I’m so sorry about all the disunity among Your children right now. Humility, gentleness, patience, accepting one another in love (Your gifts) are in short supply.
The enemy has really done a number on us. I suppose he is working overtime because he is running out of time to steal, kill, and destroy the life You have planned for us.
We can’t see beyond all the hatred, bitterness, and personal attacks on each other to be able to recognize how Satan has duped us. He is our enemy, not each other.
Those who reject You don’t understand that it is their own disbelief that condemns them. But Satan conceals that from them too. I am so sorry that Your children don’t show more of Your love towards those who have rejected You. Satan blinds the world to the fact that Your love leads to peace and sets them free from their bondage of disbelief.
Perhaps we could start by asking for Your help to trust You more, especially during these dark days. Help us to trust You like Mary and Joseph did when they faced the dilemma of Mary’s untimely pregnancy. Help us to quieten down, let go of the negativity all around us, and trust that You ARE in control (for we act as if You are not)!
Ephesians 4:2-3, “with all humility and gentleness with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with peace that binds us.”
It’s the ultimate frustration when you pray and pray over something, but the hoped for answer doesn’t come. The fiery darts will try and convince you that God isn’t paying attention. That He doesn’t really work in the way you desire. It may happen for other people, but not for you. Or you are praying the wrong way, or asking for the wrong thing. Or it’s just not His will. (To name only a few!)
When the answers don’t come and you are tempted to despair; when happiness is something you experience only infrequently; when your joy thermometer reads zero; ask yourself, “What is my focus?”
Remember it’s about perspective. If your days are covered in a dark cloud, the right perspective can change how you perceive that cloud. The dark cloud may remain, but you will see it differently.
That dark cloud can become a reminder to praise God and to thank Him that He is allowing the darkness to draw you closer to Himself. This simple but profound realization changes everything. All those fiery darts cannot hang around in the face of such a Truth.
It’s in times like these, we have to be content in the knowledge that even when we don’t receive the hoped for answers, we have been drawn closer to God. We can trust Him to give us the perspective that will help us move forward. Whether our prayers are answered to our satisfaction or not.
Yes, when our earnest prayer’s remain unanswered it’s difficult to trust and depend upon God. It’s easier just to throw up our hands and quit. But if we reject such fiery dart thinking, then we will be open to receive God’s Truths. He may give us a verse of Scripture like Habakkuk 3:17-19, or comfort from a friend, or insight from a sermon, or encouragement from a song! Centering our thoughts on these Truths whenever we are tempted to despair will restore our hope and give us peace. (Even if our prayers remain unanswered)
Satan doesn’t want this to work, so be prepared for the negative distractions to increase. Stand strong and reject such negative thoughts. Resolve to receive only those Truth thoughts sent by God.
When our child cries out to us because they have suffered a great disappointment, we just wrap our arms around them and love on them. Our presence is their greatest comfort and for them, that is enough.
The same is true for us as God’s children. Our Heavenly Father, desires to be enough. His presence must mean more to us than getting the answers we want, when we want them.
As I survey people, in particular Christians, there is something I find troubling. It appears to me that an alarming number of Christians are walking life’s path without the benefit of light! And when the trials come, the lack of light allows Satan to move stealthily.
His first attempt will be to weaken our new nature by tempting our old nature with distractions meant to diminish our desire to study the Bible or spend time with God in prayer. p. 46 FD’s 3rd edition
When trials come, and that’s a given, without the light of God’s word we will find ourselves stumbling around in the dark. Having become so accustomed to the darkness we fail to see the solutions the light reveals. Before we realize it, we find ourselves walking along life’s paths using the same human reasoning and false arguments anyone in the World would use. Without the light provided by God’s Word, we become confused, disillusioned, frustrated, etc. as we seek solutions to our trials from other sources.
As Christians do we really desire to live this way? Satan’s fiery darts will attempt to convince us that this is normal. But God tells us that He has a better plan:
…the second half of John 10:10 reveals … 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
However, Satan’s plan is to keep us in the dark.
But remember, his plan can’t succeed as long as we access the light provided in God’s word.
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. We can become so distracted by these arguments that 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!
