Posts Tagged ‘the devil’

Make God Bigger

In many places throughout the Bible, the word “magnify” is the same word translated “glorify”. Therefore, these two words can be used interchangeably. To magnify something means to make it bigger.

Did you know that you can make God bigger? Bigger than your problems and bigger than your enemies.

Technically speaking, God is who He is, regardless of what you think, but in terms of your perception, He can be big or small. You have the power to make Him one or the other in your life. Most of us have become masters at magnifying our problems and minimizing God and His Word. We must stop this if we want to have breakthrough in our lives. We need to see our problems the way God sees them, He is able to remove the mountains in our lives, when we believe Him. By magnifying God’s Word above our problems and getting a Word directly from Him to stand upon, we offer an open door for the breakthroughs we need. Jesus said,

“Have faith in God - speak to that mountain”  and it will be removed, if you do not doubt in your heart.  (Mk 11:23-25)

Make your mountains into mole hills by magnifying God in the midst of them. Refuse to magnify the devil.

Refuse to magnify your negative circumstances… instead, magnify the Lord! Speak of your Heavenly Father’s greatness and enlarge His power and might in contrast to your limitation. Talk about how big and powerful Your God is. When you make God bigger… you at the same time shrink your mountains.

Savage Wolves

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?” (Mt. 7:15-16)

The Devil has always tried to use people to bring division into the Congregation of the Saints. There is nothing new about this problem. In fact, James addresses the issues of wrong attitudes and a “spirit of strife” (Jms. 3:14). From the earliest inception of the New Testament Church, we hear the Apostle Paul warn about savage wolves who would be raised up even among the flock… Paul says, “savage wolves will come in among you” (Acts 20:28-31). It is going to happen… so we must not be taken by surprise.

Watch for the Spirit of Strife!

Be on guard for spirits of strife, argumentative people and division. Church leaders have always had to correct people who acted under the deceiving grip of evil intent. This is what we commonly define as a “spirit”… its often motivated by fear or offense and demonic in nature. Unfortunately the fruit of such a spirit is destructive beyond measure. It is the source of much division and strife in the Church today.

In respect to people being used by the Devil to bring division, James says, “But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking (strife) in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth” (Jms. 3:14). The phrase “bitter envy” is very important. It is the Greek word zelos, which refers to a fierce desire to promote our own idea to the exclusion of others. The words, self-seeking or “strife”- eritheia which in the Greek means rivalry or ambition, can be translated as a party spirit or a divisive spirit. In verse 15 we see James expound upon the motivation for such a divisive heart toward leadership as he tells us, the wisdom that is creating strife is “…earthly, sensual (and) demonic. Note that this is not “wisdom” at all, but a deceptive perversion of wisdom that comes from an evil intent. These are the devil’s schemes and resources… and they come from the kingdom of darkness.

Stay Free!

Jesus said “the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me” (Jn. 14:30).

Of course, we know Jesus was speaking here of His betrayal and excruciating death at the cross… but the principle is real and true! We must learn to keep our hearts free from all strife and offense, because it causes us to miss the will of God for our lives. The Apostle Paul said, “avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth” (2 Tim. 2:23-25). If our hearts stay free of strife and offense, the door stays closed to the Devil so he cannot disrupt our relationships. We need to know that when we allow a spirit of strife to operate inside ourselves, our home, business or church; it won’t be too long until people who used to love each other are standing in opposition to each other. That is the way the spirit of strife operates, and that is the fruit it produces. In the end it produces death to relationships and bitterness beyond the walls of our fellowships.

What To Do:

So the key question is – “What are we willing to do?” Because it takes a certain amount of initiative and boldness to be a peace maker! Just read this difficult admonition:

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple”. (Rom. 16:17-18)

I want to point out that Paul says, these are people with smooth words and flattering speech! His command is to mark them… to avoid them and to give no opportunity for them to have a voice in the congregation. Is there hope for restoration? Perhaps, but not without true discipline and integrity among our leadership. Only then, will we see the spirit of strife removed from our fellowships.

An offense is a demonic trap – Be careful that you do not fall into it!

The Spirit of Strife

What does winning mean?

Check Mate

The Devil has always tried to use people to bring division into the Church. There is nothing new about this problem. In fact, James addresses the issues of wrong attitudes and a “spirit of strife” in James 3:14. From the earliest inception of the New Testament Church, we hear the Apostle Paul warn about those wolves who would be raised up even among the flock (Acts 20:28-31).

Paul says, “savage wolves will come in among you”.

 Church leaders have always had to correct people who acted under the deceiving grip of this “spirit”… its demonic in nature and destructive beyond measure. In respect to people being used by the Devil to bring division, James 3:14 says, “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the Truth.” The phrase “bitter envying” is very important. It is the Greek word zelos, which refers to a fierce desire to promote your own idea to the exclusion of others. The word “strife”- eritheia which in the Greek means rivalry or ambition, can be translated as a party spirit or a divisive spirit. In verse 15 we see James expound upon the motivation for such a divisive heart toward leadership as he tells us that the wisdom that is creating strife is “…earthly, sensual (and) demonic”.

