Loving God means obeying his commands. And God’s commands are not too hard for us, because everyone who is a child of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world — our faith. ~1 John 5:3-4
You are a conqueror! You are already victorious! Receive your blessings. Walk in your dominion, son/daughter of Adam! You child of God! Walk!
Pastor shared a Word last week that watered a seed in me. I had woken up last Sunday with an extremely heavy heart. It took me by surprise, because I’m riding a high wave – the blessings are raining on me and I’m scrambling to catch them all. At some point between 4:00 and 5:00 AM I awoke sobbing into my pillow that Sunday morning. I awoke with the urge to write a letter of resignation to the relationships I had been struggling with. Because I don’t like holding negative feelings in, I typed out what was in my heart. What came out was rife with anger, jealousy, bitterness, loneliness, anxiety and uncertainty. And each of those feelings was associated with a person. I cried through the writing. I had no idea any of that was sitting in me. I didn’t sign the letter. Didn’t speak the words. I decided if those were true feelings they would still be there in a few days, and at that point I would deal with them. I went back to sleep.
At church later that morning, Pastor did an illustration. He pulled a man out of the pew and handed him a football. “Hold on to the ball, Robert. Don’t let it go.” Then the pastor started attacking Robert. Pushing him, shaking him, holding him, swinging him, and then yanking on the ball until they were in a tug-of-war. While still yanking on the ball, he looked up at the congregation, “The devils’ job is to get you to drop the ball. He wants to shake the Word from you! Don’t let him!”
That morning I had been ready to give up for no reason. Simply because I had been flooded with all those negative emotions. I had been overwhelmed and wanted to just step out of the game and head to the sideline. I was tired of the struggle. I just wanted to retreat.
Then the pastor repeated something I knew. Something that had been planted long ago and receives regular watering. But last Sunday, that seed grew into such a stalk it burst through the ground and stretched towards the heavens. “Your struggle is not against people. That’s a trick of the devil and that’s how he brings us down.”
The Word says we can fight the devil when we wear the whole armor of God.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His great power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks. Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world. That is why you need to put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing. ~Ephesians 6:10-13 NCV
Even as I sat in that pew, simultaneously hearing and reading the word, I spoke it. I told the devil to let me go. And to let go of my people. I spoke their names, the people he had associated with those negative feelings. “Leave us all. Let us go.” Just like that, in that moment, the heaviness lifted and I was given clarity on how to move forward.
We are told that our faith is our shield and with it we can withstand everything the devil throws at us (Ephesians 6:16). We have victory through our faith. We have to use it. Apply it. Exercise it. Walk in it. Only by faith are we victorious. If the devil can shake you from your faith, he wins. And what an amazing feat for him, since he’s already been defeated and sentenced.
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. ~ Revelation 20:10
Even when we know he’s coming for us, we stumble. But a stumble doesn’t equal defeat; we’re just getting our footing right. It’s a lesson to build on.
Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to test all of you as a farmer sifts his wheat. I have prayed that you will not lose your faith! Help your brothers be stronger when you come back to me.”
But Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and even to die with you!”
But Jesus said, “Peter, before the rooster crows this day, you will say three times that you don’t know me.”
Last weekend he woke me up with his mess. He’s gonna have to come with something different next time. I say that each time he comes, and he does. But I know there’s nothing new under the sun. Therefore, I’m aware that he’s recycling his tricks, schemes, and ammo and I’m able to recognize him sooner with each attack.
My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience. Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need. ~James 1:2-4 NCV
Read that again.
Now take it in.
Trials, troubles, tribulations, struggles are nothing but opportunity for you to grow in Christ. You prosper in your walk when you overcome. So have a short chat with the devil. Nothing too long to encourage dialogue. Keep it short and sweet. Tell the devil to get t’steppin’! Tell him to leave you alone. Tell him to let go of the people in your life. Tell him he has no power, no authority to interfere in your life. Tell him he’s defeated and you are his conqueror. Tell him you stand in the power of the Almighty God and NOTHING he (the evil one) devises against you will hit its mark or prosper. Tell him to flee and he will. The word says so.
Control yourselves and be careful! The devil, your enemy, goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat. Refuse to give in to him, by standing strong in your faith. ~1 Peter 5:8-9 NCV
So give yourselves completely to God. Stand against the devil, and the devil will run from you. Come near to God, and God will come near to you. You sinners, clean sin out of your lives. You who are trying to follow God and the world at the same time, make your thinking pure. Be sad, cry, and weep! Change your laughter into crying and your joy into sadness. Humble yourself in the Lord’s presence, and he will honor you. ~James 4:7-10