friend and sister in Christ and I admitted feelings for each other.

Then Satan attacked….

He has cast doubt in my head about going into ministry and my relationship with my friend is in turmoil. I’m under massive attack! I’m roughing it. Yet I am still keeping close to God.

How does Satan get to us?

– He cast doubts and ridicule. He convinces us that we can’t do the work.

– He uses other against us. He will use anyone. Everytime we turn around there is a new problem.

– Be beats us down. He sends so many problems our way we don’t have the strength to carry on.

– He sets traps. Any type of uncomfortable situation that we could fall into.

– Lies & gossip. This is a huge one. James says our tongues are a huge weapon.

– Fear. We are afraid of him and what he can do.

– He will turn friends and close relationships against you. This hurts our hearts. He destroys relationships.

We must be alert. Know that Satan is powerless against the God almighty. Draw strength from God to move forward. Know His plan and stick with it. Avoid godless chatter and gossip. Keep a support system around you. God gives us what we need to survive these attacks. We must stay close to Him.

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The Enemy Attacks

I just back from an amazing time in Belize. It has changed my life. But Satan didn’t like that I was so spiritually filled and threw some pretty tough trilas my way as soon as I got back. It has been a difficult week. In fact, most of the people that I went with to Belize with have had difficult weeks. But God has totally supplied me with the weapons to combat the enemy. I am blessed with an awesome small group, church and some very supportive friends and family that helped pull me through. And of course my Bible is always something I turn to whenever times get rough. My feet are on solid ground and my faith is strong – bring it on Satan!

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