Tag Archive: devil


“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”   1 Peter 5:8

I serve on the children’s security team once a month and this past Sunday was my weekend to ‘bounce.’

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And because I’m monitoring the lobby and hallways, I’m obviously not able to hear the sermon let alone sit with my kids.  Thankfully there is a video feed of the sermon in the lobby while I monitor the areas to rid them of any shenanigans or hoodlums (which at our church are mostly said kids) so I am easily able to catch a glimpse of the sermon.

My pastor just started a sermon series called “Everyday Faith.”  We’re going through the book of James to learn how to take what we believe about God and bring it into everyday life.  It has been a most convicting series, one that would challenge any level of faith and one that could really change lives for Christ and that morning was no different.

It was a typical Sunday of bouncing, not much going on, so I was able to hear parts of the sermon which made me wish I was in there and listening first hand.

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for [once] he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the [law] of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”   James 1:22-25

I could barely wait until it was over so I could talk to the kids to see what they thought and then go home and hear it online for myself.  But when church was over and my kids come to meet me outside the sanctuary, all I heard was complaining from Sami (my oldest) about how Sydney (2nd oldest) was not paying attention and distracting both the boys as well as people around them from the message.

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I was dumbfounded.  From what I heard it was a wonderful message, one that anyone would respond to.  How could she miss it and be such a distraction to others?

As I talked to Sydney about paying attention in church and being aware of what she’s doing and how her actions might be distracting others, God made it quite clear to me how effective His Word really is.

God’s Word is the one thing that the devil doesn’t have a grasp on.  He knows it and the power that it has, but he can’t control how it will affects us.  What he wants most in this world is to draw us away from God, and His Word, and the only thing he can try to do is distract us.  It wasn’t all Syd’s fault.  The devil was working overtime to pull people from hearing this message.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”   2 Corinthians 4:3-4

As I monitored the lobby that morning, shortly after the worship set was done and before the sermon started I noticed a friend of mine leaving the sanctuary, purse on her shoulder looking as if she were heading home.

I jokingly asked “Where do you think you’re going?!”

And she responded nonchalantly; “I’m just not feeling it today.”

I was so taken aback by her response that I didn’t even know what to say.  I thought it such a strange thing; she wasn’t “feeling it” so she was leaving and the sermon hadn’t even started yet.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve been there…when I wasn’t “feeling it,” but I always found that when I’m “not feeling it” that’s when I need to be there most!  But all I squeaked out was a measly “Oh” and she went on her way.

It hit me as I explained to Syd how the devil uses us to distract others from hearing God’s message, that He distract us from hearing it as well and why my friend “wasn’t feeling it” that morning.

God was doing a mighty work in that sanctuary and the devil wanted as few people to hear it as possible.  Like a magician with slight of hand, the devil expertly manipulates us to look away from the truth, he draws our eyes away from what we should be watching; that which matters most.

stayalert

Related Articles:
Master of Distraction   (daileyfamilyministries.com)
1 Peter 5:8   (amwjournals.wordpress.com)

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”   John 6:51

I love food.  I have always loved food.  Since very young I have been taught to enjoy inhale food, especially high caloric, high fat options.  I am an addict, and like a druggie grasping for a needle, pulling tightly on the elastic wrapped around my upper arm, desperate for quick release, a familiar euphoric state, just a moment of relief… I wildly search for my next fix.

I have been should be preparing a book proposal.  I have hundreds of short stories that I need to find a common ground, a thread of similarity, an iota of connection so I can organize them into a book that actually makes sense… by next week.

I have a publisher meeting with three different editors in 10 days, and I have no passion.  No drive.  No real hunger.

I sit down at my computer and look over these amazing stories God has given me, and I sort, shuffle, sift, and sort again.  I take some from one pile and shift to another.  I get up, walk to the kitchen to clear my head, open the fridge and close it again, stretch a bit, and return to the laptop only to shift things back to original positions.

I can’t find my way.  I can’t feel God’s leading or hear His voice.

My head falls into my palms as tears fall down my face.  I cry out for help, desperate for answers.

I push my chair back and head into the kitchen again.  I feel the cool air on my face and neck as I stand before the open freezer, looking for something, anything to move this writer’s block.

Mint chocolate chip.

Yup, that should do it.

I grab a spoon and dig in.  No need for a bowl.  I close my eyes as the creamy, cool, minty sweetness embraces my tongue and runs lazily down my throat.  A delightful moan passes my lips and I let out a contented sigh.

I put the gallon back into its frozen abode and head back to the computer.

I sit down, take a deep pacified breath, shuffle a few more stories, write a couple sentences, and my mind wanders.

Just one more spoonful.

I shake the thought off, and return my gaze to the computer screen unable to focus.  I start shifting stories again, exasperated huffs filling the room while I struggle with the layout.  I wriggle uncomfortably in my chair and exhale frustratingly.   I look away from the screen, close my eyes and irritatingly punch keys, trying to write.  My mind whirls as I muddle through words.

It all comes to a head and I stop typing.  I push back from the desk and move quickly toward the place I know I can find comfort, satisfaction, answers.  I yank open the freezer and grab my next fix.

Isn’t that just how our adversary wants us?  Desperate; grasping and clawing the air, trying to find delight and joy, comfort and peace, justification and answers in anything other than the One who can truly supply it?

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith… And the God of all grace…will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”   1 Peter 5:8-10

I have heard of people fasting, or giving up food for a specific amount of time in order to seek spiritual renewal or guidance.  A time for a person to spend praying specifically and strategically, humbling themselves so that the Holy Spirit will stir their soul.  But I have never understood it,

…until yesterday.

Yesterday I saw how easily I have allowed the devil to steal my focus, pillage my passion, and heist my devotion.  I have allowed him to seduce me and take my eyes off of Jesus, and I hadn’t even noticed.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”   James 4:7

Instead of finding satisfaction in my God, I sought out food.

Instead of finding delight and truth in His Word, I pursued fleeting joy.

Instead of true comfort and answers, I chased empty promises.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”   John 6:53

No more.

 

One Sunday afternoon, my kids told me they asked their Sunday school teacher a question that she didn’t know the answer to.

“What did you ask them?!!”  I blurted out, slightly fearful of what topic they dared to breach…

“Does God love the devil?”

Wow.

Now there’s a question.

I can only assume that the Sunday school “teacher” they asked was one of the teen helpers and not the actual teacher, because I am sure the teacher has an answer to their question…but it made me think and wonder if what I thought was correct.

“Well, what do you think?” I asked back

“NO!” they almost simultaneously screamed… “he’s bad and so naughty!”

Great point.

Great question.

Does God love the devil?

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good…”   Genesis 1:31

God made the devil.  And if he made the devil, then the devil is part of the “everything” Genesis 1:31 is talking about.

“… You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them …”   Nehemiah 9:6

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