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Devil B Gone

Psalm 68:1 – “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.”

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the latest and greatest of temptation getter-outers – Devil B Gone. You gotta problem with sin – Devil B Gone. You gotta problem with temptation – Devil B Gone. You gotta problem with that pesky neighbor or overeating or lack of self confidence – Devil B Gone. It’s your one-stop-shop for all problems, situations or ethical questions you may have. Devil B Gone.

Are you laughing yet? Trust me, when it popped into my head, I laughed too! 

But it all started when I heard a Crowder song – “Run Devil Run”. Love. That. Song! It’s upbeat, full of truth and likely to get your hands clapping in praise. Just sayin…

If you had access to something guaranteed to make the devil take off runnin’, don’t you think you would use it? You’d be crazy not to, right?

Well, David wrote the first “Run Devil Run” song right here in Psalm 68. The devil hates God, right? The devil wanted to take His place. You can’t care about someone and want them to be gone. By reason of deduction, the devil must hate God. That makes him an enemy. David says that His enemies flee before Him – “Run Devil Run.” 

So, you, being a child of the King, have God as an ally. So guess what. The devil hates you. He wants to attack you – hence the need for the Devil B Gone. And you have it – Jesus Christ – the Ultimate devil repellent. You walk with Him, you have less problems than if you don’t. Notice how I worded that – I didn’t say you would have no problems. I said they would be less. You see, in the Light of God’s love, problems and temptations look different. Jesus gives you exactly what you need to reject and conquer them. 

But all this hinges on one very important detail – you must be with Him. You can’t be off looking at other things. You can’t be dinking around behind Him. You have to be right there beside Him. It’s the only way this repellent works. 

So, don’t be fooled by the world’s attempt to help you take on something as dangerous as the devil. No, this calls for big guns. This calls for an all out assault on the spiritual realm. And you have just the thing to make it run – Jesus Christ. 

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Know who you fight

Ephesians 6:10-12 – “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places .”

We depend so much on our sight. We want to see the beauty of God’s creation. We want to see the smiling faces of our loved ones. We want to be able to read. Our sight is vitally important to us. 

So, how are we supposed to fight someone we can’t see? We can see the ground before us and look to where the holes might be in the grass, but sometimes we miss one and fall in. We can watch the traffic out on the road, but sometimes someone does something that causes an accident that we never saw coming. 

As a follower of Christ, we do not battle against things we can see and touch. We battle against principles and ideas. And at times, it gets really dark because we find ourself in a battle with “rulers of darkness” and “spiritual wickedness”. Serious stuff. 

We like to joke that the devil is this dumb little demon with horns and a pitchfork. But in reality, we are facing a fallen angelic being who is a maniac with destruction in his heart. This isn’t some little red being snearing in the corner, rubbing his hands together and giggling mischievously. No, 1 Peter 5:8 says this – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”. A lion. There is nothing sweet and innocent about a full grown lion. I don’t believe that Peter was speaking of a cub here. 

Sometimes, we all need a reminder of who it is we are dealing with in our daily life. We need to be vigilant in remembering that this devil is no cute and mischievous little demon. He is a full grown, mean and nasty, ready to tear you apart kind of being. You need to be prepared. 

The great thing about all this is God doesn’t leave us without protection. We have the armor of God. Read Ephesians 6:13-18. It’s all right there in black and white. It is ready for you to check out and apply. 

Revisit – A walk in the dark

Flashback! Hope you enjoy it!

Psalm 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

My daughter had her 5th grade promotion ceremony Friday night. It was very sweet and special. The man who is the youth pastor at the church where her school is at gave a little devotion to encourage the kids. He is amazing. He has such a way with words and Biblical examples.

Anyway, he made this statement to the kids: Remember what you have learned in the Light when you are walking in the darkness. That made me stop, grab my phone and quick punch it into my notes. That was good.

We are all walking in darkness. It is all around us, even at noon. The things that we and our children encounter in this old world is pure darkness. There are so many people out there with malcontent in their hearts. So many people looking for a way to take advantage of someone else. So many people looking for an opportunity to mock or criticize someone else. Darkness.

But princess, we have something special. We have the Light. I once heard the verse above described in a very vivid way. Back in Bible times, they didn’t have flashlights (duh, Melissa!). So they would light tiny lamps and attach them to their sandals. Cute, right? But think about the fire hazard! The point is this – the Word of God is supposed to be the lamps on our feet as we walk through the dark. The Word has been preserved all these years to show us the Way. His Word lights our path. But we have to choose to light the lamps.

I know I have been on a kick lately about choice. But I can’t stress it enough. I think too many times in our society we are too quick to blame someone else for our woes when all along it has been our choices that have led to the problems we have. Well, enough! If you choose to leave your lamp unlit, then man up and walk alone in the dark. It is your choice. I know that sounds harsh but there comes a point in time when you either run with the big dogs or stay on the porch.

Princess, Jesus does not desire for us to walk alone in the dark. He wants to walk with us and hold our hand. He stands today with hand outstretched waiting for you to take hold. Won’t you walk through this dark world with Him?

Hide and seek

James 4:7-10 – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

Do you remember playing hide and seek? I never really liked that game. I was terrible at waiting for the person seeking to come and find me. I would giggle or move or do something else to aid them in finding me.

We were talking yesterday in Sunday school about how God is omnipresent. He sees all and knows all because He is everywhere. And that’s a good thing. However, we were talking about the fact that there are some people who run and attempt to hide from Him their entire lives and then at the end decide to accept Him.

As I was trying to explain this to one of the younger students, one of the older ones said, “It sounds just like hide and seek.” I was taken aback. I love it when God uses someone younger to see things in a totally clear light and then uses them to shed its light for the rest of us.

And she was right. Jesus pursues us just like someone playing hide and seek. An unsaved person is the one hiding. They think they can hide from God in all sorts of places. Unfortunately, most of those places are dark and scary and dangerous. If they would only step out and allow themself to be found, life would be so much better. The fellowship is so sweet with the One who is seeking us. The thing is, He knows where we are at the entire time. There really is no hiding from Him.

But there is one that we do need to hide from – the deceiver. You see, he wants us to think that we want to be found by him. He wants to make us think that we need to find him. He is where the fun is at, right? But seeking him is attempting to hide from God.

So instead, we need to hide IN God rather than attempt to hide FROM God. And that is a humbling experience. That means that you admit that there is no way of escaping sin on your own. It means admitting that you need help. When we say “no” to the drawing of the devil and “yes” to the arms of the Savior, we chose to become cleansed of unrighteousness. We get another opportunity to be a good sheep.

So this week, don’t play hide and seek with the devil – where you are hiding from God and seeking all that the devil has to offer. Instead, play hide and seek with God – where you are hiding from the devil while seeking out His truth and righteousness. It sounds juvenile to think of this Biblical truth in these term, but sometimes God uses the “simple” to compound the “wise”.

Ruminate while He illuminates

John 12:35-36 – “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.”

John 8:12 – “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Well, hello there! It has been a while! I know. I have been distracted. With Christmas comes travel and vacation. I have enjoyed both, last year. Now, it is the first Monday of the new year and I am ready to go. Life is getting back to normal. So, bear with me. You know how life can go.

Light. We all love light. It was raining all day yesterday and we had no sun. Today, I feel drained and cold. Light does something for us. It provides necessary vitamins that we need to be healthy. It gives us the ability to see long distances. It usually makes us happy. I love the sun. I miss it when it is not visible. Besides, I love wearing my sunglasses. I think they look cool. 😊

I was thinking about an old Disney movie the other day. Remember the one with the genie? When the character found the genie and was trying to determine what the genie could do, the genie said, “Ruminate whilst I illuminate.” (Just roll with me. I do have a point in all this!)

Ruminate means to meditate or ponder – something we generally are not too good at, at least I’m not. I have to make myself recall what I learned in my devotional every morning. I have to purposefully choose to recall daily lessons. Otherwise, they go in one ear and out the other.

