Tag Archive | Jeremiah 29:11

God’s plan to extinguish Fiery Darts

FD's bk & me (6-23-19)

     Today it was my pleasure to share the message of Fiery Darts to an endearing group of ladies at Mt Lebanon Baptist Church during their Sunday school hour. We dealt with how fiery darts relates to the following questions:

1 – Am I free from trying to win the approval and acceptance of other people, even those who are closest to me (such as spouse and children)?

2 – Have I learned what it means to take every thought captive and make them obedient to God’s truth that is clearly revealed by His Word and His Spirit?

3 – Am I well equipped to fight battles in my thinking, circumstances, and relationship and as a result stand strong in my faith?

 

     We learned that our answers to the above questions are largely determined by where our thoughts dwell, the carnal realm or God’s Word.

 An excerpt from Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice added a foundation for our discussion.

When a person becomes a Christian they are given a new nature, one that is the direct opposite of their old nature. Formerly, their will was directed by their old nature, but at the point of salvation, their old nature was dethroned. Their will is now directed by their new nature. (This civil war is fully explained in Romans 8:1-11, see page 95.) With this comes a hunger to study the Bible and to maintain consistent communication with God through prayer. The old nature, the flesh, resists such desires. Eventually, Satan arrives on the scene with his first and most formidable fiery dart—tempting their old nature with powerful distractions, making it harder and harder for new believers to commit to consistent Bible study and time in prayer. P 43

     Satan knows that our sinful nature (flesh) is set against God, as well as the values and priorities of the unsaved world. He uses that to deceive and manipulate us.

      A sure fire way to avoid his deception and manipulation is found in

Rom. 12:2, Do not be conformed to (the world), but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

     How are we going to renew our minds and become discerning as to God’s will?  By devoting ourselves to prayer and the study of the Bible.

     As we mature in wisdom and understanding, what we learn from spending time with God in prayer and His Word will expose the enemy’s plan (John 10a, the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy) and reveals God’s plan (John 10:10b & Jer. 29:11)

But in God’s Word in particular Ephesians 6:16 reveals God’s plan to undo Satan’s plan,

In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the evil one.

Something to keep in mind

Jesus convicts in order to restore.

Satan condemns in order to destroy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teens and Fiery Darts

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     Recently, I was invited to speak to a group of teenage girls on the subject of Fiery Darts. A subject we ALL are affected by, no matter our age. I was thrilled to be able to offer these precious young ladies advice that would prepare them to follow the path God has chosen for them. 

     They learned that every attitude or behavior (acceptable or unacceptable) begins with a thought. Unacceptable thoughts can originate from their own 1)sinful nature, 2)the World, and 3)Satan.  Satan uses all three to deceive and manipulate the formation of our thoughts to suit his purpose in ruining our witness.

     We compared God’s plan (Jeremiah 29:11), Satan’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy (fr John 10:10a) , and God’s plan to equip them to defeat the enemy (Ephesians 6:16) From 1 Peter 5:8 they were warned to take seriously the enemy’s attacks.

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     They were informed that without God’s filter of what is true;  lyrics, books, movies, websites, and even social media that is contrary to God’s truths, will begin to shape how they view sin. 

     It was impressed upon them that if they ignore God by spending little time with Him in prayer and His word, then the lies of fiery darts will infiltrate their minds and will begin to rule their thinking.  Eventually, they will see wrong as right and right as wrong.  

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…

 

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They were reminded that

God has plans to prosper you, not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.     

         Satan’s plans are to destroy you and your future. He will lead you to your destruction one fiery dart at a time

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         The following steps were given to counter Satan’s attacks

  1. Recognize the fiery darts of the enemy (absorb God’s word where you will become wise in recognizing the difference between thoughts that come from God and thoughts that do not) 

  2. Reject such thoughts immediately. (the longer you think about them the more their lies will take root)

  3. Replace fiery darts with God’s Truth Thoughts. (every time that thought enters your mind, quote a God Truth. 

By applying these lessons regarding fiery darts, the benefits of the following verse will be theirs to claim.

Do not be conformed to this world, but continuously be transformed by the renewing of your minds (as you spend time with God in prayer and His word) so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is—what is proper, pleasing, and perfect.  (and not be so easily manipulated and deceived by the enemy)  Romans 12:2 ISV

 

 

Dreaming is Trusting

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     Too old to dream? That’s the negative thought or fiery dart this elderly lady had come to call it. Yet she had to admit that at 70 years of age, it was an ongoing struggle not to give in to such a depressing thought. For the reality was that people her age and younger actually, were suffering from poor health and the obituaries of the local paper and facebook regularly reported on those who has lost their struggle.

      How did she know that at any moment a certain pain might herald the dreaded attack of some terminal illness?  Or that some unforeseen circumstance would spoil her plans for her future? Well, the truth of it was that she didn’t!

     Therefore, she determined that she would leave the plans for her future (and whatever those details looked like) in God’s hands!  She would embrace the Truth thought that God had plans for her future; plans for her good and not for bad, to give her hope for her future. So with that and a bit of naivety about the realities of old age, this elderly lady purposed to live the remainder of her life!  

 

Clarifying the Plans

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.John 10:10a (HCSB), “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy.” So what is it that the Enemy desires to steal, kill, and destroy? The answer is obvious—anything God has planned for us!      p 13 FD’s 3rd edition

   It’s obvious that America is in trouble. Chaos reigns in hot spots throughout our land. Too many of our leaders have called upon human reasoning and false arguments to replace the Christian principles upon which our country was founded. Slowly but surely the foundations of our country are being eroded away.

  But you know the same is true for individuals. Rejecting God sets us on the same course of depending upon human reasoning and false arguments. The outcome of such a choice places our lives, families, and ,therefore, our country at risk.

And because we are not motivated to spend time with God in prayer and in His word, we are ignorant of the following Truths:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV

The second half of John 10:10 reveals an aspect of God’s plan for His children, “I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” p 13 FD’s 3rd edition

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV), ‘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.’ p 24 FD’s 3rd edition

 

How about we examine the two plans

Cooperating with God’s plan produces

… Galatians 5:22-23. This is the familiar verse describing the fruits of the Spirit. When God puts a thought into your mind, then, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or selfcontrol, for example, is the desired end. The purpose behind thoughts influenced by God is meant to conform us into the image of His Son. p 54 FD 3rd edition

Rejecting God’s plan produces

Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. Galatians 5:19-21

So why do individuals choose Satan’s plan over God’s plan?

In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.         2 Corinthians 4:4 HCSB

 

Please open our eyes LORD. Lead us out of our darkness into Your Light!

Growing old certainly has it downers!

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   For example, when I look in a mirror, or decide to move after sitting for a spell! Or my energy level gives out before I’m finished with a project. And I’m always on the lookout for a hairstyle  that doesn’t shout out to anyone who notices it that I am an old woman. 

Living in a world that is obsessed with outward appearances,

    I’m nagged with the fiery dart of over focusing on how I look on the outside. Just watch tv for a few minutes and you will see what I mean. So how do I resist such temptations? The Truth thought to undo this temptation is 2 Samuel 16:7, “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (Whew, that’s a comfort!)

   I want to see myself through God’s eyes, not man’s.

     I have the desire to travel to the 3rd world country where my son and his family will be living after stateside. I did get to go once–living in the bush, struggling at times, but I did it! And I was no spring chicken!

     Next year I will be visiting my son, daughter in law, and 2 grandsons while my son is studying overseas.  I am ecstatic about that! But realistically, as my age increases, my visits might diminish. 

So, I fight the fiery dart of fear

that my health might play out, preventing me from making such trips. 

Self-Awareness is good.  Self-centeredness, not so good.

    I do want to be more self aware so that I can be realistic about my limitations, but I know I must be careful to resist the temptation to overdo the self-focusing. I don’t want to forget that I live my life for Christ. I want to focus on the Truth that

“it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20  

     Besides, too much self-focusing narrow’s one’s vision! And that would make me more vulnerable to Satan’s fiery darts. Nope, don’t intend on cooperating with the enemy on that one. Instead, if I’m smart, I will make a mature (I’m old enough) decision to cooperate with God’s plans. 

