Tag Archive | downward spiral

Exposing the Hidden Enemy


 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. Therefore, 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!



The Force of God in overcoming downward spirals!


A downward spiral is an concise visual of what can happen to a Christian who becomes more focused on their problems than God!

   Okay, now with that visual in mind let’s examine how a downward spiral can occur. Do you ever experience times in your life when the work you have to do seems overwhelming? There’s too much to do and too little time to do it! The stress builds and builds and you feel ill equipped to do much about it. You want to run away to some place calm and peaceful so you can be free of the stress–but you are stuck where you are and there seems to be no way of escape.

   And on top of all this, there are problems troubling your mind. Some of them have lingered around, unresolved, for quite some time. And always new problems, with no regard for the unresolved problems you already face, weasel their way into your already overburdened mind.

If the above is what you find yourself dealing with, trust me you are either in a downward spiral or on the very edge of it. You are being plummeted with fiery darts (perhaps you didn’t realize that!)

   HOWEVER, there is very good news: you can be rescued from a downward spiral! There is a force powerful enough to prevent you from falling into one or pulling you out of one.


   I would like to give you an assignment. I want you to set aside (daily) a time to read your Bible (I am going to suggest some verses) and crawl up in God’s lap to share your heart with Him and to listen to what He wants to say to you. And, by the way, keep a journal of your time with God. (There are journal assignments after chapters 3, 4, 5, & 6 of my book. A good place to start!)
   You MUST make this a priority. And believe me, at this point you have no idea of the pressure and distractions that will come to keep you from doing this.  (Just keep in mind your enemy, Satan, knows that you will break free of the bondage of negative thinking by doing this!)
   Scriptures are obvious in describing Satan’s plan in John 10:10a, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;…” (NIV) So what is it that the Enemy desires to steal, kill, and destroy? The answer is obvious – anything God has planned for us! p. 1, FD
   Even if it is only 2 or 3 minutes to begin with, JUST DO IT! The fiery dart thoughts will tempt you to wait until you have more time to spend with God. But you know and I know that is a cleverly disguised fiery dart. DON’T GIVE IN TO IT!

Now, here are some verses to get you started:

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, NIV
Turn to me and be gracious to me,for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Psalm 25:16-17 NIV
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10 NIV
Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me,for you are God my Savior,and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5

   All right then, now you’ve got a place to start! Again, I recommend the journal assignments as you read my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.  


Reclaiming Your Self-Worth–God’s Way!

My Dramatic Transformation

As God exposed the weapons of fiery darts that for years Satan had skillfully used against me, my spiritual walk underwent a dramatic transformation. By teaching me what fiery darts were and how to counter their attack, my walk along the path God had set before me so many years before was illuminated to such an extent that my skill in recognizing Satan’s tactics dramatically improved along with my ability to successfully fight against the fiery darts. FD p. 6

A Pivotal Question!

For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people?. . . Galatians 1:10 (HCSB)

     No Christian ever wants to admit that they are more concerned about pleasing people than they are pleasing God. But that is exactly what I, the people pleaser, was doing! God revealed this to me several years ago in the midst of a tumultuous episode when a particular decision I had made resulted in creating discord among many.

     For the first time in my adult life, people were severely displeased with me and I couldn’t handle that! At first! But after much counsel and doing some honest soul searching about the Galations verse, my course was redirected. My downward spiral was interrupted as God reached down and rescued me from the plans that Satan had concocted.

    Pleasing God now trumped pleasing people! It was quite liberating to live life that way! And on top of that I had the reassurance that,

When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7 (HCSB)

    Another powerful lesson learned during those days was how something that Satan meant for bad was turned into something good by God. Therefore, I saw all those involved as instruments of God’s will in helping me understand how important it was to please Him above all others. As a result there was no anger or bitterness on my part towards anyone.

     As I look back on events such as the one I just described through the lens of fighting fiery darts, I gain clarity about the work of Satan’s manipulation. Of how he can take my weaknesses and victimize me with my own thoughts. Now when those fiery darts try to infiltrate my thinking, by God’s design, I have a plan in place to reject them thus averting the devastation those weapons formerly imposed. 

No more downward spirals; depression has been defeated!

More on saying goodbye!

Here’s another thought God gave me in my time with Him this morning!

Why is it that we as parents of grown children struggle so with the fiery darts of loneliness and depression when our children and grandchildren (especially those who live a long ways from us) depart after a visit?  I have some thoughts regarding that!

For me, my struggles with these two fiery darts are dramatically diminished as long as I bring the power of Scripture to bear upon them.  Yesterday, God helped me to understand the impact of focusing on His blessings in keeping the temptations of loneliness and depression at bay.  And I am here to tell you, “It works!”

In addition, God gave me another thought this morning that I feel I must share with you.

Part of our problem is that we struggle to accept reality.  The reality is that children grow up and often move away from their parent’s home, town, (and sometimes even country)!  That’s normal, that’s as it should be.  But we think we would be happier if they lived closer and mourn the fact that they don’t!  As long as we think on these little ‘t’ truths, we open the door of our minds to an onslaught of fiery darts.  The results of that?  Read on!

We will become more and more self absorbed!

Our notice of families who live close to each other will be intensified and we will begin to envy them and feel sorry for ourselves.

The distance between ourselves and God will continue to expand.

Our time with God will diminish and become less fruitful.

Mentally and emotionally we will be bummed out, and that will begin to take a toll on us physically!


I know that the fiery darts will always nag at my mind!  Such as: I’m getting too old to become adventurous.  How do I know my health won’t play out?  Physically I just can’t manage as much as I use to.  I’m running out of time; it’s just too late to attempt new things.

If I allow myself to think like that then that abundant and prosperous life God has for me in John 10:10b and Jeremiah 29:11 will indeed pass me by.

So perhaps now you understand why it is vital to be deliberate about our thinking!  God has given us some excellent advice in Philippians 4:8 about how we should be directing our thoughts:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. (NIV)

And the results of this kind of thinking?

We will begin to realize we have more time to spend with God! (The benefits of that cannot be measured!)

We will become less self absorbed! (Our world won’t be so centered on us!)

Our health will improve b/c we are in a healthier mental and emotional state!

We will begin to enjoy the freedom to pursue things we wouldn’t consider or afford as long as we had the responsibility of caring for our children. (I took a flying lesson recently!)

We begin to respond normally to those difficult goodbye’s.  Sad, of course, b/c we miss them and b/c we enjoy having them around, and we love making those memories with them, but we soon get back on our feet and move on to enjoy the life and benefits of the empty nest God has ordained for us.  Because as God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11,

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

and John 10:10b,

 I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.(NIV)