Tag Archive | condescending

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 54 – Satan, the Destroyer

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 54

Satan, the Destroyer

Lord, some Christ followers today do not believe that Satan is still a real threat and influencer. What do You say? Are we really in a daily battle with our enemy, the devil? How do we recognize his attacks? Can we put the blame on him when we sin? How do we discern his voice in our thoughts?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Child of God, you are a new creation in Christ Jesus. The old has gone; the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17). You may not place blame on Satan for your sin. Sin does not control you unless you allow it. I have given you the free will to choose right from wrong. It is your decision to obey or disobey Me; to follow My Word or disregard it. Satan is still a real influencer of humanity against Me. To believe anything less could cost you your life—your marriage, your family, your finances, your friendships, or your relationship with Me. Do not let down your guard. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10) but Jesus came to give you life in the full. I have provided you a way out of any temptation by the power of the Holy Spirit in you. He helps you say ‘No’ to sin. Be sensitive to My voice within. I lead you not into temptation; I deliver you from the evil one (Matthew 6:13).

Satan speaks to you in your thoughts. He does not know your thoughts, but he interjects his thoughts into your mind. He leads the whole world astray. He is the accuser (Revelation 12:9-10) and his accusations are shaming and condemning. His voice is harsh and condescending. His words are manipulative and wounding. He uses Scripture to deceive, and he distorts the truth. His language is disturbing and confusing. He plants ideas in your mind trying to keep you from living a life of purity and righteousness in Christ. He will stop at nothing to weaken your faith and damage your relationship with Me, your spouse, your family, your friends—anyone and anything important to you. Remain alert to his ways. He is the destroyer of all good things.

Satan is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). He deceives you with altered versions of the truth. When you believe in his lies and give way to his deceit, you take a step toward him and away from Me. You do not want to put yourself in this position, walking down a path to destruction, like a sheep being led to the slaughter. You are more than a conqueror. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate you from My love that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:31-39).

Make no mistake though. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith (1 Peter 5:8-9). Otherwise, your enemy will deceive you and destroy your life. Your 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. Daily dress yourself in the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand (Ephesians 6:10-18). Pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of requests.

Submit yourself, then, to Me. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to Me, and I will come near to you (James 4:7-8). I have given you My Spirit. You may rely fully on Me. No temptation will overtake you; I am faithful, I will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Be strong in Me and in My mighty power (Ephesians 6:10).

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You that I can rely on Your Holy Spirit, Your promises and the truth in Your Word to make choices and decisions according to Your will. Thank You for leading me not into temptation but delivering me from the evil one. Please make me ultra-sensitive to discerning the thoughts from the devil. When he attempts to lead me astray, remind me of the truth, and help me stand firm in my faith. Lord, please speak to me now regarding my personal battle with the enemy and how I can be victorious in the daily struggle he engages me in. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, please show me ways the devil is currently attacking me. What are my areas of weakness? (Write down whatever comes to mind just now.)

 

  • Jesus, it is said, ‘when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Corinthians 12:10). Please show me how You fortify my weakest walls against my enemy, the devil? What shall I do to protect myself? (Record every word and thought Christ gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, please identify ways the devil masquerades as an angel of light to me? How am I currently being deceived by him? (Journal all the ideas that run through your mind.)

 

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You that whenever I am tempted, you always give me a way out, by the power of Your Holy Spirit within me. Help me to recognize Your voice and draw on Your assistance every time. I hear that I am in a continual battle with the enemy, but I do not always recognize it when I am in the middle of the battle. Help me to be more sensitive to the devil’s deceitful ways and war tactics. Let me engage in battle with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, as my weapon of choice. Give me the time to daily read and meditate on your Word, so that your Spirit will be able to remind me of it when I need it. Holy Spirit, please bring to my memory the exact Scripture I need, at the exact moment I need it, along with the power and authority to overcome the evil one in the name of Jesus Christ, by His blood. Thank You for the victory over sin, death, and the grave. In the name of Jesus Christ, and by the power of His blood, I ask all this. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Matthew 4:5-7, 5Then the devil took Him to the holy city and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6“If You are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning You, and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” 7Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Matthew 13:24-25, 24Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in His field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, His enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.”

Matthew 13:36-39, 36Then He left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sows them is the devil.”

Luke 22:31-32, 31Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

John 8:44, He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 10:10, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 13:2, The evening meal was being served and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.

1 Corinthians 10:13, No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

2 Corinthians 11:14-15, 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Ephesians 4:26-27, 26In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 6:10-18, 10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For 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. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, an after you have done everything to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

2 Timothy 2:24-26, 24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do His will.

Hebrews 2:14-18, 14Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16For surely it is not angels He helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17For this reason He had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.

James 4:7-8, 7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God, and He will come near to you.