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

If I make that my focus, then I need not fear growing old! For I will make my plans as God leads, trusting Him to give me what is needed, when it’s needed to fulfill those plans. Like it says in 2 Corinthians 9:8. (Won’t miss out on anything that way!!!)

 

Facing the Future, whatever it brings!

    Once again we are wrapped up in a presidential election. Once again the fiery darts of negativity are being aimed and far too often are reaching their mark. In the past, I have allowed these fiery darts to victimize my thinking, tempting me to hopelessness and despair as I endured yet another presidential election, but NOT THIS YEAR!

   How could I possibly face such a bleak future as seems likely for our country, considering the insecurity cast by the growing threat of terrorism, the rebellion reflected in the moral upheaval in our courts considering abortion and same-sex marriage, the rejection of our country’s foundational principles evident in congressional decision, etc?

   For I know that when society collectively rejects God, then we are set on a path of destruction. And as long as society collectively continues to reject God, there is no hope that things will improve–on the contrary, things will continue to deteriorate. 

   Again, I pose the question, “How could I possibly face such a bleak future and not feel overwhelmed by despair and hopelessness?”

Here’s how!

 Every time I am tempted with despair and/or hopelessness, or any other fiery dart thoughts of a similar nature, I put the following plan into action: 

First

I recognize those thoughts for the fiery darts they are. I know that focusing on them will eat away at my faith, weakening me with every attack. 

Second

 I reject such thoughts, so as to prevent them from taking root and influencing further attitudes and actions.

Third 

I replace such hopeless thinking with Truth thoughts and those thoughts become my focus from which my attitude and actions spring from. 

Truth thoughts such as:

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

   I would like to quote Tony Evans’s comment from Decision magazine, February 2016, titled Prayer That Turns A Nation, p. 13

“If enough Christians in places of responsibility in the fields of medicine, law, government, education, the media, and even the church begin to humble themselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from their wicked ways, we could influence this culture and make the presence of Christ felt top to bottom and bottom to top.”

   But what if that doesn’t happen? What’s a Truth thought for that despairing question?

My dear readers, the day will come when:

. . .  that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth —and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:10-11

   And those of us who are Christians, what does the future hold for us in the midst of society’s rejection of God?

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, NIV

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 HCSB

   Therefore, I face my personal future and my country’s future with the confident assurance promoted in the above verses. On a daily basis, I commit to cooperating with God as He works out His plans for me making sure that my attitudes and actions are based on Truth thoughts not fiery dart thinking. And daily I pray 2 Chronicles 7:14 for myself, my family, my friends, and my country. 

TOO OLD TO DREAM?

Is 67 too old to dream?

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Sometimes I feel like it is.

Especially when I think about the things in my life that have not turned out like I use to dream they would.

 A 67 year old should be reflecting on the dreams they had as a younger person and be basking in the wonder of living in the aftermath of those youthful dreams. Shouldn’t they?

 I am 67 but the dreams I had for a big part of my life never materialized. Instead, it became the source of some of the greatest of my disappointments and pain.

 If I focused only on my greatest disappointments and pain, I would have long ago drowned in them. You know, that was and continues to be our enemy’s plan.

 And even now, it would suit him to keep me focused on the dreams I never realized.

 But, if I did that then I wouldn’t have known the dreams that were fulfilled. Many of my dreams, the most important ones, were constructed by the One who loves me most from the broken pieces of my shattered dream. I have even realized some dreams that I never even thought to dream of.

 So, while the fiery darts whisper to me that I am too old to dream there is another Voice I listen to. And this is the Voice that says to me, “I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you; not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”

This Voice doesn’t indicate that I have to stop dreaming when I get old. So, I will continue to dream about the places He would have me go and the things He would have me do.

 I’m 67 years old and the One I love tells me to keep on dreaming!