Tag Archives: Satan

New Beginnings

Have you ever had something occur in your life that put you in a position to fight for what was noble, pure and true? The struggle between good and evil. Spiritual warfare at its finest. But as hard as you try, nothing seems to be working. You need a desperate shift. A God ordained incident to turn the tides and let good triumph over evil.

I was right in the middle of a moment like that and Satan was relentless. He was attacking me and my family from every angle possible. Three distinctly different sources attempting to tear me down, break my spirit, and destroy me so that I would give up on the task God was preparing me for.

But what Satan didn’t realize was that God was speaking to me through the entire course of events that were taking place and I was tuned in. His voice prepared me for battle by giving me strength, wisdom and courage to fight.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that not only did Satan have an agenda, but so did God. God allowed Satan to send three people to attack so that He could refine an area I have struggled with for years.

I suffer from codependency. Codependency is when a relationship is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or addiction). It involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of those who suffer from such conditions. Poor boundaries not only contribute to the problem, but they are the reason for it in the first place. My lack of boundaries to protect myself led me to feeling responsible for other people’s feelings and problems for years and it took being manipulated by three people for me to open my eyes to the damage I was allowing others to do to my soul. My dependency created a need to be liked, a fear of being rejected, and a deep desire to be understood. Even though the relationships were painful and abusive, I found it very difficult to break free from the craziness of it all. My desire to help people paralyzed me to stay right in the midst of the very circumstances that were destroying my life.

Thank goodness for Godly friends. Their wisdom opened my eyes to truth and helped me to set some very clear boundaries. Now those boundaries weren’t taken very well by the perpetrators but that doesn’t matter. All I am responsible for is me. I finally understand that in order to break the chains that bind me, I must learn what healthy boundaries look like and stand firm.

Shortly after taking some huge strides and releasing my struggles to God, He surprised me with a huge blessing…we are expecting! I have always dreamed of having a child with a man that really loves me. Someone to share in the joys of pregnancy, the excitement of new life and everything that comes with that. God reached out and transformed me, opening me up to receive not only the blessing of healing, but the blessing of new beginnings as I journey into the next phase of life hand in hand with my Heavenly Father. The One who loves me more than I could have ever imagined and reminds me every day that if I follow Him, He will take me on a path that I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams.

If you find yourself relating to my story, first know that God is right there with you. There is a ministry called, “Celebrate Recovery” where you can find healing from hurts and habits. They meet in local churches all over. Another resource that helped me was a book by Pia Mellody called, “Facing Codependence.” As with any issue we face in life, knowledge is the key to gaining wisdom and wisdom is what leads to making better choices.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray for each and every heart that is reading this with tears streaming down their face. Wrap your loving arms around them to remind them that you are near. Give them Your knowledge and infinite wisdom to break free from the chains that are destroying them from the inside out. I pray that they feel your presence like never before and find true freedom so that the door to new beginnings flings wide open and allows Your light to shine brighter than the sun!

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From Secrets, The Heart Overflows

Matthew 12:34 says, “Whatever is in your heart determines what you say.”

About a week ago Satan decided to use someone to completely break my spirit and knock me off course. The events that took place shook me to the core and it was then that I realized just how serious Satan is about silencing our voice. His goal is to make us feel worthless and helpless when faced with opposition. But God stepped in and revealed something that changed my heart. He used this person’s own words to reveal what was going on in their heart.

A harsh tongue reveals an angry heart.

A negative tongue reveals a fearful heart.

A boasting tongue reveals an insecure heart.

A judgmental tongue reveals a guilty heart.

A filthy tongue reveals an impure heart.

Knowing these key points changed everything. Had I known them before that particular conversation took place, I would not have taken anything that was said personally. Instead, I would have ended the conversation immediately and refused to listen to the lies that were spewing from that vault.

But God used it to teach me something. He reminded me that I am no longer in bondage. I have been healed and because of that healing, He brought to light a righteous anger that gave me the courage to stand up to the enemy without fear.

