So how do we recognize fiery darts? Examine the effect the “suspicious thought” has on you. Does it produce confusion, fear, doubt, anger, inferiority, indecisiveness, jealously, judgment, or selfishness, for example? It would be wise to consider where such thoughts could lead. For example, thoughts of self-sufficiency can lead to a decreased dependency on God. Thoughts of jealously could lead to revengeful actions. Thoughts of judgment toward ourselves or toward others fosters condemnation. (Remember, God convicts. He does not condemn.) “Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, HCSB) and “For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him”(John 3:17 HCSB). I’m sure you get the point. p 53-54, 3rd ed FD’s
The above excerpt from my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, provides essential advice on how to identify thoughts of the fiery dart kind. Recently, I was made aware of an additional technique.
I was listening to a sermon when this question was offered as a way to recognize the influencer of our thoughts. It’s a simple question we ask ourselves. But the answer is powerfully revealing. So here it is:
But there’s a catch in being able to answer such a question. We need to know about the character of God. And we also need to know the character of Satan. When we do, then we can recognize where our thoughts have originated. For example:
I have a tendency to be self condemning. Therefore, I battle this fiery dart often. So when a condemning thought troubles me, I ask, “Who said that?” I can answer with confidence, “Well, it sure wasn’t God.” How do I know that? Because the Bible tells me that God brings conviction; not condemnation. And conviction is given in order to restore. Condemnation, on the other hand, is given in order to destroy. This knowledge empowers me to reject the condemning thoughts; preventing them from ruling my thinking.
The Bible reveals God’s character as well as Satan’s. Those of us who are not familiar with either can easily be deceived and manipulated. Pretty obvious isn’t it as to why Satan would be so determined to keep us from reading our Bibles? If we can’t recognize the influencer of a troubling thought then we are primed for deception and manipulation.
So allow me to pose this question: If we aren’t reading our Bibles due to thoughts such as, “You don’t have time. It isn’t really all that necessary. The Bible isn’t relevant to our day. It won’t make any difference.”