 We must learn to keep our hearts free from all strife and offense.

 If our hearts stay free of strife and offense, the door stays closed to the Devil so he cannot disrupt our relationships. We need to know that when we allow a spirit of strife to operate inside ourselves, our home, business or church; it won’t be too long until people who used to love each other are standing in opposition to each other. That is the way the spirit of strife operates, and that is the fruit it produces.

 So what are we willing to do… (Rom 16:17-18) “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not  serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple”. I want to point out that Paul says these are people with smooth words and flattering speech; yet his command is to mark them… to avoid them and to give no opportunity for them to have a voice in the congregation.

 Its a real problem and we have to ask ourselves if we are willing to obey Scriptural principles.

Kingdom Assignments: A New Posture

Kingdom Assignments are an important topic to understand when we realize that God has in fact given mankind the responsibility of dominion over planet Earth (Ps 115:16). Our task requires a clear focus on the reality of the spiritual realm comprised of 2 very distinct kingdoms… the Kingdom of Heaven and the kingdom of darkness. Jesus’ opening statement at the beginning of His ministry was that we should repent and embrace the Kingdom of Heaven, because He said it is now “at hand”.

 What He was telling us is that we would need to change the way we thought about this planet and our role here.

 We would need to comply with some new information. These 2 distinct kingdoms were at odds with each other. Jesus calls all of His followers to a refocus… a “new posture” so to speak, that changes the rules of engagement when oppression and injustice are felt.

 The Apostle Paul said, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood”, but against enemies of a spiritual nature from a heavenly realm (Eph 6:12).

 The real platform of spiritual warfare is set in a realm we cannot see; therefore we must strategically maneuver ourselves into a posture that gains the eyes of Heaven. When Satan goes unrecognized… he gains momentum, lulls us to sleep and strengthens his hold on our lives.

The 24/7 agenda of the kingdom of darkness is to kill, to steal, and to destroy without making any visible or recognizable ripple in our daily routines.

  If we can find the enemy’s strategy, we have the advantage, because then we know where he will attack. The devil is very cunning and strategic, but his strategies are not past finding out. Even though Satan tries to attack in very shrewd ways, we can know where he is going to attack and simply resist him. Sounds too easy, right?

Its all about our posture… the humble receive a grace from God that qualifies them to take advantage of the unsearchable riches of Christ and establish His  Kingdom purposes in heavenly places (Eph 3:8-12).

 Paul’s testimony is that God gives assignments to those who ask. He has some eternal purposes to accomplish and delights in equipping the commited. This same passage tells us that in Christ, ”we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him”. We can get our marching orders and the ”God of Peace will crush Satan under our feet” (Rom 16:19-20). We are simply required to take a posture that honors Him.

Resistance Is Not Futile

Waking up this morning with the phone ringing reminds me again… we are in a spiritual battle! Its a familiar voice and an all too familiar story. Every single day, there is a battle raging in the spirit realm for the heart of each individual person, society, and the world as a whole.

 God is trying to draw us toward Himself and righteousness.

Our Helper, the Holy Spirit broods over us to influence our consistent fellowship with our Heavenly Father, so that His blessings can be enjoyed and released through our lives. God’s Word invites us as believers to listen for the voice of God, wait for the leadership of Heaven and follow the ancient paths that released generational blessing and freedom (Jer 6:16). 

 At the same time, Satan is trying to steal our hearts away from God, because he wants this generation.

It is an all-out battle against the Lord and His Kingdom. The enemy of our soul is spewing out the most vile garbage and corruption he can, in order to pollute, deceive and release shame into our lives.

Most of us (even Christians) don’t recognize the intense battle being waged all around us each and every day (Eph 6:10-12).

 We don’t take note of the spiritual significance of our choices, words, and actions… so we reap what we have sown. We are unaware of how our actions or lack of action, determines our present attitude and our future success. Functionally we either yield to God and release His blessing into this generation or we yield to Satan and release sin and death, broken-ness and every curse imaginable (Rom. 6:16).

 The Devil is a schemer and aims to control us without our awareness. He is a master of deception and he can get us to yield our wills without our knowing. He simply uses our emotions. His greatest advantage is our ignorance and passivity toward the battle. Satan twists Truth so that it sounds reasonable and honorable among a culture. Our national appeal toward tolerance is a good example of this concept.

If we choose to believe God’s Word, we will discover the value of the ancient paths the Prophet Jeremiah alludes to and recognize what’s happening in the spirit realm today, toward this generation. We can begin to shift the focus of our energy and become a resource of Godly wisdom and Truth. Cooperating with God will manifest His power and blessings.

 The Bible exhorts us to: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jms 4:7).

Resistance is not futile… it is our life in Christ.

 Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. The revelation of God’s Word has the power to transform our life and the lives of all who see the Kingdom modelled before them. As we begin to understand and exercise our authority as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, Satan will flee and God’s power and blessings will manifest in our generation more than ever.

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