Enemy

 

devil angelI have tried hard over the years to avoid making enemies. I’m not a doormat that others can walk upon. I also don’t intentionally harm others. I have opened my mouth and stuck my foot in more times than I can count and hurt myself and others. I’ve always thought it was a mistake to make enemies versus friends. I may have significant disagreements with you, but there doesn’t have to be hatred involved. I do have an enemy and I try hard to avoid any association with him because he seeks my destruction. He employs whomever he can in his schemes and plans. The enemy has no power over me except what I give him. The Lord is the King of my heart and He squashes the enemy like a bug.

John, in writing about what he sees and hears, sees war break out in heaven. The angels throw satan down to earth. He longs to destroy the people of God. He wants to bring destruction to the church. He can bring temptations that are incredibly beautiful and appealing, but full of poison and death. Even though he has some power, I am full of God’s Spirit and the Power in me is much greater than the enemy. After the enemy was thrown from heaven, John heard a a loud voice. Check this out…

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say,

The salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Christ
have now come,
because the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
who accuses them
before our God day and night,
has been thrown down.
11 They conquered him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
for they did not love their lives
to the point of death. (Revelation 12:10-11CSB)

The enemy makes lots of promises that he can’t keep. His promises are full of lies and deceit. He promises life when he’s full of death. He knows what his end looks like, so he longs to take as many as he can from the Kingdom of God. He will say and do whatever he can to accomplish that.  I must keep seeking the truth in God’s Word so that I can recognize the schemes of the enemy. He will be defeated in the end. I just don’t want to be among those he’s caught.

I want to follow the Lord closely each day and discover deep truth from His Word to insulate me against the enemy and his attempts to take me out. I look forward to eternal life more than this brief vapor of life here on earth.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Defeat

 

There are times when everything lines up against me and I know I can’t win no matter what I say or what I do. I do feel as I have to concede defeat in situations like that. I’m not saying I’m a wimp or a push over, but I think I’m bright enough to know when I can’t win. In those moments I have to do the best with what I have.

Job was in a conversation with God. He has just survived the most incredible test that anyone could hardly even imagine. God is responding to some of Job’s outcry to Him during the suffering. The Lord starts describing this incredibly powerful creature that sounds to me like a dinosaur. Check this out…

31 It makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron

    and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.

32 It leaves a glistening wake behind it;

    one would think the deep had white hair.

33 Nothing on earth is its equal—

    a creature without fear.

34 It looks down on all that are haughty;

    it is king over all that are proud.” (Job 41:31-34 NIV)

As I was reading this chapter and the Lord is describing this incredible creature, I’m thinking about the guy who brought a knife to a gunfight. I can’t think of any weapon at Job’s disposal that would put up a fight against this creature. I think if we had dinosaurs, it would take a bazooka or some sort of missile to take them down. I always think of a scene in the first Indiana Jones movie where this dude comes up to Indy with a couple of swords and he’s swinging them back and forth ready to attack and Indy has just escaped some other pursuers. After this guy puts on a show with his shiny swords, Indy pulls out a pistol and drops him. It epitomized “bringing the knife (aka swords) to a gun fight.

I’m thankful to know the One Who created the dinosaur. I’m thankful that we don’t see them around anymore. I’m also learning to lean into the Lord and let Him give me counsel when facing giant odds and not knowing my next move. I want to pick my battles carefully and realize that He ultimately determines my victory in battle. If I go down in defeat, I realize that I may have lost this battle, but I know Who wins the war.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Defeat

tired businessman rubbing his eyesI really hate to admit defeat. There are times that I’ve tried so hard for a victory or an accomplishment and miss the mark and I feel a sense of defeat or failure. This does not need to define me, but I think it needs to prepare me for a journey adjustment.

The people of God were camped near Mount Sinai and Moses had gone with Joshua up to the mountain to meet with God. The Lord had given Moses the two tablets with the 10 Commandments inscribed by His own hand. He told Moses that things were not going well inside the camp, so Moses and Joshua headed back down the mountain. As they arrived, it sounded a bit wild and crazy. Check this out..

17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, ‘There is the sound of war in the camp.’

18 Moses replied:

‘It is not the sound of victory,

              it is not the sound of defeat;

            it is the sound of singing that I hear.’ (Exodus 32:17-18 NIV)

I know what the sound of defeat is like. I have missed the mark many times in my walk with the Lord. It doesn’t matter that I’ve not made a calf. I just know that I’ve failed my Father who wired me and built me to serve and honor Him. I know what the victory sounds like because I’ve experienced that as well. I believe that victory is found when my heart (the very center of who I am) is devoted to the Lord and His will for me. I also believe that defeat sets in when I try to hijack my heart away from Him and do things my own way. My flesh is weak but His Spirit in me is strong. He won’t force me to follow Him. I always have the choice to choose victory. Defeat is my flesh screaming at me and me following that cry, versus the whisper of my heart.

I have heard the music of victory and I’ve heard the music of defeat. They sound way different from one another. I’ve cried the blues in the shadow of my sin. I also know the music of victory because I’ve been set free from the bondage of defeat. The Lord is my Rescuer from sin and defeat. He is the One Who gives me the victory over sin and self destruction. I want Him to help me overcome the grip that sin has on me. His Grace found me and sin no longer defeats me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne