My heart is breaking as I hear of young couples, so dear to me and at one time so close to God, giving up on their marriage. I can understand and even relate to the temptation to bail out of a marriage that is slowly becoming depleted of the happiness and contentment with which it began. But succumbing to this temptation only sets in play Satan’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a) the very happiness and contentment they are seeking.
We live in a world that defines happiness from a self-centered perspective. But according to God’s definition, genuine happiness is found by delighting ourselves in Him. (Psalm 37:4) When we reject this Truth, Satan stands ready to fire at us a volley of fiery darts designed to convince us that the only solution to unhappiness or discontentment in our marriage is to bail out of it. Then slowly we become blind and deaf to God’s plan that He has come to give us life in abundance (John 10:10b) even in our marriage.
When we become more focused on what we desire than on what God desires,then happiness and contentment in our marriages (and life) will always elude us. Satan’s fiery darts make sure of that. My prayer is that their sight will be restored and their enemy will be exposed. And in every situation they will take up their shield of faith in God’s Word and extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16)
Then the Truth below will become their new reality!
If our marriage is built upon the foundation of God’s design, we will understand that there will be times when we will be unhappy in our marriage and/or with our spouse. This is a reality that will be dealt with in a godly manner so that it does not become an excuse to bail out but an instrument of God’s will in conforming us into His image. This is what centering your marriage on Christ means……“Frustration, hardship, loss is rooted in the gospel. In that context (centering your marriage on Christ) your faith may be shaken but your marriage will remain rooted.” (words in quote from a dear friend who is a mighty teacher of God’s Truth)
You see, the type of suffering or problems that we encounter in our marriages will often reflect something that is lacking therein. It stands to reason then, that if we cooperate with the sanctification process in order to provide what is lacking in the marriage, then we aren’t likely to see breaking up the marriage as the solution.
James 1:2-4 makes this quite clear: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NIV)
Excerpt taken from p. 71-72, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice
First of all, may I ask you a few questions?
Do you condemn yourself or put yourself down?
Do you think others, especially close to you, don’t think well of you?
Do you over focus on your fears?
Do you find yourself doubting God?
Do you struggle with inconsistency in reading your Bible and praying?
Have you recognized questions such as these as the fiery darts Ephesians 6:16 identifies? Satan knows quite well, that these fiery darts will never permeate the Shield of Faith. Therefore, what do you think his first plan of action will be with individuals? Of course, tempt an individual to search everywhere but God’s Word for the answers to questions like the ones above. And if he can manipulate enough individuals to reject God and/or His Word, then his plan to destroy a nation falls easily into place.
Our country’s leaders, some even calling themselves Christians, speak and act in ways that contradict God’s ways. For example, the Bible makes it quite clear how God feels about abortion. Yet, some of our most powerful leaders stand firm in their support of organizations that promote abortion! I just don’t get it. Why would anyone, claiming to be a Christian, support something God is against? But wait, I think I do!
People who have rejected God and His word, are easily manipulated into seeing lies as truth and truth as lies. You recall those questions I started out with? Well, Satan’s plan is to get us so self absorbed that we loose sight of who God is and the good plans He has for us.(Jeremiah 29:11) We can’t believe that He can take the bad things we are experiencing in life and turn them into something good and thereby enrich our lives by them. (Romans 8:28)
We look for solutions to the problems we encounter in our lives and Satan makes sure that our search for answers takes us no where near the Scriptures. Every idea we get from him may feel like an answer at the beginning but only serves to intensify our problems and complicate our lives even more. (Proverbs 14:12)
As Christians, we must seek God’s will and wisdom and apply them to the problems we face. As we hold up our Shield of Faith, then we are protected from being manipulated and distracted by the fiery darts aimed at us by Satan.
Here’s how it works!
God’s light will shine forth for all to see and as God helps us, then we can help others. (2 Corinthians 1:4) As His light is experienced and shared then that light grows and the darkness is dispelled. (John 1:5) Eventually, as individuals turn back to God, then a nation has hope. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Please note that this post will remain current for one more week. Felt it was a message that needed more opportunity to sink in, so to speak!
Who’s telling you the Truth?
Let me explain the above caption. You might notice that I have capitalized the word “truth”. That is not a typo. I did that on purpose. For if you’ve read my book, you are familiar with the contrast between Truth and truth. But for those of you who haven’t yet read my book, allow me to share this excerpt from Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice
As we become less and less familiar with the Truths of Scripture the mindset of truth that is determined by the world and our experiences with that world begin to make more and more sense. But remember, it is corrupted truth because it fails to recognize the standard of Truth, which is God and His Word! 3 p. 27
Truth or truth
(You get to choose! ! ! !)
The above illustration depicts the inner conflict (with a different twist) associated with fiery darts. In this depiction the conflict is not between good and evil but between Truth (which has its basis in Scripture) and truth (which has its basis in worldly logic). Allow me to elucidate!
A young lady is struggling trying to fit in with her new church friends. Yet, they are not making it easy for her. Also, she has recently entered into a relationship with a young man who is nice enough, but does not offer her the spiritual support she needs to identify the best solution to the problem.
A woman, struggling with image problems, (which includes just about the entire female population) often fights a loosing battle when it comes to resisting the negative influences of fiery dart thinking.
In the first illustration the young lady is so wrapped up in the world of wonder of this new relationship that she is not willing to admit that her dream guy has become a distraction from hearing Truth (good angel in the picture). The common sense truths (coming from the bad angel) make a lot of sense to her. So as she focuses more and more upon the truth thoughts, her ability or desire to focus on Truth thoughts diminishes.
In the second illustration a woman must understand the battle being waged between Truth and truth, before she can secure a victory.
In each case a choice has to be made as to which type of thoughts will be favored. Often this choice is influenced by how much we know of God’s Word as opposed to how much we know of the mindset of truth of the world. If the scales tip in favor of the world’s truth and we add the weight of our own desires, then its pretty much a given that we will make choices that do not please God and will not be for our good. Eventually, we will realize this but by then we will have become so entrenched in fiery dart thinking that we won’t be able to see or understand that there is any other solution.
The remedy isn’t rocket science, although the fiery darts will attempt to convince you otherwise. It’s really quite simple:
1. Prayer (consistent & honest conversations with God)
2. Being familiar with the Truth’s of Scripture
These two remedies applied often to what ails us, will empower us to recognize the fiery dart thoughts that are bombarding our minds. Once they are identified as fiery darts, then their power to rule our attitudes and actions fizzles. The more we focus on God’s advice then the healthier we become IF we apply it, of course.
. . . the Enemy has a plan as well? 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!
The second half of John 10:10 reveals an aspect of God’s plan for His children, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV) FD, p. 1
You get to choose, so make choices that reflect the 2nd half of John 10:10, not the first half. AND if you don’t already have my book, please order it asap. Just type in the title, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, to place your order.