For years I sat back and watched things take place that were against the very nature of God. I knew deep down they were not right, but I was scared to death to speak the truth. For speaking truth only created more issues, so I lived in fear and mastered the art of keeping secrets. I had been lied to for so long that not only had I accepted it, I thought it was normal. After years of counseling, reading hundreds of self-help books, and spending time alone with Jesus, I starting gaining knowledge and wisdom. God revealed the truth and I was forced to come face to face with not only my lies but also the lies of others. I chose to repent, confess, and turn my life around. Doing so required me to rid myself of anything that would cause me to fall back into that trap. I now refuse to be a keeper of the lie and I seek truth. Because letting go of the lies is what truly sets us free.

If you are not a lover of the truth, you will be a keeper of the lie.

Psalm 51:6 says, “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret.”

Let this be our prayer, “Lord, teach me wisdom in the secret.” If we are as sick as our secrets, then help us bring those secrets to light so that we can begin to heal. And create in us a pure heart as mentioned in Psalm 51:10.

If you find yourself struggling with a secret you have held onto for way too long, let me suggest a resource that will help. Beth Moore has a study out titled, “Sacred Secrets”. This study will change your life. Several of the key points in this blog come straight from that study. If we are only as sick as our secrets, isn’t it time we bring them into the light with God so that He can teach us wisdom? Because I promise you if they stay hidden, Satan will do everything in his power to expose them. Take your secrets before Christ and He will not only cover them, they will no longer be counted.

Luke 7:47  says, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven…”

Let me pray for you.

Dear Sweet Heavenly Father,

I come to you today in prayer for each of us reading this blog. You know our hearts and you know the pain we are feeling as a result of the secrets that are buried deep inside our souls. Please teach us wisdom in the secret. Reveal the truth and wrap your loving arms around us so that our fears vanish. Don’t let a secret sin or holding someone else’s secret have any more power over us. Mark 4:22 says, “For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.” Help us to heal so that we can one day reveal what you have done in us for the world to see.

Amen.

 

Here is a great sermon by Francis Chan titled, “The Biggest Lie In Your Life”. A very eye opening and moving message on the subject.

Shock and Awe On a Wrecking Ball-Part 1

Yesterday I turned on the radio to hear a new song that caught my attention. It is a beautiful ballad that seems to come from a very broken place of the one telling the story. The lyrics drew me in and I found myself in the story that was being told.

When we are young, we all make choices that seem right from where we are at that moment. Love is no different. We meet someone and jump in heart first, never looking past what we are feeling. Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus not only tells the story of what happens when we choose someone for all the wrong reasons, but it also shows what happens when we make someone other than God our everything. DEATH & DESTRUCTION!

We clawed, we chained, our hearts in vain (this is not love)

We jumped, never asking why (ask questions, dig deep)

We kissed, I fell under your spell (this is why purity is so important)

A love no one could deny (we won’t listen to reason)

I put you high up in the sky (we make someone other than God our God)

And now, you’re not coming down (they in turn think they are the God of us)

It slowly turned, you let me burn (when they don’t get their way, they turn on us)

And now, we’re ashes on the ground (the relationship goes up in flames)

You see, once we take those steps towards something that is not good for us, Satan makes sure we are hooked. He finds that broken part of us and draws us in so deeply that no one could convince us that we are heading down a dangerous path that will only lead to our own demise.

I made those same mistakes. I met a man and made him my everything and we were happy until I started to develop a deeper relationship with God. That is when things started getting very difficult. I was hearing God loud and clear. He was revealing several areas of our lives that were not in sync with Him. So I decided that it was my job to tell my husband (now my ex) where we needed some help. I was the wrecking ball. I shared the truth in love in an attempt to break down the walls and the lies that were tearing us apart, but nothing worked. In the end, I ended up more broken than ever and it was all because of a choice I made that could have been avoided if I had followed God’s will for my life instead of my own.

I came in like a wrecking ball (we attempt to fix the relationship)

I never hit so hard in love (we use whatever tools we have to force change-for some it may be words, for others it may be fists)

All I wanted was to break your walls (we crave open, honest relationships)

All you ever did was wreck me (broken people who haven’t healed from the past only end up hurting each other)

The irony is the writer of the song is so entranced by the spell that he or she still wants the other person. That is when Satan does a victory dance.

