There are seasons in our lives when in spite of what we read in the Bible, we feel abandoned by God. (and if we aren’t reading our Bible then we, for sure, feel abandoned and even hopeless) We walk around in a cloud where hope is vague and happiness is something we grow more unfamiliar with by the day.
So what should we do? How do we survive such desolate days?
We all have a singular enemy! He is called Satan! He has plans to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10). He influences false assumptions, prideful thinking, and deceptive human reasoning. (2 Cor 10:3-5)
Then how is it that we are so easily devoured by Satan’s plans?
I’ve been told that the lion stalks those who are distracted and weak. Therefore, Satan is on a constant vigil to detect the weak among us. Those who rarely feed on God’s word, are most vulnerable to his manipulation and deception. Those who have become more familiar with the lies of the world than the principles declared in the Bible are easily led astray and distracted.
Without a healthy understanding of how much we are loved by God, of His good plans for us, of how His plan is for all things to work together for our good, we can easily be consumed by the burdens of life. Therefore, Satan’s foremost attack is to make us ignorant of such understanding. By doing so, he can easily convince us that God has forgotten and abandoned us. He feeds our thoughts with negativity and lies. Our hope soon gives way to hopelessness and despair.
How do we counter Satan’s attack?
Satan attacks us first in our thoughts. A weapon referred to as fiery darts. If we don’t know how to recognize those fiery darts, then we are doomed to falling prey to their poison. How we feel will be filtered by the fiery darts we have allowed to take root in our thinking. Consider the following excerpt from my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice:
First we entertain a thought. That thought will cause certain related feelings. Thus, our behavior is influenced by our thoughts and feelings. Psychologists say that if behavior is to be changed, then the flow must be interrupted, either at the initial thought or at the feeling point. p. 28 3rd ed FD’s
Satan must be defeated at the first thought level. When we accomplish this, then the darkness will diminish. We won’t succumb to the deception of the enemy. We may have to deal with unhappiness but our joy remains. And instead of becoming overwhelmed we will discover that
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-16 NLT
I hardly know where to begin with this post. How can the purposeful death of an unborn child be justified? Yet as we recently witnessed in the news, abortion is not only justified, it is celebrated. (bringing to mind visions of ancient rituals of offering up children to death, while people dance in mindless celebrations)
But this can’t be. We are civilized. We are America! We would never be a part of or condone such barbaric behavior! Yet several states allow, by law, abortions up to 9 months! Since Roe vs Wade over 60 millions babies have had their chance at life brutally eliminated.
And for what reasons was their chance at life snuffed out?
having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%);
that she could not afford a baby now (73%);
and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%).
Nearly four in 10 women said they had completed their childbearing, and almost one-third were not ready to have a child.
Fewer than 1% said their parents’ or partners’ desire for them to have an abortion was the most important reason.
Younger women often reported that they were unprepared for the transition to motherhood,
while older women regularly cited their responsibility to dependents.
Here’s what God has to say about life
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-16)
Our culture is being deceived and manipulated. We have been desensitized to God’s Truth about unborn life. Even in the womb God has plans for that yet to be born child.
Before a woman will turn aside from hearing the truth (based on 2 Timothy 4:3-4) and exchange the truth of God for a lie (based on Romans 1:25), she must be desensitized to the truth.
in order for us to be desensitized toward the lies of fiery darts, we must first have our understanding of the Truth of Scripture diminished. By tempting us not to spend time in God’s Word, our ability to recognize the lies of fiery darts is equally diminished, if we give in to that temptation. In the place of God’s Truth, the world’s concept of truth (which is no truth at all) begins to define our thinking. p 35-36 FD’s 3rd edition
Believing lies (fiery darts) that justifies abortion, prohibits a woman from acknowledging and accepting the hope, love, forgiveness, and peace God offers her when she chooses life for her unborn child.
December 31, 2018, I read the final verses of the Daily Bible Reading booklet you see above. The result of this year long effort was that I had read though the entire Bible. Then starting January 1, 2019, I started all over! My goal is the same; to read through the Bible again! For the last two years, I have maintained a consistency in daily reading my bible, thanks to this program!
Yet, off and on through the years, I have attempted to read my bible daily. But no matter how diligently I began, after a time I would fizzle out. Pretty discouraging!
Since writing Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, I have come to understand why I was such a washout in developing a daily bible reading routine. Why negative thinking ruled my thoughts. Why I became susceptible to Satan’s manipulation.
