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
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.
After writing this post, I had a thought I want to share. It’s a good thing husband’s to praise your wives, but timing is everything. During a difficult or stressful moment an understanding word may be what’s required rather than praises! For your praises will ring hollow if they feel you lack understanding of their need during that moment.
Today’s post is going to be a bit personal.
For quite sometime now, I’ve been threatened by an annoying dark cloud lurking on the periphery of my thoughts. For the most part, I’ve been able to avert its intrusion. I realize, because I wrote a book about it, that fiery darts are the culprit. Therefore, holding up my Shield of faith, sustains me.
But lately, while I’ve not lost my resolve to reject these fiery darts and to replace them with Truth thoughts, I’ve come too close to the brink of despair and that bothers me. I’ve struggled to find the word that would label this battle, feeling that if I could know what I was fighting, I would be more savvy in choosing my weapons. And I did come up with the label, ‘bewildered!’
Yes, that did help but not entirely. This negative storm, while never succeeding in hiding the Son, was wearing down my resistance. I pray unceasingly, read scriptures, and, yet, the storm does not dissipate.
Today as I was reading from a book, In This Mountain, by Jan Karon (my favorite author), I came across an excerpt by Oswald Chambers:
At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God’s hand until we learn to hear Him. . . . Watch where God puts you into the darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet. . . . When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.
I think it’s pretty clear what God is saying to me. “My child, you are consumed with pouring your heart out to me with your continual pleadings, but you don’t let Me get in a word in edgewise. Why don’t you come to Me, and remain quiet? I know what all is going on with you, you’ve certainly shared that with me in excess. Now, all that is left is for you to remain quiet and just listen.”
I’ve never been good at listening quietly following my prayers, so it’s going to take some practice on my part. Therefore, I will resist the temptation to reiterate my problem (I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have anything new to add) and practice being quiet.
This is pretty bold of me to post this. I can hear the fiery darts now: What if God remains silent? What if you don’t succeed in being quiet? What if you miss what God is saying? What if you don’t understand what He is saying. What if you fail?
While I expect to be pelted with fiery darts (Satan doesn’t give up ground easily), I will lift up my shield of faith as I stand on the following verses:
Ephesians 3:20, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. (It depends on Him, not me)
Psalm 17:6, I call on You my God, for you will answer me; turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer. (God will answer me)
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. (NLT) 2 Cor. 4:4
Wow, this explains a lot!
When we take on the perspective of the above verse, it’s not so difficult to figure out why people are behaving contradictory to the principals upon which our nation was founded! Why courts are ruling in favor of a small minority to the neglect of the majority. Why music artists & major businesses, are protesting state’s actions to protect their women and children, and their citizen’s religious beliefs! Why selling fetal body parts is a lucrative, albeit illegal, business and why it is so difficult to defund these organizations! Why, it is that someone under a criminal investigation can run for president! Why it is that a president of the United States can continually get away with violating our constitution! Why it is that our Congress, uses nothing but spineless rhetoric in addressing any and/or all of these concerns! I could go on and on and on, but I need to keep this brief (so you will read it)!
You see folks, Satan rules the darkness. Therefore, it is his plan to blind as many as he can to prevent them from seeing the Light, because he knows that any exposure to that Light threatens his rule. His success at manipulating and deceiving individuals is measured by his ability to preserve the darkness (this is where fiery darts comes into play).
You know, I suspect that God didn’t raise up our beloved country, which is founded on Christian principals, just to see her throw them in His face as they are doing now! Nope, one way or another God will have His way. Like it or not:
For the kingdom is the LORD’S And He rules over the nations. Psalm 22:28
The glorious light of the Gospel is our nation’s only hope, and for those individuals referred to in this post! But make no mistake, if we stand with the Light we will be judged. So, consider the following:
I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world, than stand with the world and be judged by God. (God is Not Dead 2 quote)