We have an enemy that must be identified! After horrible tragedies like the one we saw in Parkland, Fl., we grasp at an array of judgements in a frantic attempt to identify the enemy. Tragically, we chase one argument after another, never zeroing in on who the real enemy is. We can become so distracted by these arguments that the real enemy remains hidden.
Obviously, Satan is our enemy, our adversary. He is the one who cunningly designs temptations that will steal, kill, and destroy (from John 10:10a). Satan tempts that part of us that wants our own way and doesn’t like to be told what to do…that part that seeks to exalt ourselves…our fleshly nature.
Consider the following:
What we think determines how we feel, and what we feel influences our actions. A negative action is often the result of negative thinking. Understandably, if Satan can negatively influence our thinking, then the temptation to act negatively will be hard for us to resist… p. 27, FD 3rd edition
The weapon of negative thinking or fiery darts, is Satan’s most powerful weapon. But how is it that we as Christians, and even those who aren’t Christians, can be so easily manipulated and deceived? Sad to say, it’s very simple:
When we don’t spend enough time in God’s Word, our ability to recognize the lies of fiery darts is equally diminished. In the place of God’s Truth, the world’s concept of truth generally begins to define our thinking. p. 43, FD 3rd edition
Of course, for those who have rejected God, it is obvious how they have been blinded to God’s Truth. The world’s concept of truth and their sinful nature defines truth for them and God’s Truth bears little, if any, weight. Satan’s job of manipulation, therefore, takes little effort. p. 43 FD, 3rd edition
Fiery darts are designed to create a wedge of sin between us and God. Eventually, we will become blinded to the Truth, and we will be deceived into rejecting God’s plan for our lives.
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10b NKJV
Thought by thought our lives will take a downward turn. And individual by individual our country will spiral downward, as well. However, there is hope, if we genuinely desire healing for ourselves and for our country!
if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
Fiery darts can be defeated. If you have followed my blog, you know this to be True. Yet, some attacks take longer to defeat than others. And if you’ve noticed, the fiery darts that attack us within the realm of personal relationships, are the deadliest–especially if you have struggled with these attacks for years on end.
Fiery dart attacks that we are still wrestling with after years of seeming defeat, push us to the brink of despair, frustration, and hopelessness. During such an ongoing battle we are tempted to loose our focus and like Peter we can feel ourselves sinking beneath the waves of the storm. But even as we feel ourselves sinking, like Peter, we must remember to cry out, “Lord, save me!”
And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”… Matthew 14:29-30
These ongoing attacks require a strong & singular faith. A faith that is based on God and God alone; even when our prayers have proven fruitless. In these situations, when things don’t turn out as we had planned and don’t look like they ever will, God has to be enough. Even in the midst of seeming defeat, God assures us that we can know victory!
Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will triumph in Yahweh; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation! Yahweh my Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights! Habakkuk 3:17-19
Just remember, the enemy’s plan is to control our focus and lock it onto the things we think we lack instead of the all consuming presence of God where we discover we lack nothing! For in this state we wake up to the Truth that when we have God in Christ we have everything we need!
Most anyone of us reading this post could define temptations, but how keen are we at recognizing them? For while some temptations are obvious, others are not.
Perhaps we have taken more seriously the larger weapons of temptation: “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies.” (Matthew 15:19, HCSB) What’s going on in our heads, the thoughts we have though not necessarily evil, aren’t taken as seriously as these larger temptations. For example, the confusion that keeps us from taking a step of faith would not be thought of as a serious temptation when compared to something like the temptation of sexual immorality. p. 25-26, FD
My prayer and purpose in writing Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, was to alert anyone who would read it to the weapon of the enemy in undermining the plans God has for us through the subtly of negative thoughts (fiery darts). When we do not recognizing negative thinking as a weapon in its earliest form, we do so at our own peril.
“Above all, we must be especially alert against the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks. Someone has said very aptly: ‘Resist the beginnings; remedies come too late, when by long delay the evil has gained strength.’ First, a mere thought comes to mind, then strong imagination, followed by pleasure, evil delight, and consent. Thus, because he is not resisted in the beginning, Satan gains full entry. And the longer a man delays in resisting, so much the weaker does he become each day, while the strength of the enemy grows against him.” p. 46, FD
As we pull further and further away from God’s Word and communication with Him in prayer, then our capacity to recognize these early temptations for the weapons they are is weakened.
It is glaringly clear that our country’s corporate mind, having been tempted (and having succumbed) to forsake the principles on which she was founded, has lost her ability to recognize those temptations that contradict those principles. Therefore, she is being manipulated to think that government policies, economic policies, or changes in leadership is the key to the problems we face. This has been the pattern of our thinking for much of our past and look where it has gotten us; a country under the judgement of God!
If our land is to be healed, we must first recognize the fiery darts that have deceived us, then we must reject them, and, finally, replace the mindset of lies that seems to prevail in our leadership today with the following Truth thought (it’s our only hope):
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)