Don’t you ever say I just walked away (We want it to be know that we did everything we could to save the relationship)

I will always want/love you (A lie that Satan feeds us to keep us in bondage)

I can’t live a lie, running for my life (The lie becomes our truth)

I have never felt so passionate about anything as much as I do this. If you are dating someone and it is violent or abusive in any way shape or form, get out now. Don’t wait. You cannot change anyone but yourself. Get help and find out why you choose people that hurt you. That is the key to creating a new future for yourself and until you heal from your past, your future will continue to repeat itself. And don’t settle. God’s plan for your life was not for you to settle for second best. Follow his guidelines and the right person will come along in HIS time, not yours. Be patient because I promise you that finding Mr. Right is not only worth the wait, but is way better than settling for Mr. Right Now!!!

Dear God,

Thank you for loving us like no one else. Teach us your ways so that we can end the suffering that we bring upon ourselves because we don’t know any better. Please wrap your arms around each and every person that reads this post and finds themselves in a situation that they need to run from. Give them the courage and the strength to walk away. And most importantly, give us the wisdom to see the truth through the lies in everything we do. Amen.

Forgive Me Father, For I Have Sinned

Over the years, God has been speaking to me very subtly. His voice would start as a soft whisper and over time it would magnify into a loud roar if I didn’t catch on in a timely fashion. Most of the time I caught on at the whisper stage, but then there were times that I needed to hear Him yell to get the point.

I had just purchased the car of my dreams and had been toying with the idea of a personalized license plate. I wanted something that would be a testimony to others. After brainstorming for a couple of days, I thought “I’m His” would be perfect. I procrastinated a little too long and the dealer plates arrived. I placed them on the trunk of my car to install and got sidetracked with the kids. Later that day I went to the grocery store. It wasn’t until I arrived back home that I realized the plates were left on the car and were now gone. I drove my route hoping to find them on the road somewhere between my house and the store, but no luck. So I ordered replacements. Two weeks later my plates arrived and I opened them to see 850 HYS. My heart stopped. Was this for real? I thought I was seeing things. At that moment I knew God had something very important he wanted to share with me. I went straight to my bible in search of verse 50 in chapter 8.

Before I tell you what I found, you need to know what was going on at that moment in my life. I was married to a man with a sexual addiction. In my brokenness, I had justified certain behaviors of my own. The lines between right and wrong had turned from black and white to grey in our household. After years of pain, instead of relying solely on God to comfort me, I found comfort in things that never gave me what I was longing for. I turned to friends for ungodly advice, spent countless hours easing my pain with shopping, and even turned to another man to meet my needs for emotional support.

I found three verses in the entire bible with a chapter 8, verse 50. All three of them hit my like a ton of bricks. 1 Kings 8:50 says, “Forgive your people who have sinned against you. Forgive all the offenses they have committed against you.” The moment I read the verse, I realized my pain and agony had not subsided because I had unforgiveness and fear in my heart. I had forgiven myself but I was holding captive the forgiveness towards my spouse because I didn’t want to get hurt again. Luke 8:50 says, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” This verse was God’s way of telling me to trust Him and believe that He had a plan for me and that He would meet all of my needs. John 8:50 says, “I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge.” Through this verse, He revealed that He is the judge, not me.

God took something he placed in my heart and used it to teach me a very valuable lesson that day. Healing will never take place the way God intended for it to until we forgive others the way He forgives us, trust Him and believe His promises, and let Him be the judge of those who disobey.

If you find yourself in pain, whether it is the result of your own sin or the sin of someone else, know that God is right there waiting for you to give it all to Him. He is the only one that can heal and restore what Satan has tried to destroy.

 

Guard Your Ears!

So apparently I have been living under a rock. Due to a small accident over the weekend, we had to take our car in for repairs. I was provided with a rental, so I got in and to my surprise it has satellite radio. I was very excited that for the next few days I would get to listen to my favorite station, “The Message.” As I was browsing through in search of this channel, I came to one titled “Radio Sex.” Call me naive, but I thought it would be an informative station where they discuss things like how having a healthy sex life can improve your overall health and such. What I heard next nearly caused me to run off the road. It was a pornographic radio station. What? Is this seriously something people listen to on their commute to and from work? I couldn’t believe it. Never in a million years would I have thought that this world would get so perverted that we would resort to having porno radio. Isn’t it bad enough that anyone can access it on the internet from their own mobile device?