If he (meaning Satan)can keep you from consistent Bible study and prayer, then you will not possess the ability to recognize the lies of fiery darts, and your thinking will be vulnerable to Satan’s manipulation. p 79, FD’s 3rd edition
Satan’s plot to render us ineffective as Christians is simple. “Just keep us from reading the Bible.”
If we didn’t eat, what would happen to our bodies.
If we only ate every so often, what would happen to our health?
Well, to a Christian, reading the Bible is like eating. To keep us spiritually healthy, we must consume a daily portion of God’s Word.
My greatest regret in life is not spending time with God daily in prayer and reading my Bible. I think about the unnecessary trauma I have gone through over the years simply because I wasn’t listening to God (you know, spending time with Him by reading and meditating on His word)!
Now that I am retired and spending that time daily with God, I am realizing the HUGE EFFECT it is making in my thoughts, attitudes, and actions. I think about all those years I failed in allowing God to show me the path I should have taken. I could have avoided so much pain, so many mistakes, pitfalls, detours, etc., if I had been familiarizing myself daily with what God had to say about what I was going through.
I could have you know. But I allowed myself to be manipulated and deceived into allowing busyness to keep me out of God’s word. Sure my life was busy when I was raising four children, working full time, and being deeply involved with my church. But I paid the price for putting all of that before my personal time with God. Not only did I pay the price but those I loved paid the price as well.
The more we pray and the more we study, the more of Christ is revealed to us. Our faith is strengthened and our access to the power of God is increased. Our ability to recognize fiery darts becomes keener, and we do not succumb to their influences so readily. We will recognize the battle going on between our flesh and our spirit and we will choose to cooperate with God’s plan instead. p 80 FD’s 3rd ed
So please, please heed my warning. You are not doomed to repeating my mistake. Know that the enemy is whispering the same lies into your thoughts as he did to mine. Be aware only the power of God’s word can successfully expose Satan’s lies.
So go get your Bible. Open it up and start reading it everyday. (I recommend a read your Bible through in a year plan.) I can’t tell you how many times God will highlight a verse for me in my daily readings that speaks directly to something I’m dealing with. I add that verse to my prayer notebook (oh yeah, keeping up with verses like that helps keep them in your focus).
Start NOW letting God’s Truth’s rule your thinking and not Satan’s lies.
Obviously, the significance of Thanksgiving is that it is a time to pause and contemplate all the things we have to be thankful for.
Some broad categories for which I am thankful are Faith, Family, Friends, and Country, just like many of you, I imagine. But in this post, I will zero in on a significant aspect within the category of Faith whose impact carried over into Family, Friends, and Country.
It was about 9 years ago, when God first introduced me to the concept of fiery darts. That instruction opened my understanding of how I had been victimized by my own thoughts. Negative thoughts or what I eventually began to see as fiery darts. I shudder to think the course my life would have taken, had I not been awakened to the destructive force of fiery dart thinking.
As my training proceeded, I began learning how I had been deceived by my old nature (my thoughts and attitudes prior to my becoming a Christian), and the world’s concept of truth (a truth void of God’s Truth). I discovered that the world’s concepts of truth held more sway over my thinking than God’s concept of Truth.
That deception was advanced by my lack of spending time with God in His word. Notice, I didn’t mention that I did not spend time with God in prayer! Because I spent a lot of time praying. But you know what that amounted to? I spent a lot more time talking to God rather than listening to Him. For we hear God’s voice when we read the Bible.
When my talking to God and my listening to God got in balance, then and only then, did I find my way out of the bondage I had placed myself in with fiery dart thinking.
This balance impacted how I dealt with problems within the context of family and friend relationships. It encouraged me to take those problems to God. Faithfully He would lead me to a particular scripture or scriptures that would shed light on how I should respond.
There hasn’t been an area in my life that this balance hasn’t impacted. For example, instead of despairing over the negativity of our recent political climate, God reminds me of 2 Chronicles 7:14. My prayers for my country are worded according to God’s Word, not my despair.
When disaster strikes our nation, I’m reminded of verses such as John 16:33. My prayers are worded with the hope found there, not my fears.
Knowing how to counterattack the temptation to think negatively about our problems, presents us with a perspective that will identify solutions.
My expressions of thankfulness this holiday will be centered on the gratefulness I feel towards God for opening my understanding to what fiery darts are and how to defeat them. For that knowledge has enhanced the gratefulness I feel towards
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!