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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
Before individuals accept Christ as their Savior, they are ruled by their flesh, or sinful nature—a nature predisposed to sin. However, when a person accepts Christ as his or her Savior, a new nature is born, ruled by God’s Spirit. Yet the old spirit remains, thus, creating the great civil war that will be ongoing for the rest of their life. Satan takes full advantage of the struggle between the old nature (the flesh) and the new nature (God’s Spirit). His first attempt will be to weaken our new nature by tempting our old nature with distractions meant to diminish our desire to study the Bible or spend time with God in prayer. p 46, 3rd edition FD
Remember that the desire to sin originates with our fleshly nature. If we don’t focus on the Truths we learn from Scripture, then the temptations/fiery darts, will become harder and harder to resist or even recognize! Knowing the Truths found in the Bible makes us wise to the lies of fiery darts that bombard our minds on a daily basis. Prayer and bible study are effective in keeping us keen to those lies and supplies us with the power to resist them. There is no substitute!
I listened to a sermon today, that revealed a fiery dart that too many of us fall prey to! May I ask you something, as one Christian to another?
Does the idea of witnessing to someone strike fear in your heart. Do thoughts like:
I’m just not cut out for this witnessing thing; not my gift!.
I wouldn’t be able to remember any of the verses, much less quote them.
What if they get mad at me or make fun of me?
I don’t think I am a good enough Christian to witness.
Think about it my friends. If Satan can convince us that we don’t have what it takes to share Christ with others, then the weapon he has formed against us, has prevailed.We allow ourselves to be convinced we can’t witness and you know what? That’s a lie!
As I listened to this pastor, it became clear to me that our hesitation in sharing Christ was based on two things: 1)failure to spend time with God in prayer 2) failure to spend time with God in His Word.
It’s quite simple really. Allow me to illustrate.
As we spend time with God in prayer and bible study, we are becoming equipped to deal with the trials in our life. (James 1:2-4) Not only will we learn how to deal with these trials we will grow stronger as a result. From Scriptures we learn to have a grateful heart in the good times and as well as the bad. Philippians 4:6-7 Peace will guard our hearts as a result. Fear will be kept at bay. 2 Timothy 1:7
The more this happens the more our love for Christ grows. Our thoughts will center less on ourselves and more on Christ. We will want to share what Christ has done in our lives. Especially when we see others who are living in the bondage that Christ set us free from. 2 Corinthians 1:4
The Bible contains the answers to life’s questions. When we find it working for us, we will be compelled to share those answers with others. It will come as naturally to us as breathing. There will be nothing to fear. So learn to recognize this fiery dart, reject it, and replace it with these Truths.
(Refer to The 3 R’s of Fighting Fiery Darts, page 7 of this blog)
In conversation with my grandson, after my 3rd edition of Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice was published, he asked me a very pointed question. “So what is a fiery dart?”
If you have wondered this too, read on.
First, while Satan cannot read our minds, he can influence our thoughts. Thus, the Bible instructs us to “put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph 6:11 NIV)
So how do we recognize fiery darts? Examine the effect the “suspicious thought” has on you. Does it produce confusion, fear, doubt, anger, inferiority, indecisiveness, jealously, judgment, or selfishness, for example? p 53, 3rd edition
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, 3rd edition
A realistic view of our areas of vulnerability, or weaknesses, in our flesh, or sin nature, is vital for understanding how the Enemy will attack us. While each of us may have different areas of vulnerability, we need to understand that our area of weakness will be the prime target for Satan’s fiery darts. p 29, 3rd edition
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. … 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 44, 3rd edition
If our (Christians) clarity of right and wrong has been diminished by infrequent time in Bible study and prayer then our vulnerability towards Satan’s temptations (fiery darts) is seriously compromised. And those temptations can influence our minds to think negatively.
If we allow ourselves to continue avoiding these two disciplines (bible study and prayer), then, our will is more easily influenced by our flesh and is drawn more to the world. Our attitudes and actions will begin to contradict the choice we made to follow Christ’s example. The weaker we become in our Spirit, the more easily we can be manipulated by Satan’s fiery darts.p 47, 3rd edition
To Wrap it Up
Fiery darts are the temptations of Satan.
Fiery dart thinking is the result of giving into those temptations.
I was wrong about the 12 million evangelicals who did not vote in the last election. It was 25 million.
And because we didn’t, we are on our way to seeing 2 Chronicles 7:14 being fulfilled.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
I can only imagine the fiery darts that kept Christians at home in the last presidential elections. Maybe something like:
-It doesn’t do any good to vote, we are outnumbered anyway!
