when I was thinking how I came to the point where I am today, a point where I am broken, yes, totally dependent on GOD, yes, but at the same time, where I am also at peace somehow – not all the time, but most of the time – and able to rest in HIS arms and trust HIM.
Not 100% of the time all the time, but most of the time and to a very large amount… and there is a lot “going on” in my life, a lot of things are not the way anyone would call “ideal”… and yet, to me, it is clear that my life has improved so greatly and it is getting better and better every day…
A few years ago, faced with what I am facing nowadays, I can really not tell you what I would have done.
I honestly don’t know how I would have handled certain things if I had not been saved.
I am actually supposing there would have been some crime – committed by ME or against me…
THANK GOD there is an alternative!
THANK GOD there is a remedy – against hate, anger and helplessness and injustice and even against suffering!
Take as many “doses” of it as it takes – no side effects.
It may be addictive, but if you get addicted – good for you!!
Of course, I am talking about GOD and HIS word 🙂
But I want to break it down a little further.
Yes, I recommend studying The Word as much as you can and pray as much as you can.
And to ask GOD for help and advice all the time!
At the same time, sometimes, it is good to share with a friend and have a friend share with you – what they have learnt and what GOD has shown them. That’s what we are called to do – to pray for each other, teach each other, assist each other in our walk with HIM – and that’s what I want to do today: share with you, my friend, what I found helpful and invite you to read, comment and share yours as well if you like…?
Some things which helped me along the way, revelations if you will or findings or ideas, concepts, thoughts I believe in, which I find soothing, assuring, encouraging – so when some of these started bubbling up – I was literally in the bathtub last night when they came to me – I thought I’d put them down here and who knows, perhaps one or the other of them will be helping one or the other of you who is stopping by and struggling with something or with someone or with someone evil, aka, the enemy.
Since they are my findings, they are mostly about my direct struggle against the enemy and his agents – but you can probably apply them to your own “topics/ issues” as well…
Here they are:
# 1 the devil can only attack the FLESH
This is perhaps the most important truth I ever found!
At least for me it was so huge!
I used to sometimes make the mistake and let his attacks get into my spirit or soul…
But that was ME, not him.
Because he can’t do that – unless we let him.
He can cause us physical pain, all sorts of accidents, catastrophes and disasters in the physical realm, but it is absolutely up to US what we make of this in the spirit, in OUR spirit.
Because our spirit is something we sovereignly rule over, where we are created with free will and where we alone decide whom we serve.
The devil can never, ever own our spirit, he can only own our body and our soul!
Our spirit is untouchable for him.
Once I understood this completely, it became much easier for me to give the efforts and attacks of the enemy the place they deserve – and this is only a fleshly, temporary place.
The devil can not cause anything eternal.
Only GOD can do that.
And even if the devil can cause that GOD will send us to hell, because we have given in to his temptations and signed a contract and sold our soul, it is still GOD who decides that we must go to hell and HE can even save us before we die and then all the devil did was in vain and will be annihilated.
# 2 there is always an error in what the devil offers
The examples for this one are countless.
Drugs or alcohol for instance.
We take them to solve problems (I know that is very simplified, but it is still true) and all they do is cause more problems and make the ones we have more severe and more permanent and more irreversible.
Or when we have sexual problems in our marriage, the devil tells us to go and find satisfaction elsewhere – with another partner, with someone we pay for doing exactly what we want or with watching pornography. And the result is that we will not only not solve our problems in our marriage, but also lose the relationship over short or long.
These are just very short and simple examples, but they are examples for how it ALWAYS ends when we give in to the devil.
What he offers can never, ever bring anything good.
And it even goes much further than that:
# 3 there are always not only just very short, cheap and temporary thrills when giving in to temptation, but always severe and harmful consequences
This doesn’t even need explanation or examples.
Everyone knows that and everyone has an example in their own life where they committed a sin and literally had to “pay for it” – and that’s even a good outcome, because it means they are still alive and able to repent and get right with GOD!
# 4 all the devil can possible harm OR improve (temporarily) is the outer, the flesh, the material
Knowing this, we may not even want to aim at his “solutions” any longer, let alone pay the price for them.
If we want REAL solutions, we cannot go to him, cannot rely on him.
He cannot bring us peace.
He doesn’t have true love.
He can’t renew, restore, create.
He is not authorized to forgive sins.
Only GOD can do all that.
The more and the deeper we understand this, the less we will be tempted to look for relief or solutions with him instead of with OUR FATHER.
The devil will promise us “quick fixes” for everything, but they are always a false promise.
And the more we rely on OUR FATHER and the more often or the more deep we have experienced HIS mercy, HIS grace, the less we will even think of going elsewhere.
# 5 when we suffer, it is mainly and mostly something the devil tries to tell us is important, but GOD knows that it really isn’t
I probably need to elaborate on this one a lot!
Not just for you, but also to remind me myself that most suffering is caused by ego, pride, covetousness, greed, anger, sloth, fleshly desires… need I call them out for what they are?
Well, you and I both know that they are the sins.
