Tag Archives: Worry

God’s Conviction vs. Satan’s Condemnation

15 Jul

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. . .”  Rom 8:1  NIV

As Christians we strive to please God.  Scripture reminds us, according to 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.”  (NIV)  Those are the words of Jesus.

Following are a few of the ways we can discern whether God is convicting us by way of His Holy Spirit or the thief (Satan) is doing his best to condemn us by his accusations and lies.

 

When God Convicts He:

  • Nudges us gently and with love
  • Speaks a Scripture to our hearts for encouragement
  • Speaks clearly in our hearts when we sin which allows us to repent immediately
  • Reminds us of previous victories to enhance our faith and give us encouragement
  • Cannot lie
  • Sends friends to encourage and support us
  • Gives us joy and peace

When Satan Condemns He:

  • Accuses us of awful things, calls us names, tells us how unloved we are and that we are no good
  • Is the father of lies and tells us God’s Word won’t work for us
  • Reminds us of our failures and mistakes and tells us we will never get beyond them
  • Tries at all times to discourages us
  • Tells us God isn’t listening to us and that He won’t keep His promises to us
  • Hates us and will try to destroy us
  • Sends people to discourage us
  • Tries to convince us that to sin is not that big a deal and that it won’t hurt us
  • Constantly tells us we will fail and never amount to anything
  • Works at tormenting us and plants seeds of doubt and unbelief to make us worry

These are just a few ways we can know if what we are hearing is from God or the thief that comes to kill, steal, and destroy us. God does not condemn us. He sent His Son to die for us so that we might have an abundant life. We cannot fathom how much He loves us, and wants to encourage us.

When we become discouraged and all kinds of negative, hurtful,  and discouraging things come at us we need to recognize immediately that God is  not the author of those things. God’s way is to convict us in love. He will convict us in a manner that is clear and direct when He wants to get our attention. He won’t torment us and cause us to wonder what he is saying to us. God will correct us, His children, but He will do it in a loving manner. He will also do it in a way that we can accept and understand without condemning us in any way.

Any time we begin to have constant negative thoughts – or become depressed and guilty about our past or our failures and shortcomings – we are not hearing that from God. We are hearing it from the accuser – the one who condemns us – the thief, satan.

This is literally good (God) against evil (Satan). We need to be very careful about allowing the thief to rob us of one more moment of peace. God loves us and forgives our sin immediately when we ask Him. He then casts our sin as far as the east is from the west and remembers it no more. Therefore, God isn’t the one reminding us of our past mistakes or speaking condemning words to us.

Ps 103:11-12  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  (NIV)

When the enemy starts bringing those negative, abusive, hurtful thoughts to our hearts we have to stop him immediately. The way to do that is to refuse to yield to those things that will allow doubt and unbelief to haunt us. Instead, we need to denounce the enemy, tell him to get away from us, and remind him that he is a liar, and that he has no authority over us.

The next step is to begin to thank God for His love, His protection, His encouragement and refuse to let our minds meditate on anything but the goodness of God. Actually, the Scripture tells us in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” (NIV)

We are not slaves to our minds. We aren’t helpless when it comes to keeping out negative thoughts, but we do have to make an effort to put a stop to it and to re-focus our thinking on the things of God. He did not leave us helpless, He gave us spiritual weapons. Giving place to His Word, the Bible, will give us all the answers we need.

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Don’t Fight Pointless Battles

29 May

I get really frustrated with myself for fretting.  Actually, the Bible tells us not to.

  • Matt 6:25-27  25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?   NIV

I know better. I also know God is not ever going to forsake me. He is and will always be with me every step I take. Scriptures also tell us that we should not worry about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own.

  • Matt 6:33-34     33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
    NIV

These Scriptures make it very clear that we are to take one day at a time. Obviously, we can’t completely ignore the future, but we can avoid wasting precious time letting our imaginations run wild as we create scenarios that we might be challenged with  – possibly – maybe – in a few days or weeks  or some day. Come on now, does that really make a bit of sense? Absolutely not. More than likely most of the things we worry about will never happen. So, why, why, why do we worry?

Sometimes I focus so much on what “might be” that I am not able to do what is right in front of me. That is when I get so frustrated with myself. I know better. When future possibilities worry me, I begin to thank God for all of the blessings He has poured out on my life. There are so many – too many to count. He has never let me down. I stand in awe of His love and His mighty works. So, I still don’t know why I worry.

I heard someone say that to worry is to suffer in advance. There is so much truth in that. I know that God is going to protect me, no matter what the situation, and I want the battle in my mind to cooperate with the Word of God, not give in to the thoughts that the enemy throws my way.

I try to walk in the Spirit and give everything to God, but there are times I take it back from Him and continue to fret over it. I can’t do both. I either give it to God and put my trust in Him or I hold on to the imaginations and continue to fret. My actions are saying, “God, I don’t really trust you and you might not take care of my problem this time. So, I’ve got this.”