-I don’t particular like either candidate!
But things were different this time. For one, Rev. Franklin Graham visited the capitals of all 50 states and held prayer rallies for our country, emphasizing 2 Chronicles 7:14. Not only did he urge Christians to vote but to be involved any way they could, especially in praying for our country. That hadn’t been done before!
Pastors urged their congregations to get out and vote. And this was a hard sell because neither candidate was acceptable. So it came down to going to the polls and voting our values–not of the candidate but of the party.
Christian leaders from all over the country emphasized the consequence of not voting. Christians bloggers, like myself, pointed out the responsibility we had as Christians to God and Country to vote.
And as Christians we have incredible evidence that prayer and obedience can determine the course of a nation. Especially one that has forsaken God and His ways.
Although, the media did not report on the 10,000 strong praise rally held in Time Square after the election, it was obvious that God had intervened for the sake of our nation.
And as I observe the protests the media did report on, my heart was deeply troubled. So many have become victims of the fiery dart way of thinking that would victimize them and cause them to believe they must strike out at those who oppose their way of thinking. They have become convinced they must resort to violence to have their voice heard.
These protestors do have an enemy, but it’s not those people who believe differently than they do! No, it’s Satan himself attacking them with the fiery darts that promote hate, violence, and disunity!
But the disheartening fact is that these people don’t acknowledge the existence of Satan or God for that matter. And we see on our tv’s the result of such thinking. Without the presence of God in someone’s life, it does no good to reason with them. They simply won’t get it!
So Christians, be careful and thoughtful concerning our actions toward those who are so deeply disturbed over the outcome of this election. If we truly desire healing for our country we must be willing to continue humbling ourselves, confessing our sin, seeking God, and we must continue to pray-for ourselves and that the suffering of so many right now will serve to bring them the One who has very different and wonderful plans for their lives.
I think guys, especially husbands, are convinced that it is impossible for them to understand their wives. (I know you know what I would call that!!!!) Therefore, husbands throw up their hands at the thought of trying to understand their wives, because the enemy has convinced them it’s impossible.
Ah, but God, has something quite different to say to husbands about understanding their wives in 1 Peter 3:7,
In a similar way, you husbands must live with your wives in an understanding manner, as with a most delicate partner. . . ISV
I am quite sure that the reason this fiery dart has infiltrated the thinking of husbands is because our Enemy, Satan, knows full well the blessed effect this will have on the relationship between a husband and wife. So, he cuts them off from these blessings by lying to husbands and convincing them that understanding their wives is all but impossible.
A personal testimony to the power of understanding
I can remember vividly a time when my son was about to leave to serve as a missionary in South America! We were driving around doing some shopping to prepare for his hiking of the AT and the night before he revealed to me his plan to go to South America.
I was overwhelmed! With great effort I had finally come to the point where I could release him to solo hike the AT and the night before, he had sprung this news on me! I remember privately crying out to God, “Really, God, couldn’t this news have waited a bit? I’m not at all sure I can do this!”
As we drove around the next day, I labored under the burden of deep sadness, trying all the while to keep it from my son! Then my son said this, “Mom, I understand that this is going to be harder on you than anyone else.” Well, the floodgates opened and the tears flowed like a river. But they were not tears of heartbreak that my son was leaving me! No, indeed, they were tears of relief because he understood my pain. From those precious words of understanding, I drew the strength that would empower me to do this hard thing. It was all I needed to move forward.
Now, I realize this isn’t a husband/wife scenario but it is a scenario that husbands can draw from to grasp the power of understanding your wife.
Everyone, especially wives, have a deep desire to be understood by at least one person and the person of preference is their husbands. Their husband’s understanding is the source of their strength to deal with hard things. If they don’t feel they have their husband’s understanding they become all the more vulnerable to Satan’s fiery darts of self loathing, depression, taking personally all the negative things that you and others say about them, and wounding their hearts more deeply than you can imagine.
Husbands, don’t allow the enemy to convince you that you can’t understand your wife. The Truth Thought is that God has mandated that you do. And when you commit to this, then God will show you how it’s done. Therefore, listen to your wife with the intent to understand, not to judge or criticize! The rest of verse 7 points out why understanding your wife is so important.
Honor them as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing may interfere with your prayers.