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Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40
Internet surfer that I am, I recently came across a meme which could be described as a drama queen's motto:
"I don't want to be overdramatic. But today felt like a hundred days in hell."
Yes, within the faith community, it is often agreed eternal torment is some kind of reality, even if it is beyond our finite minds.
Nevertheless, we do ourselves a large disservice to ignore our own self-created and contained versions of this most unpleasant torture. For indeed, even those pious Christian versions of us need to admit something hardly "Christ-like" or flattering. Sometimes we like to create our own little Hells. And then we further enjoy tossing others - and ourselves - INTO them.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
Once I admitted my issues with control, trust, retail therapy, and co-dependency, I found the love of God waiting for me. Since I had not previously walked the Christian walk, I had a lot to learn. I am an overachiever and a perfectionist by nature, so naturally I wanted to know as much as I could in a relatively short period of time.
I dove in head first into studying God's Word. I prayed without ceasing. I thanked Jesus on a daily basis for saving me. I did everything right, right?
"...We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace." Jeremiah 30:5
"Fear" is spoken of over 500 times in the Bible. So, to me, that signifies it's a topic worth noting.
I believe the 1980's science fiction film, "Bladerunner" makes a powerful statement on fear.
There are various discussions about the story and the complexity of the Roy Batty character in particular. He's often viewed as the villain. But, if we dig deeper, perhaps there's more to the story.
Batty is a kind of futuristic robot who has an expiration date of four years. This tactic is implemented to ensure that, in the event a robot develops troublesome feelings, emotions and agendas, humanity is safeguarded by the possible destruction the robot could cause.
However, Roy Batty has apparently experienced these turbulent human emotions firsthand; hence, he is viewed as that much-feared threat to human beings.
Therefore, the "bladerunner," a robot killer for hire, is assigned the task of destroying him before it's too late.
And, after Batty's rampage and search for knowledge about his existence, he eventually shares his observation on fear.
…the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
This time of year assaults us with the obvious "too much" of the holiday season: red and green, Santas, nativity scenes, silver bells and sensory overload at every turn.
During this season, we also see the abundance of angels. It's almost as much of an association with Christmas as the Baby Savior Himself.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:13-14
Indeed, angels are everywhere throughout Scripture:
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. Psalm 91:11
"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity." Matthew 13:41
And he saith unto him, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." John 1:51
Living in Minnesota right now, I am in mourning... and its color is purple.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard the news that singer, rock star and lightning rod of controversy, Prince had died. On April 21st, 2016, he was found dead in his Paisley Park home... in the elevator. He was 57.
It was an enormous shock to the world. Just imagine what the experience was for Minnesotans.
You might be wondering why I'm writing about Prince, of all people, in this Christian recovery forum. You, perhaps, may believe he was a creator of "the devil's music," encouraging all kinds of sin, debauchery and strange behavior.
I ask that you please stay with me for a few moments.
Something struck me within minutes of hearing the news of his discovery in the elevator. It was later confirmed by American record executive, musician, songwriter and record producer, L.A Reid. He revealed a private conversation he once had with the artist.
Prince asked him, concerning his lyrics to the song, "Let's Go Crazy,"
- "You know what the elevator is, don't ya? It's the devil."
Yes, these lyrics...
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he... Proverbs 23:7
We can really do a number on ourselves with our faulty thinking.
How many of us have said the following things to ourselves, about ourselves?
...never good enough..."
And then, if we're plagued with disordered eating and body image issues, it gets amplified even further.
Satan has managed to convince many unbelievers, that he is not real, even though he has been influencing their every day lives abusively, in all manner of ways. Satan is a material, emotional, mental, and spiritual abuser. And if you have experienced abuse on any or all of those levels, he is at the root
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the
gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4
Confronting and facing up to evil, is never easy. As humans we are inclined to go into denial, rather than confront evil for what it is. This is why so many addictions, addictive behaviors and systems continue relentlessly; enabled by ordinary every day people, until the pain brings them to their knees.
I find it a little sad that we humans still need the use of pain and suffering, to remind us to worship the living God!
Those of us who have experienced abuse and addiction, can testify to the truth of the Bible, that Satan and his demonic influence are indeed real, because we have experienced and witnessed his effects in our lives.
I have found it helpful
We have a very real enemy, Satan, who wants nothing more than to destroy our lives, our thoughts, our walks with Jesus (John 10:10). He, along with his hoard of demons,
roams the earth, seeking ways to wreak havoc on God's kingdom (1 Peter 5:8).
Many Christians seem to be blindsided by Spiritual Attacks. When it comes to a spiritual attack, it is crucial to recognize the warning signs for survival:-
1. Loss of spiritual desire.
The goal of any spiritual attack is to turn you away from what God wants to do in your life. That is why the first warning sign of attack is a loss of spiritual desire.
Most addicts and alcoholics who have tried running on sheer willpower and defiant rebellion sooner or later discover they lack the internal strength to change, especially if there's a Jackal on the loose.
The Jackal, wearing me down, bracing me up, hardening me, softening me, worrying me, confusing me to where I could no longer pinpoint the basis of my being or direction, plays a deadly game of manipulation, of aggressive control, of parasitic reliance, a game mastered because of its cunning and persistence. It seems there is no way to out maneuver it. During the brightness of day or the darkness and chill of night, the beast stealthily creeps in against the close warmth of cleanliness and sobriety. At other times, it confronts me, making no attempt to conceal itself. The Jackal possesses a rancid aroma of smoke and scorching chemical and is worn like a rash. It devours my spirit and tears at my flesh, for I am wounded prey and a defenseless meal. Grimaced with invisible and obvious fatigue, I am left with nothing but my interpretation of how life should and should not be.
"Everyone falls for the bad guy."
Yep, that about sums it up. A lot of you ladies know exactly what I'm talking about.
We see him, the rebel, complete with dreamy bedroom eyes, tousled hair and a certain taboo nonconformity, brooding in a dark corner somewhere; we're smitten.
There's something alluring, dangerous and promising about the bad guy, isn't there? Its intoxicating argument of an exciting, romantic and perfect life, however that's defined, leads us into taking the bad guy up on his offer. We make some choices- and, let's face it, they're not exactly great choices for us, are they?