The Devil Among Us

The Devil Among Us

This morning in my daily devotions and Bible Study, I was reading John 13, as Jesus and his disciples are eating the last supper and Jesus knows his hour has come to depart from this world. Verse 3 mentions something that slapped me in the face! The verse says:
"During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him,"
The Holy Spirit pointed out to me how even in the most intimate relationship with Jesus, one of the twelve, Satan can influence us to betray the very one we have walked with, talked with, witnessed miracle after miracle, hearing the Truth of God's Word and seeing it fulfilled before our very eyes - the devil is there too! He is prowling and lurking like a hungry lion waiting to devour us! 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) warns us of this: "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." Even in the closest circle of disciples, he rose his ugly head in Judas Iscariot! How can this be? Judas was one of the twelve disciples. If it can happen to one of the closet followers of Jesus, could it happen to you and me? Yes! That is why the Bible warns us to always be alert, to guard our hearts and minds, and to renew our minds over and over again! I had heard someone say 365 times we are told to renew our minds (haven't been able to substantiate that yet, so if anyone knows if that is indeed true, let me know please). Needless to say, we are warned to guard our hearts and minds multiple times in the Bible. Now I see why - if even one of the Twelve Disciples could be deceived and fall into the devil's plan, how much more can we? I have a perfect example to share from yesterday! As you know in my previous blog posts, I have faced a string of setbacks, one right after another! It gets so frustrating when they seem to keep coming, I soon found myself questioning God asking "What am I doing wrong? I must be doing something wrong for these things to happen!" "I must be doing what seems right in my own eyes again, despite praying, seeking wise counsel, and laying my plans before God feeling He gave me the green light - but then, instead of it being the thing to help supplement my income, it is now something that can potentially be my undoing!" This is where I opened the door for doubt to come in! Soon as the day went on and crickets on potential renters, even contacted a property manager to see about a long-term renter, and crickets there! Soon I realized that I had begun to live out the negative thoughts in my mind and contacting the property manager was a clear sign of doing what seemed right in my own eyes! Here God, you are moving too slow, let me help you! Within hours, I was finding depression, frustration, anger, and resentment flooding my mind. Tears were streaming down my face, I was feeling totally rejected and abandoned by God here! THEN, that still, small voice reminded me to renew my mind and strengthen myself in the Lord. So, I turned on Worship music and began to worship God and thank Him for all the blessings he has given me, including this beautiful home with rental potential. I began praying and confessing my sin of allowing doubt (whispered in my ear by the devil) to consume me. I then began to recount all the things God has done for me when I felt there was no way forward and that my world would crumble in on me - BUT GOD!! As I began to praise Him and thank Him for all He has done for me, the depression, doubt, fear, and frustration began to subside and wash away! Faith and hope began to bloom in my heart as I recounted what God had done for me! By evening, my heart was no longer discouraged, and hope overflowed from it instead. I slept peacefully and woke refreshed, praising God for what He has done in my life. Got up and as I was making my coffee, there it was again - that pesky voice of the devil whispering in my ear, "You still don't have a renter, and it's June 1st! Your savings isn't going to last long without a renter". This time, I simply flicked that devil off my shoulder and said God is working on a solution and He has never let me down and won't start now! Be gone from me! The Apostle Peter also was tempted by the devil several times in his walk with Jesus, when he rebuked Jesus after Jesus taught about His pending suffering and death. Mark 8:32 "He spoke this message quite frankly, and Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him." This prompted Jesus to rebuke the devil who prompted Peter to do this in verse 33
"But Jesus, turning and looking at His disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
As we clearly see, the devil is among us, seeking opportunities to deceive us with his distortion of truth wrapped in lies to get us to doubt our relationship with God or do what seems right in our own eyes! That roaring lion waiting to devour us! Here is an excerpt from my new book, Holding Onto Hope Against All Hope:
"Wildlife experts have discovered that the roar of the lion has little substance next to its volume, it is more to intimidate its victim! The devil hides amid our daily routines, he "prowls" in our thoughts with common sense and seemingly wise thoughts to convince us to think negatively about something. The real threat is his lies are so covert and deceptive, they often go unnoticed! He cleverly wraps them in elements of truth to further the deception. Satan always starts with truth, but sneakily crafts it into a lie by twisting the truth. For him to come out and say something like “you are going to fail” would be too obvious, he cleverly builds a case from your past and presents you with evidence as to why you are going to fail. Using past failure experiences as evidence of “truth” to support his lie that you will fail! "
Photo by <a href="">Baran Lotfollahi</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>

Photo by Baran Lotfollahi on Unsplash

Pick Up Your Sword - The Word of God!

We all need to be aware that we do have an adversary at work in our lives daily. We must spend time in God's Word so we recognize the subtle deviations that the adversary, the devil uses to try and trip us up and doubt the Love God has poured out on us.
We must remind ourselves throughout the day who we are in Christ - holding tight to our identity in Him and the Promises of God in our lives! Pick up your Sword - the Word of God and expose the lies of the devil countering them with the Truth of God's Word and your identity as a son or daughter of the Most High God!



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