Do You Listen To The Devil?
“The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.”
I’m not gonna lie, I used to think that it’s weird to talk about the devil–even as a Christian.
“That’s just creepy.”
And also, I didn’t want to be known as someone who blames the devil for everything.
BUT–as God really began to open up my eyes to this spiritual instigator, I began to realize just how real he is, how he works best, and where he works best…in our minds.
Sure, the devil has physical powers as well–both, on his own, and through people (see Acts 19)–but his main conduit of tyranny is through the spiritual part of us which is connected to our thought life. We are always thinking something!
If you will glance at my opening verse of this devotional, the devil even had Judas “mentally ready” to betray Jesus. And, he had been working on Judas all day long! It wasn’t until dinner time that he finally had his mind made up to tell the Pharisees where Jesus was at in private, so they could arrest Him under the cloak of night.
WE MUST BEGIN TO RECOGNIZE THE DEVIL’S TACTICS–IN OUR MINDS!
Jesus said Satan only has three main goals: Steal, kill, destroy (see John 10:10). Apply one, or all three, to any situation in your life, and if it’s falling apart or strenuous, the devil is hard at work!
But be careful. Don’t call people the devil, that doesn’t do any good. Jesus did this to Peter (see Matthew 16:23), and I’ve tried it…I did NOT get a favorable result. Learn from my mistake, and keep that to yourself (it’s not the truth anyway). Some things only Jesus got to say, because He saw the spiritual world crystal-clear. So even if you think (remember the mind) a person is unknowingly walking hand-in-hand with the devil because of the rotten fruit in their lives, zip that up and pray for them instead.
Remember: WE DO NOT JUDGE. We simply speak the truth with love, have discernment, and look at our own sin as the worst sin we know of. BUT MOST OF ALL WE ARE TO LOVE OTHERS UNCONDITIONALLY, like Jesus does us.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the past few years when it comes to noticing our main enemy, his tactics, and what we can do to fight back against this pathetic butt-wipe:
- THE DEVIL AND HIS CRONIES ARE EXTREMELY NEGATIVE. “This is never going to work out, just give up.” “You’ve failed a thousand times, what makes you think you are going to be successful this time?” “You’ll never get out of debt.” “You’ll never be a good enough Christian.” “You’ll never break that addiction.” “You’re not really saved because you still sin, just look at you.” “You are a terrible Christian, give up.” “Your marriage is done, stop trying.” “You’ll never find a spouse.” “They’ve hurt you too many times, forgiveness won’t help anything.” “Your child will never straighten up.” “You are gonna die.” “You have too much anxiety to function.” “You are going to lose your job.” “They hate you.” “Your business will fail.” “You are a joke.” “You’re ugly.” “You’re fat.” “You’re not smart enough.” “You are the wrong color.” “You come from the wrong family.” “Nobody likes you.”…I could continue, but you get the gist. This demonic moron wants you to be extremely down-in-the-mouth, defeated, depressed, and negative–all day long. In order to be able to do this, he will bombard you with lies in your thoughts. Why? Because he knows if you will actually begin to be hopeful and positive, your entire life will change for the better! He knows if you will begin to speak out the promises of God, and just how SPECIAL you really are, you will start to exude the character of Christ! Then you will begin to grow fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5)–and people will actually EAT some of it–in turn, they will begin to grow strong in Christ too! So when a negative thought comes your way, simply ask Jesus, “What do you think?” and He will begin to transform your mind into His!
- THE DEVIL WILL TEMPT YOU, SEVERELY. This turd-wagon has been studying the life of man for a loooooooooong time, it started with Adam and Eve. He saw what tempted them the best, and he presented it to them. They didn’t have to eat that one piece of fruit that God said “Don’t.” It was their choice! This continues today! Satan understands very well how to bait and trap us through temptation. And make no mistake, he knows YOU, personally, as well. From the womb he’s been trying to kill you, and temptations are one of the things he baits you with. He even enticed many of your parents to get an abortion. The temptation of not having to go through a pregnancy, or the difficulty of raising a child; this was something that many of you readers’ parents battled against. BUT HERE YOU ARE, LIVING! HE DIDN’T WIN! And now, he’s watched you closely since you were little. He understands your actions, reactions, likes, dislikes, tendencies, and he knows your temperament. The good news is, when it comes to temptation, YOU ARE IN GOOD COMPANY! The devil even tempted and tested Jesus! And he did this for 40 straight days! I have a hard time passing up Krispy Kreme once a week, and Jesus was stuck with this moron at a temptation retreat for over a month, dealing with his crap (see Matthew 4). What’s very interesting to me is that as he was tempting Jesus, the devil quoted Scripture out of context, just to get Him to break! Satan has even memorized the Bible! And he wants to use it against you by twisting it! But what did Jesus do? He didn’t argue or get upset…Instead, He quoted Scripture right back, and in the proper way–in the CORRECT CONTEXT. That’s what you gotta do! Begin to speak the Word of God at this dummy in the midst of your toughest temptations! HE’S A JOKE!
- THE DEVIL WANTS YOU TO LIVE IN FEAR. This might be his best weapon. If Lucifer and the demons of hell can make you afraid, you will stop dead in your tracks. I speak from experience. You won’t want to change your life. You won’t want to spread the gospel. You won’t want to help others. You won’t want to allow Jesus to live through you. FEAR WILL KEEP YOU STUCK IN A SORRY, FLIMSY LIFE. Fear is the opposite of faith! This is why the Bible says “don’t be afraid” 365 times! Once for each day of the year! And I’ve learned that just because I might feel fear, or I have physical manifestations of fear that I have no control over, such as sweating, shaking, heart palpitations, stammering, etc., I can still move forward while afraid! That’s called courage! COURAGE IS MOVING FORWARD WHILE FEELING AFRAID! This is where YOU end and CHRIST begins! This is called “doing all things through Christ who strengthens you! (See Philippians 4:13). And lastly, try to remember that fear is not just part of our natural reflexes to danger (that’s a fleshly fear), but fear is also a spirit from hell. And “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind” (see 2 Timothy 1:7)–and that Spirit, is Him. JESUS LIVES IN YOU!
Of course, there are many other destructive tactics which I’ve learned about in regard to this spiritual dingle-berry named “Satan”; but I believe by becoming educated little by little through God’s Word, you’ll start to see him in the crowd–then you’ll be able to point him out, and overpower him!
WE HAVE THIS ABILITY! Jesus said that He has given us POWER to overcome our enemy! (See Luke 10:19). So stand up to him today! Don’t believe his lies! Don’t be negative! Don’t fall into temptation! And more than anything, DON’T BE AFRAID! You got this! Christ in you has GOT THIS! PUT YOUR CHIN UP, YOUR SHOULDERS BACK, LOOK FORWARD, AND KNOW YOUR STRENGTH!
A prayer for you: God I want to thank you today for exposing the devil’s tactics to me. Your Word says that Jesus’ main objective for coming to earth was to destroy the work of the devil, and I’m grateful! So now, help us to do the same! Help us to exude the confidence of Christ and STOMP on this snake’s head by doing your will! We know that we can do the same as Jesus by simply loving others unconditionally, overcoming evil with good, doing our best to turn from sin each day–but only through your grace–and by showing mercy, empathy, and forgiveness to absolutely everyone. We love you. Amen.
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