October 1, 2012
I remember life as a teenager when everything seemed so simple and clear cut. Authority was always corrupt or out of touch. Parents were always an obstacle to my pursuit of the good life. Money was the answer to having a successful life. Pink was a girl color I would never wear. Rock-n-Roll was the only music worth listening to. The popular girl would only go out with a cool guy. Shortcuts were the way to success.
With political elections on the horizon, the same black and white thinking is everywhere today. Both sides will use those “always” and “never” words making everything so extreme. A significant part of maturing is the ability to integrate good and bad in the same entity. It’s actually a developmental milestone we all need to master. Like an Oreo, black and white need to be seen together to “get” the whole picture. Other than God, nothing exists that doesn’t have an upside and a downside to it.
Similarly, there are two sides to being a believer, one of light and one of darkness. As a believer myself, I spend most of my spiritual energy on the “light” side of things: the promise of salvation, the grace and mercy of our Father, and the power of forgiveness are just a few of the “light” elements. But to be a “whole” believer we need to accept the dark side as well. We must believe that Satan, the Prince of Darkness, is as real as Jesus. It’s an ugly, scary fact. I bristle at even having to write about him. However, we need to know and believe that Satan’s primary mission is to thwart God’s plan by tricking us to think God doesn’t love us and didn’t send Jesus to die for us.
Be clear. Each day, especially for believers and followers of Christ, you are embroiled in diabolical spiritual warfare. Satan wants not only your attention, your family, your job, and your relationships, but he also wants your soul – more than anything. His strategy is to create constant confusion and distraction in your mind. This confusion attacks every sphere … your brain chemistry, your emotions and personality, and your relationships with others. But Satan’s primary goal is disrupting your relationship with God. God calls you to renew your mind, not destroy it. But your mind is where the battle is fought, so you must protect it no matter what.
Today, become a “Whole” believer. Integrate the light and the dark by accepting and being aware that there is a never-ending war between God and Satan, and the trophy is your soul. Identify a negative thought pattern that smudges your lenses, and instead, look at Christ’s teachings for the truth. When you are stressed, remember the enemy isn’t your spouse, boss, money, job, or anything else … it is always Satan. Use God’s armor and Stepping Stones to be victorious. Having a winning strategy for the spiritual battle is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, My focus is on You. I believe and accept Your promise. I thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, so that my sins may be forgiven. And I believe there is this diabolical creature, Satan. Your word tells us of his desire for death and destruction. I reject Satan and all his works. Help me, Father, to be aware, minute-by-minute, of the spiritual battle that wages around me. Help me remember that Satan tries to push my fleshly buttons, trying to tempt me to believe his lies about You. Thank You for the process that renews my mind, biologically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually: sending Jesus and giving us your instruction book, the Bible. I pray in the name of Your Son, the True Light of world, Jesus Christ; and all God’s people say – AMEN!
He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:8-9
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:11-12