1 Peter 5:8-9, 8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

2 John :7-8, 7I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.

Revelation 12:9-17, 9The great dragon was hurled down—that the ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with Him.10Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” 13When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. 15Then from His mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. 16But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commandments and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Roadblock #3 – Pride – The Enemy of Humility

Independence, control, and comparison. Those words don’t sound prideful when spoken individually. However, when we rely on ourselves for everything and don’t depend on God for anything, He could view this independent spirit as arrogance or overconfidence. Likewise, it often feels good to be in complete control of ourselves, our lives, an event, a situation, another person, or his actions. The haughty monster of pride rears its ugly head in the condescending creature of control. And when we compare ourselves to others and always come out on top, a conceited nature triumphs over humility in our souls. Be careful—this sounds a bit like sitting in the judgment seat, and that’s not a position you want to claim for yourself. Judgment is reserved for Almighty God alone.

Pride is mentioned in Proverbs 6:16-19 as one of the seven things detestable to God. Pride manifests itself in these forms: arrogance, conceit, self-importance, egotism, vanity, haughty eyes, condescension, scorn, disrespect, snootiness, loftiness, and contemptuousness. The Lord despises proud actions and attitudes. Here are a few of the many verses that describe how God feels about pride:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)

The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5)

Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar. (Psalm 138:6)

If you are not hearing God’s voice, you may want to perform a pride inventory in your spirit. Do you practice humility and selflessness, or are you responsible for behaviors that are detestable to God? The verses above assure us that God will punish the proud of heart, and He doesn’t go near individuals who are full of pride. If you hold pride in your heart, confess it and ask God’s forgiveness. Get rid of all pride, arrogance, conceit, self-importance, haughtiness, disrespect, loftiness, and condescension before you seek the Lord to listen to His voice. Treat others as more important than yourself. Assume the position of the lowly, the meek, and the servant. Don’t take it to the extreme so that you resemble a doormat, but approaching the Lord with a contrite heart, in humility, opens the door to receiving God’s words of grace, encouragement, and wisdom.

Unfortunately, pride comes much too naturally to all of us, including me. Read about the fall of humankind in Genesis 3. From the very beginning of time, self-importance snuck into human desire. Satan tempted Eve with the idea that she could be all-knowing and wise, like God, if she ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. Deceived by the devil, Eve ate some and gave some to Adam. Pride initiated a sinful response when the evil one presented his temptation.

The need for independence and superiority continues to be the cause of some of our sin today. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” The truth of this verse rang loudly in the Garden of Eden. It still rings true thousands of years later.

Another example of haughtiness is found in Ezekiel 28, the prophecy against the king of Tyre. In verse 17, the Sovereign Lord says, “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.” God detested his arrogance. The king’s pride preceded his destruction.

In Proverbs 8:13, the wise Solomon says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” Fear in this case is the same reverence for the Lord that we talked about in the previous blog. When you respect the Lord, you will detest all pride and arrogance, as He does. Yet arrogance sneaks into all areas of life. Recall that pride inventory we talked about? It may be necessary to make that assessment daily, even hourly.

If pride in any form resides in your life, don’t expect to be close to God and hear from Him regularly. Psalm 138:6 says, “Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar.” As another passage I’ve already quoted says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:6-8). God spends time with humble people who submit themselves to Him and make time for Him. God distances Himself from the self-righteous, prideful, judgmental person.

When the needle on the pride-o-meter registers anywhere on the gauge, take action immediately to dispose of all forms of pride. Humble yourself before the Lord. Submit yourself to Him and exalt Him, rather than yourself. Show the Lord how much you trust in Him for everything. Relinquish your control to the Most High. Place the desires of others ahead of your own. Do not judge any person or behavior. Assume the servant position in God’s kingdom.

Do you struggle with judging others or promoting yourself to a higher pedestal? What alerts you of your arrogance? I can tell you truly, when I do not practice the humility of a servant, I should not expect God will speak to me. No matter my standing or position in the world, I am but an unworthy sinner, forgiven and saved by God’s grace alone. I am no better than anyone else. If I do not treat others better than myself, God has no business with me, and therefore no reason to talk to me.

Anytime I have seated myself on the judgment throne with regard to another human being, God has given me an opportunity to experience the same affliction, position, or experience as the one I judged. Very soon I’ve gained a new appreciation and respect for the one I condemned because I have walked down a similar path. Becoming the object of my own pride rapidly and effectively cuts me down to size. When the roadblock of pride comes down, my reception of God’s voice dramatically improves.

The Bible provides many significant illustrations of humility. Jesus, God’s own Son, displayed the ultimate humility when He left His throne in heaven and came to earth to be the sacrificial Lamb and die for our sins. Another dramatic demonstration of Christ’s servanthood took place when He washed the feet of His disciples. We can imitate this kind of humility when we selflessly serve our own subordinates, or, better yet, those we judge. This foot washing can be accomplished literally or figuratively. Think of a way you might take an unassuming position with someone you lead, manage, or influence. Is there any type of metaphorical foot washing you could perform for him or her? Maybe picking up a towel and basin of water is what you really need.

Let’s examine some of the enemy’s deceit in our thoughts, which gives birth to overconfidence. You might believe you can take care of yourself; you know what’s best for you. Or, you might think you are in control of your own life. Is it possible that thinking you are better than someone else for any reason could be hampering your clear reception of God’s voice in your thoughts? Grab your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God’s Voice today, and begin identifying what stands in your way of hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit, who makes your heart His home.

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Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series