Genesis 3:6 “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.”
In a culture of shallow spirituality and surface level living, it’s easy to be deceived by the appeal of the glitter and sparkle of vain things. Our original mother, Eve, found herself in a conversation with Satan on such matters and listened to the voice of deception, rather than the voice of discernment. She looked at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and approached the fruit in 3 ways: 1) She saw it was good food for her stomach; 2) It was a delight to her eyes and 3) It was a fulfilment of the desire of her heart. Eve failed to trust in God’s goodness to provide all three for her, took matters into her own hands and acted independently of God. If we aren’t discerning of the lies of Satan , we will end up distrustful of God’s goodness and grace in our lives, and become victims to the deception of sin. Not everything that glitters is gold. Ask God for greater discernment in your spirit and sharpen your spiritual awareness through God’s Word, and you won’t fall prey to the lies of the enemy. Hebrews 4:12 says, “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Selah!
John 1:4-5 “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”
God is the source of life. All things were made through him and for him. God’s life is the light of all humanity. God breathed his spirit into the void of man’s body and brought us all to life. The light of God’s presence shines so bright that no matter how dark it gets in the world, darkness cannot overcome it. The darkness of man’ sin and Satan’s agenda will try to smother the light of God’s glory and goodness but darkness can never overcome the light of God from the earth and all creation. This is a reassuring message at a time in the world when all humanity appears to be shaking under the weight of darkness. People are groping for meaning and life but unfortunately looking for it in all the wrong places. God is the source of light and life itself. Everything about him exudes and promotes the fulness of life. Whatever darkness you may be facing today, internal or external, run to the light of God’s grace, goodness and presence. You will discover like many others that the light still shines in the darkness. Explosive Insights!
“…And having done all, stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13)
4 times in this passage the apostle Paul emphasizes the word ‘Stand’. Sometimes the only thing that will overcome the onslaught of Satan is to simply hold your ground and stand firm. Standing firm has a defensive posture to it. Life will sometimes feel like the enemy of your soul is throwing everything at you to distract you and ultimately destroy you. His attack can come in multiple forms, including, sexual temptation, condemnation, offense, fear and intimidation to name a few. Remember, the primary battlefield Satan attempts to conquer you in, is in your mind. When his attack comes, don’t merely fight it in the natural with positive thinking but resist the devil by submitting to God and using the spiritual weapons God has supplied to you. These weapons include praising God, acting in faith, meditating on and declaring the truth of Gods Word, choosing the pathway of peace versus conflict and finally standing firm. The next time you find yourself in a firefight with Satan, utilize the arsenal of weapons at your disposal but after having done all, stand firm, submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Having the form of godliness but denying its power. 2 Tim 3:1-5
We’re living in difficult times. The day and age we live in can be summed up in the fact that we love ourselves more than we love God. The more infatuated we are with ourselves, the more difficult our times will become, because self-centeredness produces death, whereas, God-centeredness produces life. The bible records that in difficult times, people who carried the power of God rose up to penetrate the darkness with God’s light. Pharaoh had a form of power but Moses had God’s power. Goliath had the form but David had the power. Ahab had the form but Elijah had the power. Sadly, in our current day, some of the modern church has a form of godliness but not the power of godliness. We have the ritual but not the relationship. We have the ‘want’ to change but not the ‘will’ to change. Our Gospel has become way too polished, as if we’re ashamed of it. We are all dressed up with no power to show. A form of godliness isn’t going to bring lasting change. We need the power of godliness. Paul said, ‘The kingdom doesn’t consist in talk but in power.’ Don’t settle for an imitation of power, pursue intimacy with God and you’ll possess the real thing.
From Genesis 3, back at the beginning of creation, the devil has been lying and casting doubt on the truth of God’s Word in our lives. His strategy hasn’t changed and he’s still undermining people’s faith with his constant condemnation, negativity and hopelessness.