But pondering is something that God wants us to do. He wants us to ruminate on His word. Yet how can we ponder if we do not see? How can we think on His love and His principles if we do not do not allow Him to shine upon us?

Jesus describes Himself in these verses as the Light. He is the Light that illuminates our darkness. Now, we don’t physically have Him with us today, but we do have His word. And we have the Holy Spirit. These two things work together to guide us and lead us. But they can’t do Their thing if we don’t actively participate. It’s like buying an exercise video and some equipment and then expecting that act alone to make you lose weight. They don’t work if you don’t engage in them. Well, the word of God and the Holy Spirit do not assist you if you don’t spend time with them and engage them.

But engaging the Holy Spirit is not enough. You have to ruminate in the Word for a bit. You need to think about what you have read. You need to remember what you have read. You need to apply what you have read. And it’s not just you. It’s me. I need to do all those things as well. I need to be more diligent at ruminating on His illuminating.

So let me encourage you (and me) on this very first Monday of 2016 to ruminate. Just ruminate whitest He illuminates.

That little paper

Deuteronomy 18:9-13 – “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.”

image

This was put on my windshield this weekend while we were shopping. It has been bothering me every since.

However, it did make me stop and think for a moment. Are the things that the children of Israel were taught still important today? Do they still apply or are they old lessons that are out of date? I believe they are absolutely relevant and applicable to today.

There is a reason that God warned His chosen people to stay away from these kind of people. 1. By listening to them, one is showing that they don’t trust God to hold their future. They think that if they could find out what is going to happen, that they would be better prepared to handle the situation and thus make a different outcome. That is way too much stress for me! I would rather let my all-knowing, all-caring, forever-trusting Savior hold onto things. He can deal with things much better than me! 2. It gives the appearance of evil. These people that are looking at cards and tea leaves and any other unusual thing for information are doing so not of their own power. They are seeking out things that are only found in the dark. I choose Light. I choose to let Light guide me instead of darkness. 3. They tell one only what one wants to hear. They don’t have my greater good in mind. Their words have no power to guide, only to deceive.

But I think the thing that disturbed me the most about this little paper was the fact that this person claims to be “Godly gifted”. God does not give gifts to people that inhibit His will or fail to give Him honor and glory. I will just go ahead and say it – Based on the Word of God, this person is wrong.

Ok, now that my little rant is over, how does this apply to today? Well, we have everything we need to solve any problem we have or any challenge we face right at our fingertips – the Bible. We don’t need a psychic or any such person to show us the way or guide us through our problems. You see, we have the One who holds tomorrow holding our hand today. Trust Him and Him alone to show you the way.

Bright Light

John 1:6-9 – “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

Yesterday was our final lesson in Sunday school on Bible heroes. I can’t believe that November is coming to an end and we will soon be starting another year. Man, time flies! But I digress…

We studied about John the Baptist yesterday. What a great study. The focus of the lesson was the fact that John was a reflection of Jesus. He wasn’t the the Light, rather he was a reflection of the Light.

Have you ever been outside when the moon is so bright that you could drive your car with no headlights? The moon, in and of itself, has no light, no brightness within itself that would make it illuminate. It reflects the sun. The sun will shine on it at just the right angle and the sun is what gives the dark moon an amazing light.

This is the same way we are supposed to be in our walk with Jesus. He never asked us to be Him exactly. He did not ask us to be a mirror of Him and reflect Him perfectly. He is, however, asking us to reflect His Light.

Just like John, He is asking us to spend time with Him, to learn from Him and to get to know Him in an intimate way. And then, along the way, He is asking us to shine His Light into the lives of those around us. We don’t need to hound them. We don’t need to badger them. We don’t need to intimidate or otherwise scold them. We need to reflect Him. We need to live in such a way that we shine His light and show His love.

Today is a new day. You have a choice to make today – are you going to be a bright shining light for Him or are you just going to be a glimmer of hope? Both are good but would you rather have a spotlight when it’s dark or a pin light to light your home? When it is dark, I want the biggest and brightest light I can find. Friends, the world is dark and getting darker. We need that big, bright Light.