Tag Archive | Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice

Sometimes, we just need Mercy!

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     Sometimes we struggle to walk the path that has been set before us. And though we are confident this is the right path, we find ourselves making little progress.(ugh!) This leaves us feeling doubtful and confused. After all, being on the right path should not be fraught with such experiences, right?   Taking our frustrations to God, we earnestly seek God’s wisdom and guidance by faithfully searching His Word, but the verse that would give us the affirmation and/or direction we need continues to elude us. 

When this happens, what should we do?

     I would suggest that we examine the thoughts that are producing the doubt and confusion. And ask ourselves the following question from Chapter Five of my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.

Does it produce confusion, fear, doubt, anger, inferiority, indecisiveness, jealously, or selfishness, for example? (FD p. 33)

     It’s crazy, I know, but there are times when in spite of our best efforts we seem to be mired down in the mud of our own negative thinking (you know, fiery darts) and progress just doesn’t happen for us.  Therefore, once we examine the thoughts, then we:

Apply the 3 R’s of fighting fiery darts (published 02/17/2014)

1. Recognize

2. Reject

3. Replace

 

So, join me in an exercise of replacement!  

God isn’t listening to me.

You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,  Psalm 10:17 

I can’t figure this thing out.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Prov. 3:5-6 (p. 42 FD)

I’m not smart enough to know what to do.

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30 (p. 42 FD)

I can’t manage this.

 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

It’s just too confusing!

 . . .for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, I Corinthians 13:33

 * * * * * *

     Fill up your mind with the Truth-thoughts from verses such as the ones listed above.  (your own search will produce the verses that apply to your particular fiery darts) This powerful exercise will prevent the fiery darts from overwhelming you and sending you into despair when the answers are slow in coming.  And I have found that Lamentations 3:22-23, is just what’s needed in times such as these. 

Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!

This is My Reality–But. . .

Are you depressed over your present reality?

Do you find yourself wishing things in your life were different?

Are you a negative thinker, more often than not?

Well, my dear readers, don’t look now but you have become a victim of fiery dart thinking.  A fiery dart thinker has some curious characteristics. Here’s only a few:

Sees a cup half empty; instead of half full!

Focuses on self–primarily!

Knows little of contentment!

Is quick to find fault with others!

Lacks appreciation and gratefulness!

Has a difficult time accepting their reality; gets upset easily!

Nobody would want it said of them that they possess any of the characteristics from the list above.  And the good news is that while we may have such a negative bent, it can be overcome and brought under control.  But there are some things of which we need to become aware.

I have found in my own life, that there came a time when I needed to stop wishing things were different and to pray for grace to accept things they way they were.  When my problem was defined and I came to realize the power of negative thinking, only then did the light begin to shine:

As God continues to shed light on the darkness that plagued my walk with Him, I am developing an understanding of what has gone so wrong for so many. For it has become glaringly clear that negative thinking,. . . was at the core of my problematic walk with God…(FD p2-3)

While this game changing revelation didn’t occur until recent years (Oh how I wish it had but my reality is that it didn’t. I accept that and focus on all those powerful lessons I learned and am learning that I have to share with you), I have discovered some pretty exciting things.  Here’s a sampling:

I can be at peace in the midst of my storms!  (now I am not saying this occurs immediately but I get there a lot sooner than I use to!)

I see cups that are half full more often than not!

I’ve got more fight in me to resist those fiery darts so the negative thinking does not rule me as it once did!

I get attacked but I don’t fall down! (Hey, that sounds familiar doesn’t it!)  Well, it ought too, read this:

 We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out.2 Corinthians 4:8-9 English Bible (CEB)

And may I add, that after an attack, I don’t dive into depression and turn on myself like I use to.  Those fiery darts just have lost their power to rule me! Yes, they grab me sometimes and depending on the degree of fire in them may shake me, but my training (you know, my lessons on fiery darts. It’s a book now!) empowers me to break free.  Hallelujah!

And you know that sense of contentment that seems to elude us far too often?  Well, let me just say, it doesn’t elude me anything like it use too.  And this verse contains the secret:    

   Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in what whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippines 4:11-13 NIV

And finally, I’m learning to pick and choose what I allow to influence me.  Certainly, not the world. No tv show, actor, or actress, or the negative attitude of others.  Nope, I resist those fiery darts (and like I said, some are tougher than others, but I plant my feet and resist) and turn my gaze upon what’s important to Jesus!

 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NIV)

Sometimes, we encounter some pretty unpleasant and difficult realities in this world, but take heart we get to choose how we deal with them, 

I would encourage you to remember that you choose victory or defeat. And know that refusing to choose is a choice to fall and suffer defeat. Victory is yours as Deuteronomy 20:4 reminds us, “For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” (NIV) It is your choice! We know that Satan’s plans are to destroy us, but take heart for God has plans for us as well. 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) FIERY DARTS: SATAN’S WEAPON OF CHOICE, p. 45

Fiery Darts for Christmas!

Signing books after a speaking engagement at a dear college friend's church!

Signing books after a speaking engagement at a dear college friend’s church!

It seems I am being impressed to be a little more active in promoting the sales of my book.

Therefore, I think I’ll start with the 65 books tucked away in a box in my closet.  The thought struck me that they weren’t doing anybody any good sitting dormant in the dark corner of said closet! ! ! So I did a bit of advertising on my Fiery Darts Facebook page and my personal Facebook page.  And now I have placed an ad on my Fiery Dart blog.

So, my dear readers, here’s the deal with the 65 books still in my possession.  I am making them available for $8 (instead of the $10 original price).  For those of you who live in my area, that’s all the book will cost you. But if I have to mail it to you, then you will need to pay the $3 one time shipping.  But you still save b/c that will come to $11 not $13.

And here’s something new, if you would like for me to come speak at your church or ladies group, I would be willing.  Now that’s a big deal for me, because I have not been overly willing to do public speaking. You wouldn’t believe the fiery darts that have troubled me on that subject!  I have had a few speaking engagements since the publishing of my book, and I’ve breathed a sigh of relief that it was only a few.  But I believe the time has come for me to practice what I preach and even though I feel inadequate (because that’s what the fiery darts are trying to convince me of) I need to  defeat the weapons formed against me and get out there and work a little more energetically at promoting my book.  Why?  So it’s message can get into your hands and your lives can begin benefiting by it.  You need, just as I did, to be set free of the bondage these fiery darts are imposing upon you.

Christmas is coming!

Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice would be a gift that would continue to bring joy and encouragement to its recipient long after Christmas.

It can still be ordered online if you prefer a book to hold in your hands.  But for you Kindle-type readers, remember it is also available for you electronically as well.

Just send me a comment,

if you are in my area and would like to get one or more of the 65 books I have (so sorry but I can only offer a discount for the 65 books I possess!)

or

if you would like for me to mail you one or more of those books 

AND

Merry Christmas Everyone!

When bad looks good!

In recent days the headlines have been buzzing with the performance exploits of a certain young entertainer.  She presented herself onstage as someone who was not constrained by any sense of right or wrong, proper or improper public behavior.  And much of the nation was shocked!

And why were we shocked?

Why, because this young lady started out portraying a wholesome image, and parents (many of them Christian) put their stamp of approval on her by encouraging the idolization of their young daughters for her.  Her motivation for wholesomeness apparently wasn’t based in pleasing God, therefore did she ever get off track! Then when she went to the ‘dark side’ suddenly these same parents were horrified at the influence this young lady might now have over their daughters.

Consider this.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20 HCSB

A commentary on this verse nails it when it comes to describing what is going on in our country today:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil,…. That call evil actions good, and good actions evil; that excuse the one, and reproach the other; or that call evil men good, and good men evil; Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

Let’s face it, we live in a country that is seeing the verse in Isaiah 5:20 played out in almost every level of society and in every venue.  How did we get so far off track?  A quote from my book should shed some light.

 “… allowing society to have more of an influence on our understanding … than we allowed God to have.” pp. 76-77 Fiery Darts

In chapter 7 of Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, I make the point that loving God and pleasing Him (not the world) is the best motivation in determining how we should behave.

When we have a clearer understanding of true love then much will change in our lives depending on the extent of our level of what we have misunderstood. We will want to change things like our dress, our attitudes, our activities, our speech and the manner in which we behave towards others.  When we are motivated by a pure love for God, then we will want to please Him in all our ways as 1 Timothy 4:1a points out, “Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God,…” (NIV) Therefore, when we identify things in our lives that don’t please God, we will desire to eliminate those things.

If you identify things in the lives of others that do not please God, why would you want to give them the preciousness of your focus and admiration?  When you choose your objects of admiration, make sure their ways please God.

So parents and young people alike.  Your focus and admiration is a valuable commodity and it should be directed toward those who are worthy.  Don’t throw away your admiration on someone who has fame and fortune just because they have fame and fortune, Duh!.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 14:12, HCSB

Remember, fiery darts are designed to make something that is bad look good.  Just like it says in Proverbs, it may look good to man but it’s a dead end path.

So what must you do as parents?  Model for your children what is worthy of our admiration and what is not.  Talk about why it’s worthy or not worthy.  Be smart about what the Word says about those seeking our children’s attention and direct them towards those whose ways please God.  And most of all:

Dig deep into the Word of God so you will not be deceived by fiery dart thinking and pass what you learn there along to your children.  

The Stirring?

youth swo2013

 

At this writing I am pondering the typical week of incredible God happenings at my 2nd most favorite place on earth (1st being my home)!  This place is a church camp nestled in the Appalachian mountain range.  Our church’s youth are on their way home while my husband and I are soaking in a few more days of rest and relaxation at this blessed place.

I could write volumes about why this camp is so special to my family (it’s where my son answered the call to missions) and my church family (approximately 12 of our youth, since my son, have answered the call to missions due to the influence of this camp).

But the reason you will read a post about this amazing camp in my Fiery Darts blog is because of the prompting I received during a week of camp several years ago.  Those eventful promptings became the 7th chapter in my book  Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.

Here’s an excerpt from that chapter:

During the time of adolescence there is a stirring that becomes keenly apparent to girls early on and typically to the guys a bit later.  It has been assumed by our society that this stirring heralds the beginning of “the search” for a future spouse and as a result girls and guys begin counting the days when they will become old enough to date. (p. 51)

Could it be that the stirring in our hearts (as adolescents) that initiates a search for true love is the Holy Spirit calling us to a love relationship with our Creator? (p.55)

This is where the fiery darts come in!

When campers attended this camp, they were presented with some rather antiquated ideas about romance. As I started chaperoning at this camp around 10 years ago, I have had the opportunity to observe the effect of these antiquated ideas.  (These ideas included such things as courtship – you know, the old-fashioned idea of a guy approaching the father of a girl for permission to court his daughter because the guy was interested in marrying this girl!  That’s the way it use to be done back in the day!)

Young people were encouraged to turn their hearts towards God at the onset of these ‘stirrings’ and learn from Him how true love was to be defined. Then upon that foundation all love relationships were built.

You might think that what I have described no longer fits in with our cultural ideas of love and marriage.  And you’d be right.  They don’t fit in.  Know why?

B/C OF FIERY DART THINKING

Fiery dart thinking will persuade you that the stirring is definitely the start of ‘the search’ for someone to date and someday maybe (but not necessarily) marry.  The thought that God is calling you to a love relationship with your Creator is absurd, by this particular worldview.

But over the past 10 years I have made some astounding comparisons between those who applied the instructions from Scriptures taught by the leaders of this camp and those who rejected those outdated ideas for society’s approach to understanding love.

First of all, those young adults who led the camp and were single not only promoted the scriptural teachings about love but they practiced them as well.  And as you might suspect, our campers watched in awe as beautiful love stories unfolded for these young adults. And also, as you might expect, they too desired to experience such love stories for themselves.  And couple by couple, I have had the pleasure of attending (and my husband has had the honor of performing) beautiful wedding ceremonies for many of our church’s young adults.

So, I ask you,

Who wouldn’t want to be able to experience a pure and beautiful love story such as I have described?

If you accept the fiery darts then,

be prepared for more brokenness than you imagine, more disappointments than you can bare, your happiness will be fleeting and your troubles will be difficult to manage.

It’s a no brainer, isn’t it.

Here’s what God has to offer anyone who would choose to follow Him and His lead.

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.  Jeremiah 29:11

 

Do my problems define who I am?

Do we want to be defined by our problems?  

Do we want our problems to define us?  Do we want to be known as someone who has suffered defeat b/c of an avalanche of problems?  As someone who is always under their problems?  As someone who just moves from one set of problems to another?  As someone who just can’t seem to get a grip!

OF COURSE NOT! ! ! ! ! 

All right, I believe you.  But I have to ask.  If we don’t want our problems to define us, then why are we so consistent at turning our focus  towards our problems?  Why is it we allow fiery dart thinking as it relates to our problems, rule our attitudes and actions? (you know what happened to Peter when he went to focusing on the waves instead of Jesus – Matthew 14:25-31, read it if you’re curious)

Know what, I really don’t understand that myself.  Unless, of course, we can attribute negative thinking to that ole’ sin nature.  Our Bible heroes struggled with this also, I think.

 For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Romans 7:18-19

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?   Roman 7:18-24

We NEED to be rescued from ourselves!