This just brought to my attention how important it is it guard our hearts and that includes not only what we see but what we hear as well. We live in a day and age of media overload and just because it is on doesn’t mean we should listen to it or watch it. We have to teach ourselves and our children to turn it off and never look back because Satan is out to destroy us little by little. What use to make us cringe has become acceptable and over time we have become desensitized to hearing and seeing things that we should never be subjecting our minds to.

So next time you turn on the radio, television, or use any media device, remember that what we put in our minds today will affect who we become tomorrow. Casting Crowns says it best in their song, “Slow Fade.”

Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you’re thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

I pray that God will give us the wisdom to see through His lenses and the courage to stand up for what is right when those around us have become desensitized to the things of this world that go against everything pure and noble and right.

God is Good

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Throughout my life, I have had numerous conversations with people who have been through painful circumstances and ask how God can be good, yet allow bad things to happen. I always dreaded these discussions because I had no words to explain anything that made logical sense. My knowledge of God being good was based on faith alone and when someone is searching for an answer to that question, faith is not the answer they want to hear. They are searching for solid evidence. Something tangible they can grab hold of and cling to in the wake of a heartbreaking tragedy. I have even experienced that type of tragedy in my life and my faith was what held me together and gave me strength to live on.

As disciples of Christ, we should be able to explain this phenomenon to those searching for reasons to believe that God is good. Yesterday I came across this conversation and it changed everything.

Professor: You are a Christian, aren’t you, son?
Student: Yes, sir.
Professor: So, you believe in God?
Student: Absolutely, sir.
Professor: Is God good?
Student: Sure.
Professor: Is God all powerful?
Student: Yes.
Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill, but God didn’t. How is this God good then? Hmmm?
(Student was silent.)
Professor: You can’t answer, can you? Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?
Student: Yes.
Professor: Is Satan good?
Student: No.
Professor: Where does Satan come from?
Student: From…God…
Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Student: Yes.
Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything. Correct?
Student: Yes.
Professor: So who created evil?
(Student did not answer.)
Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?
Student: Yes, sir.
Professor: So, who created them?
(Student had no answer.)
Professor: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen God?
Student: No, sir.
Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?
Student: No, sir.
Professor: Have you ever felt you God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?
Student: No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.
Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?
Student: Yes.
Professor: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.
Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem science has.
Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Professor: Yes.
Student: And is there such a thing as cold?
Professor: Yes.
Student: No, sir. There isn’t.
(The lecture theater became very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further than that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)
Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?
Student: You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, well you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?
Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man?
Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Professor: Flawed? Can you explain how?
Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.
Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)
Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?
(The class was in uproar.)
Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?
(The class broke out into laughter.)
Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.
Student: That is it sir…Exactly! The link between man and God is faith. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.

Faith is all we need, thus the reason it is so hard to explain why we believe what we believe to non-believers. But my point of sharing this conversation was to share something deeper that I learned. The next time someone asks me how a good God can allow bad things to happen, this is how I will respond.

God created the world and everything in it was good. He created Adam & Eve and they were given free will; the ability to choose. Once the choice was made to have the knowledge that only God had up until that point, sin entered the world and everything changed.

The conversation between the student and the professor uses the example of death being the absence of life, dark being the absence of light, cold being the absence of heat, so therefore, evil would be the absence of good. God is not evil. Because of free will, God lets us choose and that choice opens the door for evil to wreak havoc on the world around us. That is the double edged sword of free will. God is always good, always loving, and always merciful. Because of sin, bad things happen to good people and when that occurs, God always uses it for His glory to shine through.

Think about it this way. A man has cancer. He is a Godly man, praying every day for God to heal him from this disease. God decides to answer this mans prayers and brings him home to be with him in Heaven where there is no more pain and no more sickness. Because of sin, we see things from a worldly prospective and think that God didn’t answer this man’s prayers when from a Heavenly prospective he did.

We will never understand God fully until the day he calls us home where we belong. Heaven is our home and earth is temporary. We were never meant to live separated from God, but the fall of man opened that door and until God returns we will have pain, suffering, and heartache on this side of Heaven. Our faith is the only thing that will keep that hope alive and God in our hearts. It is our choice to believe and to attempt to see from His prospective instead of one that is void of Him.