Satan’s whole agenda is to steal, kill and destroy anything that resembles the life of God’s Spirit in you and at work in our world. Never has there been a more important era of human history than now to know, think and speak God’s truth about ourselves. We are bombarded daily with hundreds of mixed messages. Deciphering God’s truth can be a challenge without being intentional.
Satan is an anchor that is always pulling you back down from heading out into the adventure that God invites all of us onto. If you entertain the negative thoughts, words and opinions that weigh you down too long, it will become your new norm and limit your capacity to believe for God’s impossible to work in your world.
The challenge is if we haven’t undergone a renewed mindset then we don’t so easily distinguish between the lies of the enemy and our own thoughts. The truth of God’s Word really does set us free and we need to immerse ourselves in a daily diet of God’s truth so that we will not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Pay attention to the messages you entertain in your brain and heart on a daily basis. As you think, so you are. What negative self-limiting ideas have you allowed to preoccupy your thinking? It’s time to uproot and replace with God’s truth!
You might have heard the comment, ‘There’s a black dog and a white dog in your life and depending on which one you feed, will determine which one wins the battle.’ Nice thought. Problem is it’s not the bible. This philosophy reflects more of eastern mysticism (Yin & Yang) than Christianity.
Dualism is a theory that the world consists of 2 opposing fundamental entities and is not consistent with Christianity. Christianity is Christ-centric, not two equal opposing adversaries. Unfortunately a dualistic mindset has crept into the church over the centuries and has duped Christians into believing that after we are born again we have two natures at war within us – a Sinful Nature and a Divine Nature.
Romans 6 and 7 teaches, however, that once we are saved, we are dead to sin and alive to God. We have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. After we are born again our spirit which was dead in sin, comes alive in Christ Jesus and our sinful nature is erased. In Christ Jesus we are new creations, the old has gone, the new has come and we are now partakers of a divine nature. However, our minds have a memory of our old nature that needs to be reprogrammed and renewed to think according to the divine nature we have received.
What makes us vulnerable to sin and spiritual attack is not a sinful nature because that’s been done away with, but our un-renewed mind and spiritual lethargy. These two have a massive bearing upon our response to temptation. When the external fiery darts of Satan come our way, we have a choice, do we exercise our shield of faith or do we partner with the temptation and rebel against God. If we as believers do sin, it’s because we are exercising our will to do so in disobedience and rebellion against God, just as Adam and Eve did in the garden of Eden, whilst having a divine nature pre-fall (Genesis 3).
The mind truly is a battlefield and needs to be reprogrammed and renewed because it has a living memory of old patterns of thinking and acting. That’s why Romans 12:2 says, ‘Don’t be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’
Christianity is not dualistic. It’s Christ-centric. There are not two equal opposing forces at war within you. You have been born again. Your spirit has come alive with a divine nature and now begins the process of being transformed in your patterns of thinking to think like God thinks, according to your divine nature in Christ.
Judges 6:13 ‘If God’s with us, WHY then has all this happened to us? WHERE are all his wonderful deeds? The Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.’
Never judge God’s character through your circumstance. Gideon was reflecting back to the angel of the Lord, the sense of loss and forsakenness that all Israel were feeling due to their oppressors, the Midianites. Gideon was a picture of Israel fearing for their lives, hiding away, concluding that God had forsaken them.
Don’t make conclusions about God based upon your circumstances. Circumstances are deceiving and generally lead us to asking God the wrong questions: God, WHY is this happening to me? God, WHERE are you in the midst of this situation? I’ve discovered a better question is, God, WHAT are you trying to teach me through this situation?
It’s amazing how warped our theology can become when we interpret God’s character through the filter of suffering, hardship and hurt. Many people have been taken out by their bitterness and offence during times of contradiction. Don’t you!
God is faithful, loving, generous, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in much love, patient and just. He delights in your success and is always making all things work together for your benefit. God will never leave you, nor forsake you. He’s trying to teach you something in the midst of your trial and even this will turn out for his glory and your maturity.