Yes we do!  We need a power that will help us turn from focusing on the negative (you know, that menacing fiery dart thinking that plagues us all)!  Well, guess what?  There is such a power!  Read on:

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”  Roman 7:25

Here’s the deal!  Jesus’s death on the cross delivers us (that’s anyone who takes Jesus’s death personally).  Now we are in a position of power!  Now we have a choice!  God’s law (which is grace) can rule our thinking and define us, OR the law of sin can rule our thinking and define us.

So, when we are being pulled under for the 3rd time with fiery dart thinking, we can grab hold of the rescue line Jesus throws us.  It’s called ‘grace’.

And the grace of it is that we don’t have to keep thinking those negative thoughts.  That fiery dart thinking does not have to rule our thinking.  Because of God’s grace we have the Bible.  Because of the Bible we have the source to call upon that’s going to rescue us.  Philippines 4:8, points us to the secret of victory over fiery dart thinking (the kind of victory that keeps us from sinking).

 Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.

It’s quite simple actually.  The more noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy thoughts we think, the less room there is for fiery dart thinking.

A WORD OF CAUTION!

Often, without realizing it, we cooperate more with Satan’s fiery darts than we do with the wisdom of The Word.  This happens when we fail to educate ourselves about fiery darts.(That’s why I hope you will read my book – so you can be educated about all of this!)  If we don’t recognize the negative thinking as a fiery dart then we will succumb to it’s manipulation.  This excerpt from my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, p. 79, makes my point.

 3. Acknowledge it (the negative thought) as a fiery dart, if the purpose is to pull you down in any way.  Then, personalize this prayer based on Isaiah 54:17, “May this weapon formed against me not prevail.” (Keep in mind that conviction brings restoration, a fiery dart brings condemnation.)

What I am saying is that if we don’t acknowledge the negative thinking as a fiery dart then we won’t resist it as we should.  Thus we will be allowing ourselves to be manipulated by such thoughts and it will be that fiery dart thinking that will define us (if we aren’t careful)!

Suffering? Nope that’s not for me!

It’s only been a month since I returned from my 2 1/2 month stay in Africa where my son, daughter-in-law, and newborn grandson serve as missionaries.  And I am still processing the numerous lessons I was introduced to while there.  But there’s been one on my mind that continues to surface on a regular basis.

One of the conversations I had with my son as he was helping me get through a difficult time was the conflicting attitude many Christians here in the U.S. seem to portray.  It has to do with our attitude towards suffering.

SUFFERING?  Nope that’s not for me!

If I have lived my life as a good Christian should, then God will bless me.  And if something bad happens to me, I am going to pray and get as many  as I can to join with me, asking God to deliver me from this bad thing.

Please notice the following excerpt from my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, p. 38

Ever noticed how reluctant we are to suffer for Christ?  When someone gets sick, we automatically ask God to heal.  Take the suffering away and we deprive ourselves from learning how to handle suffering and as a result grow more like Christ.  Does anyone think that this life can be lived without suffering?  Not really, so why do we recoil from it when it comes our way?

Life can’t be lived without experiencing difficulty.  Yet the fiery darts persist in trying to convince us that if we live our lives as a good Christian should then our lives will be blessed and that should result in an easier life.  I don’t really think any Christian would say they believe such nonsense, but by the way we ‘recoil’ from suffering and automatically begin praying to be delivered or be healed, I think we are acting as if we do.  You think?

We want an easy life, or at least that’s what the fiery darts will try to convince us of.  But we experience salvation, the hope of eternal life, abundant life in the here and now–and the list goes on and on–JUST BECAUSE someone was willing to suffer on our behalf.

Be ever so careful my dear ones when hard times come your way.  There’s a sweetness in that trial that will only be tasted as we submit our wills to God and trust Him to work it all out for our good.  (Just like Romans 8:28 says)

James 1 encourages us to count it all joy when we suffer from trials and tribulations.  Why? Because there is something lacking in our lives and if we will only cooperate with God as we go through these trials, then whatever is lacking will be supplied by that trial.

Oh, I can just hear that fiery dart being whispered in your head about now.

“Are you kidding me? Whatever it is that’s lacking, I’m sure is something you would rather live without, right?”

You see, the fiery darts want to cloudy up your thinking so that you won’t remember verses like Jeremiah 29:11, where God reminds us that His plans for us are good plans that will give us a hopeful future.  The Holy Spirit reminds us, we have to cooperate with God as He works out those plans.

Are you going through a hard time right now?  As God to help you identify the fiery dart thinking that is keeping you from identifying the power God supplies you with to be victorious.  As a matter of fact, refer to p. 79 in my book and learn how to attack the fiery darts that are designed to pull you down so you will know NOTHING of the victory God has planned for you in that trial!