I will give you an example from my own life.
Happening right now currently.
And I am not proud about how I respond to it – I must say, the devil gets me there a lot more than I like him to!
So if you have followed my stories, you will remember that I got fired because my previous manager was a witch. But not only that, she also caused my next application for prison clearance to fail, because she said I had mal-performed (which is simply not true!) and how I know that is because I appealed against the failure and they upheld their decision and gave me this reason.
So what was I doing?
I was crying and crying out to GOD!
I was deeply hurt by this injustice.
She managed to destroy my career in the sector, at least that’s what I believe now.
I don’t think I will be able to get into any prison with this “stain” on my clearance history – they are asking for the last 5 or 6 years every time, to by the time this will not be following me anymore, I will be 56… hm, also, I will not be able to stay unemployed until then… I have to find something else now – and what struck me also is that I believed that this was what GOD wanted me to do for HIM – as my ministry – you may remember, I wrote about it a lot…
At the same time, I know that even a butcher, a baker, a farmer or a hairdresser can work for GOD and spread the gospel and shine GOD’s light on everyone and everywhere he goes.
I know that earthly professions or careers don’t matter anything to GOD, that they are just human concepts of an image… that HE sees beyond that.
Obviously I don’t.
Or at least not yet.
So what is it that stings me so much?
Could it be pride?
What do I hate more, the fact that she destroyed the possibility of me doing the work I love and wanted to do?
Or the fact that SHE destroyed it and was able to overrule my wish to work in the sector?
You get the picture… and so do I!
And what is the temptation here?
To be angry, to be tempted to curse, to let pride prevail and let me fight on and on and on and last, but not least, to refuse to forgive… GOD FORBID!!!
THAT would mean she would have won!
And with her the devil!
I will find some other way to glorify GOD.
I will find some other client group I can support and be helpful to – or even if I wouldn’t do any obvious social work, which I would still love to, I could work anywhere and be a good servant, a kind and helpful colleague, display Christian values and bless everyone!
The rest is just vanity.
Let’s call it what it is.
Ecclesiastes 1: 1-9
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Just my pride…
Nothing important hurting!
The devil cannot make me angry.
The devil cannot make me feel rejected.
The devil cannot make me feel as if I have failed.
There may be a short sting of his fake pain, but I will return very fast to the TRUTH.
Because I am LOVED.
I am SAVED.
I am a CHILD OF GOD, OF THE MOST HIGH.
No person, no manager, no witch, no employer, no colleague, no client, nobody can change that or take that from me.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yes, they can hinder us to go where we want to go physically and in the world – absolutely!
But what is much more important is that when they do, that we keep glorifying and adoring GOD and praising HIM and not allowing them to be more important than HIM, because HE will put us somewhere, will use us somehow and there is absolutely nothing they can do about it – unless we let them!
They can not take our status away as CHILDREN OF GOD.
And that’s important.
When I remember that, I know that what I suffer from or worry over or even cry about is not important… it is only a temptation, the whisper of the serpent telling me that it is so terrible…
On a sidenote, don’t get me wrong, I know that GOD can still make this happen if HE chooses to, because nothing is too hard or impossible for HIM. And I still believe that it is what HE called me to do…
At the same time, I know that HE wanted me to “get this” – and I did – and I am glad!
# 6 I would never ever want to go back behind the veil where I didn’t see the truth
This darkness I was in, the same darkness all unbelievers are in…
Nothing compares to not having to be there anymore! Nothing compares to living life on the “light side”!
For me, the truth GOD showed me is the best thing I have ever seen, the most important thing I have ever received, it is what I have been looking for my entire LIFE and it is my most precious, priceless possession and I am eternally grateful for it!
I may not be as materially rich as I would have been if I had stayed in the world…
… but I consider myself a Truthillionaire and that’s so much more important and I treasure and cherish my neverending and neverfading riches every day of my life!
THANK YOU JESUS!
And where would I go from here?
Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
#7 truth and freedom and peace are worth more than all the riches of the world together including all sinful pleasures
they do not even compare.
Material riches or even the most cosmic orgasms or highs of whatever kind… not that I have experienced them all, but many of them, sexual immorality, supernatural powers of the enemy, magic, mysteries, plus the very worldly side of life, success, materialism…
and then I found JESUS.
HE is so much BETTER than anything the world could ever offer.
Can there even be an attractiveness in sin or in the world any longer?
When life throws curve balls – and it does, all the time actually! – the first idea, what the “old man” says may be “I need a cigarette!” or a beer or chocolate or whatever it is your “old man or woman” says… mine told me that I really needed to smoke when this message came. I had a physical desire to smoke like never before. My thoughts were telling me I HAD TO have a cigarette!
After 2 years of being clean?
Going back to a very, very addictive habit of more than 30 years?
Because of a “blow” I had to take?
Wouldn’t that make me feel even worse?
That’s what I mean!
Gladly, I didn’t do it – and I am not saying I didn’t want to – had there been someone smoking, I might have even asked them to give me one… but GOD didn’t let it happen.
