Today it was my pleasure to share the message of Fiery Darts to an endearing group of ladies at Mt Lebanon Baptist Church during their Sunday school hour. We dealt with how fiery darts relates to the following questions:
1 – Am I free from trying to win the approval and acceptance of other people, even those who are closest to me (such as spouse and children)?
2 – Have I learned what it means to take every thought captive and make them obedient to God’s truth that is clearly revealed by His Word and His Spirit?
3 – Am I well equipped to fight battles in my thinking, circumstances, and relationship and as a result stand strong in my faith?
We learned that our answers to the above questions are largely determined by where our thoughts dwell, the carnal realm or God’s Word.
An excerpt from Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice added a foundation for our discussion.
When a person becomes a Christian they are given a new nature, one that is the direct opposite of their old nature. Formerly, their will was directed by their old nature, but at the point of salvation, their old nature was dethroned. Their will is now directed by their new nature. (This civil war is fully explained in Romans 8:1-11, see page 95.) With this comes a hunger to study the Bible and to maintain consistent communication with God through prayer. The old nature, the flesh, resists such desires. Eventually, Satan arrives on the scene with his first and most formidable fiery dart—tempting their old nature with powerful distractions, making it harder and harder for new believers to commit to consistent Bible study and time in prayer. P 43
Satan knows that our sinful nature (flesh) is set against God, as well as the values and priorities of the unsaved world. He uses that to deceive and manipulate us.
A sure fire way to avoid his deception and manipulation is found in
Rom. 12:2, Do not be conformed to (the world), but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
How are we going to renew our minds and become discerning as to God’s will? By devoting ourselves to prayer and the study of the Bible.
As we mature in wisdom and understanding, what we learn from spending time with God in prayer and His Word will expose the enemy’s plan (John 10a, the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy) and reveals God’s plan (John 10:10b & Jer. 29:11)
But in God’s Word in particular Ephesians 6:16 reveals God’s plan to undo Satan’s plan,
In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the evil one.
Recently, I was invited to speak to a group of teenage girls on the subject of Fiery Darts. A subject we ALL are affected by, no matter our age. I was thrilled to be able to offer these precious young ladies advice that would prepare them to follow the path God has chosen for them.
They learned that every attitude or behavior (acceptable or unacceptable) begins with a thought. Unacceptable thoughts can originate from their own 1)sinful nature, 2)the World, and 3)Satan. Satan uses all three to deceive and manipulate the formation of our thoughts to suit his purpose in ruining our witness.
We compared God’s plan (Jeremiah 29:11), Satan’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy (fr John 10:10a) , and God’s plan to equip them to defeat the enemy (Ephesians 6:16) From 1 Peter 5:8 they were warned to take seriously the enemy’s attacks.
They were informed that without God’s filter of what is true; lyrics, books, movies, websites, and even social media that is contrary to God’s truths, will begin to shape how they view sin.
It was impressed upon them that if they ignore God by spending little time with Him in prayer and His word, then the lies of fiery darts will infiltrate their minds and will begin to rule their thinking. Eventually, they will see wrong as right and right as wrong.
Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…
They were reminded that
God has plans to prosper you, not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.
Satan’s plans are to destroy you and your future. He will lead you to your destruction one fiery dart at a time
The following steps were given to counter Satan’s attacks
Recognizethe fiery darts of the enemy (absorb God’s word where you will become wise in recognizing the difference between thoughts that come from God and thoughts that do not)
Rejectsuch thoughts immediately. (the longer you think about them the more their lies will take root)
Replacefiery darts with God’s Truth Thoughts. (every time that thought enters your mind, quote a God Truth.
By applying these lessons regarding fiery darts, the benefits of the following verse will be theirs to claim.
Do not be conformed to this world, but continuously be transformed by the renewing of your minds (as you spend time with God in prayer and His word) so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is—what is proper, pleasing, and perfect. (and not be so easily manipulated and deceived by the enemy) Romans 12:2 ISV
Be Aware! The fiery darts are really tricky when it comes to discerning God’s will. For example:
Feel confused, troubled, or things just won’t clear up?
1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion. (If confusion remains, then hold off on that decision.)
Being rushed to make a decision but we don’t feel ready?
Psalm 37: 7a, Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…
(Be careful here. Sometimes we make a decision then ask God to bless it. Get the direction clear in your head first. A fiery dart will always push us to get the cart before the horse.)
Feel we should take a step of faith, but we are too afraid?
2 Timothy 1:7, For God has not given us the spirit of fear
Feel we should take a step of faith, but we are bombarded with doubt?
Mark 9:23, Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
When we face of time of decision consider this. If we have not been consistently and I mean daily spending time with God in prayer and His Word, then it’s going to be a bit harder. And it will take some time. Too many aren’t willing to give God that time. Satan takes advantage of that. Confusion, fear, doubt, are the tools of his trade. If there hasn’t been a daily going back and forth between us and God, then whatever has caused that needs to be faced and discarded. Then considered the decision.
Oh! Be careful about over spiritualizing the situation. I use to be really bad about that. For instance,
I was traveling all by myself for the first time to go visit my son. At the time he lived an 8 hour’s drive away. I don’t like traveling alone. But I strongly desired to go and see my son and nothing else had worked out. It was either, go by myself or stay home.
I thought, “If I’m just stepping out in my own will, then I won’t have God’s protection!” (Oh that’s a paralyzer!) I shared that with my son and this was something like his reply.
“Mom, do you want to come for a visit?
To which I replied, “Of course, I feel very strongly about that.”
“Then get yourself in that car and come on!” was his pert reply.
I had prayed and prayed and prayed some more about traveling to go see my son. (and he knew that) My traveling alone was the only thing that had worked out. There was nothing left for me to do but get myself in that car and head out. God had opened the door, but the fiery darts of fear and doubt were paralyzing me. Sometimes, you just have to get up and move!