That is the exact thing that frustrates me. God knows me intimately. He made me the person I am today. He knows what is in my heart more so than I do. I can’t thank Him enough for that. There is really no question in my heart and spirit that God will fail me. The question is in my soul – my flesh, if you will. There is a constant battle going on between the two.

The great news is that God never fails me. He is always faithful, even though I may not be. He is right there beside me all the time. I have not completed my race. I’m not a runner, but I know a person doesn’t just decide to run a marathon and sign up. There is a time of preparation. There are challenges to overcome – one being that we don’t give in to the doubt and fear that tries to overtake our minds.

That is exactly what satan tries to do to us. He constantly throws doubts and fears at us, hoping we will give up and turn away from God’s will for our lives. So, that tells me that as long as I am fighting the battle, I am winning the war with God at my side. I am not immune to satan or his evil ways. Scripture tells me that he comes as a thief to steal, kill and destroy but that Jesus wants us to have life to the full.

  • 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.  NIV

It is important to stand firm, doing our best not to waver and, when the enemy comes to steal our peace, destroy our emotions, and kill or destroy whatever we are attempting to accomplish, we stand still and see the great thing the Lord is about to do before our eyes!

  • 1 Sam 12:16   “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes! NIV

We win! Winning means we are triumphant. Even when life isn’t always easy. Actually, life is seldom easy. Being a child of God, a Christian, doesn’t mean we don’t face the trials and tribulations of life, but it does mean we are overcomers through Jesus Christ.

 

 

When Circumstances Take You Off Guard . . .

10 Jun

Chapter 91 of Psalms gives us great assurance that we will prevail in every area of our lives as we dwell in the shelter of God. It IS possible. God promises us that He is always with us. No matter what we face in life, He is walking beside us. We can trust Him. He is our protector. We don’t have to be afraid.

• Taken from Ps 91:1-10

• 1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

We can trust that God has protected us from many traps that the enemy has set for us. By His divine grace He preserves our spirit and protects us from many temptations that the enemy sends our way. God is constantly watching over us to protect us from the things we cannot see.

• 4 He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Tenderly God covers us with His wings and keeps a sheltered at all times. Many things are happening in the spiritual realm that we are unaware of. However; God is aware.

• 5 You will not fear the terror of night, the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
• 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

God tells us all throughout His word not to fear. We don’t have to be afraid in the night or during the day. When we look around and see all of this happening the enemy will use it to bring fear to our minds. Things may be happening all around us but God’s Word says that even though 1,000 may fall at our sides and 10,000 at our right hands it won’t come near us.

We all obviously come very close to the happenings around us. Sometimes we find ourselves physically and emotionally in the middle of it all. But, our God promises in this Scripture to be there with us. He will also walk us through whatever situation we find ourselves facing. He will lead us out. In the event we do face death, we are promised a mansion in heaven and eternal life, if we make Jesus our Lord and Savior. So, nothing that comes our way can touch us that God does not allow. His plan is to always work things out for our good.

As we walk daily with the Lord and develop an intimate relationship with Him, He will make Himself known to us in so many ways. God knows just how to get our attention. He knows what will speak to our hearts. His desire is for us to trust Him with all of our heart and soul, and with our minds.

It has been said that worry is suffering in advance. Fear is not from God. Fear will haunt us continually if we allow it too. God has given us everything we need to fight the spiritual battles that continually arise to defeat us. God has given us His Word with promise after promise to protect us, to guide us, to warn us of things to come and to keep us at peace if we will keep our mind stayed on Him.

To keep our minds stayed on God indicates that we have a choice to make when confronted with situations that would cause fear, frustration, anger or anything else that would try to disrupt the peace and joy that God has so freely given to us. We can choose not to fret and worry. This is not to say that at times we may be caught off guard. Our enemy, satan, strives to catch us off guard. Our first response may be panic. Our minds begin to race and our emotions are deeply stirred. We immediately begin to come up with a plan of how to handle the current situation.

On the other hand, as our personal relationship with our Heavenly Father develops, we will soon learn how to turn immediately to God when faced with surprise attacks from our enemy, satan.

• 9 If you make the Most High your dwelling — even the LORD, who is my refuge — 10 then no harm will befall you no disaster will come near your tent.

In this quote from Psalms, God wants us to see that there is nothing that can harm us. He is there for us in every situation we face. Yes, we will have difficulty in our lives. There will be circumstances arise that will try to defeat us. We will eventually learn that our first response should always be to call on God. He is there and He will guide us and direct us. He will encourage us and reassure us that He is there to see us through whatever it is that seems bigger than life at the moment.

Spending time daily in prayer and with God’s word is the answer to developing our relationship with Him and allowing Him access to our hearts so that we can make necessary changes in the way we think and feel about the circumstances that surround us.

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