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? It would be wise to consider where such thoughts could lead. For example, thoughts of self-sufficiency can lead to a decreased dependency on God. Thoughts of jealously could lead to revengeful actions. Thoughts of judgment toward ourselves or toward others fosters condemnation. (Remember, God convicts. He does not condemn.) “Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, HCSB) and “For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him”(John 3:17 HCSB). I’m sure you get the point. p 53-54, 3rd ed FD’s
The above excerpt from my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, provides essential advice on how to identify thoughts of the fiery dart kind. Recently, I was made aware of an additional technique.
I was listening to a sermon when this question was offered as a way to recognize the influencer of our thoughts. It’s a simple question we ask ourselves. But the answer is powerfully revealing. So here it is:
But there’s a catch in being able to answer such a question. We need to know about the character of God. And we also need to know the character of Satan. When we do, then we can recognize where our thoughts have originated. For example:
I have a tendency to be self condemning. Therefore, I battle this fiery dart often. So when a condemning thought troubles me, I ask, “Who said that?” I can answer with confidence, “Well, it sure wasn’t God.” How do I know that? Because the Bible tells me that God brings conviction; not condemnation. And conviction is given in order to restore. Condemnation, on the other hand, is given in order to destroy. This knowledge empowers me to reject the condemning thoughts; preventing them from ruling my thinking.
The Bible reveals God’s character as well as Satan’s. Those of us who are not familiar with either can easily be deceived and manipulated. Pretty obvious isn’t it as to why Satan would be so determined to keep us from reading our Bibles? If we can’t recognize the influencer of a troubling thought then we are primed for deception and manipulation.
So allow me to pose this question: If we aren’t reading our Bibles due to thoughts such as, “You don’t have time. It isn’t really all that necessary. The Bible isn’t relevant to our day. It won’t make any difference.”
Positive thinking has positive power. Negative thinking has negative power!
I bet you knew that! “That’s just logical,” you might say. But there’s a vast difference between knowing about this power and feeling the impact of such power.
I know all too well the effect of negative thinking. I wrote a book, entitled: Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, based on my first hand experience of this destructive force. Regretfully, it took me many years before my eyes were opened. Thankfully, I didn’t live my whole life ignorant of the enemy’s power.
Positive power at work
Recently, while in a low mood (prime time to get attacked by fiery darts) my mind strayed to the recent departure of two of my children. Both lived relatively close to me. And with a son living in Africa, their closeness was a constant source of comfort. Then a few months ago, two of my three daughters, moved in opposite directions about 11 hours away. The negative power of sadness began to claim my thoughts.
Yet, in these moments, the following thoughts began rising to the surface: “During the times your children and grandchildren lived nearby you made a ton of wonderful memories. Why don’t you focus on those instead? Start thanking God for those memories.” So I did. As I filled my mind with one blessed memory after another, the negative power fueled by negative thoughts diminished. The more I praised God for those sweet memories, the better I felt.
But not one to give up easily, Satan sent me another fiery dart. My thoughts were redirected towards another situation in my life that has the potential to create burdensome thoughts. On the tails of my recent reminder, I was prompted to find the good that came out of that burdensome situation. A bit harder perhaps, (Satan’s is clever like that) because the burden is something I continue to wrestle with. Yet, the good is there! Once again, the negative was drained away and the positive began to soothe me.
As a Christian, I live by the God’s Truth and not the lies of fiery darts. My mind is being renewed every time I spend time with God in prayer and His Word (the Bible).
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV
So, think about it. A mind not experiencing renewal by God’s Truth, is a mind subject to negative power. The negative power of Satan’s lies and manipulation. A decision to take to heart John 3:16, allows us the resources to expose Satan’s negative power. A power that is no match for the positive power of God’s Truth.
I love my country, but I do not love the way she is behaving. I am a Christian and I believe that God created this world. (I seriously don’t see how any force other than God could pull off what He did in the Creation.)
And I believe that God purposely provided a revelation as to who He is and what He did and plans on doing for the human beings He created, in the book we call The Bible. All for the purpose of revealing His plan for our salvation, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone!
Most of our founding fathers believed in God, revered the Bible, and felt committed to establishing laws for our country based on the Truths of Scripture. But today, it is extremely difficult to find much evidence that our nation’s leaders believe in God and/or revere the Bible as our founding father’s did.
There are prominent men and women who are declaring that our country is under judgement because our nation has turned her back on God. Considering the state of affairs in our nation, I hardly see how that could be denied.
But there is an aspect of the dilemma our country is facing that escapes most people. I point this out on page 1 of my book:
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)p. 1, FD
I strongly believe that Satan’s first step in stealing, killing, and destroying the good plans God has for us (as individuals and as a country) is to direct our attention away from the Bible’s Truths. Once he has accomplished this then we become easy prey for his fiery darts (negative thoughts).
By removing the guiding force of the Truth’s contained in the Bible, Satan is free to manipulate us into destruction (again, individually and as a country).
And because we as individuals and as a country have been manipulated to turn our thoughts and attentions towards the World’s concept of truth instead of the Holy Bible, then we find we are no longer capable of recognizing or even respecting God’s Truths. Instead, of combating fiery darts with Truth thoughts from God’s Word, we find individuals and our country’s leaders defining right as wrong and wrong as right. (which by the way is described in Isaiah 5:20)
So what are we to do?
First and foremost we must return to the Truth’s of Scripture. That is the only weapon that can successfully fight the fiery dart thinking with which Satan uses for our destruction. IF we truly desire for our nation to be healed then as individuals we must:
14 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. 2 Chronicles 7:14