That doesn’t mean that I am safe forever – of course not, the flesh is weak…
But GOD will help me.
# 8 when I compare what I would have done a few years ago…
There was so much anger in me, I was swearing…
I thought I had it all under control.
I thought I was so strong and clever and smart.
I even though I had the power to heal and help others – well, I was a bit sceptical of that one, I sort of saw the pride in the teachers and other healers, so I rather not called it my power to heal, but I still believed I had the skills to bring out their own healing powers in my clients…
And then, GOD blessed me!
With something which completely overwhelmed me.
With something and someone which swept me off my feet.
Not in a good sense – in a very evil sense.
And there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
No power I had against it.
Because it lead me to the only one who truly has ANY power.
And it made me realize that I need HIM.
Not only did I get saved, which is the biggest blessing of them all, but I also understood that I need GOD for everything!
Not many people actually know that.
There are so many people I see – even in the churches or perhaps especially in the churches! – who are still believing that they are self-sufficient or that their blessings come from something they have done.
They still have to go through this teaching and learning.
And they will.
Everybody will have to learn that they are nothing without GOD at some point.
And if they are not willing to understand – like I wasn’t – GOD will MAKE THEM.
# 9 when I realize what I can do without GOD…
This is another major aspect and it is so tremendously helpful.
Not only when the enemy attacks.
But it also helps with being grateful when the “good stuff” comes 🙂
Not anything, nothing, not a thing!
We have is because of anything we have done.
We don’t have a home and a car because of our work.
We don’t have food on the table because we studied and passed our examns and got a job.
This is not why.
It is ONLY BY GOD’s GRACE that we have these things.
There are many people who did the same things we did and yet, the enemy stole everything from them.
Their joy and their “right mind”.
In fact, I am even one of them at the moment – I didn’t do anything wrong and yet, the enemy stole my career from me and now, I have to get a new one – and I am relying on GOD’s grace, favour and mercy, not because I am stupid, but because my CV looks like a battlefield and I am 50 years old and no employer in their right mind would hire me for the jobs I am applying for, because I hardly have any experience in them – except that GOD may help me and I pray that HE will!
It is very hard to learn this, and yet, there is freedom in it as well once we understand that we can’t do anything else but rely on HIM and at the same time, it is also all we need to do…
# 10 many thoughts I have are not coming from me, but from the enemy
The devil can put thoughts in our head.
And we feel guilty about having them!
There is no need to beat ourselves up for all that is going on in our head.
These thoughts can come from or be evil spirits, temptations, lust, pride – Peter for instance, when he said that he didn’t want JESUS to die! And do you remember what THE LORD answered him?
“Get behind me, satan!
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Or when Peter denied him 3 times.
That wasn’t PETER!
Or at least not the “real Peter” or not Peter alone.
Peter loved THE LORD with all his heart!
I think it was the devil and GOD let him.
Just like HE let him tempt Job… so that they could learn – and so that WE can learn from it!
# 11 GOD is always in control
if we need any proof other than our own lives or even other than the life of JESUS, the book of Job is very enlightening I believe.
First of all, it shows us that satan is not omnipresent – like GOD.
Because he walks to and fro and he comes into the presence of GOD (which is also interesting, because it tells us that even though he has been thrown out of heaven, he is still allowed to come into GOD’s presence and he does it in order to accuse us).
Secondly, he needs permission to tempt us.
Thirdly, he can only harm us as far as GOD allows him to.
Satan is a SERVANT OF GOD.
WE are with the MASTER.
Satan is a created being – just like we are.
What could he do to us?
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
#12 GOD knows best
not only is GOD in control. HE also is the author and finisher of our faith
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
But also is HE the orchestrator of our life!
HE knew us before we were born.
HE knew what would become of us.
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
And only HE makes the plans for our lives.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
# 13 the devil changed my life for the better
mainly because I learned and understood what sin is and what it will cost me.
And thanks to him, I am now living my life avoiding his temptations as much as I can like the plague!
I still fall sometimes, but at least I know now when I am doing something wrong.
Thanks to the enemy.
And had he not been so persistent, especially in showing me his evilness, I may have gone back or he may have been able to tempt me again… if I hadn’t seen his ugly face.
# 14 the devil is really first and foremost after our faith
the only way the devil can possibly get us is if we loose our faith and turn away from GOD.
Yes, there are many temptations coming with that and it is sometimes hard to stay faithful.
But there is also a tremendous power in that.
WE decide who rules over us.
WE decide where our eternal home will be.
WE decide whom we serve.
Once we have seen through the patterns of the devil, through his schemes, it is getting much easier to give them the place they deserve:
I put them under “rebellion”, tantrum, defiance, deception, snare, fake, illusion, temporary, lies, false…
This video may help you additionally to what I have said, my friend:
I hope and pray that this will inspire, heal and bless you. And that THE LORD will bless you abundantly in all areas of your life. That HE will keep you and shine HIS face upon you and bring you peace. In JESUS’ name I pray. AMEN.
picture found at lefil.ulaval.ca