Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

Good game, Satan. You really know how to bring it. Some days I wish I could fight dirty like you, but that's just not how my team plays.

Satan is a formidable opponent. Surprisingly, I didn't realize this until the last month. I've often erred on the side of caution, reserving very little credit for Satan doing much of anything.....because I'm supposed to believe that my God is bigger than Satan, controls him, and only allows what He's approved, so technically, the Devil is weak. The truth is my God IS bigger than Satan; He does control him; and He only allows Satan to do what He has approved. I think about Job. God actually asked Satan if Satan had had a chance to check out Job's love and devotion to God.
 
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
- Job 1:6-12

God brought it up! Why in the world would God do a thing like that?! Is God crazy?! Doesn't God know that Job might be broken by all the terrible things Satan could do?! Yes. He knows. He also knows Job's beginning and end.....and everything in between.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
- Psalm 139:16

God allows Satan to test us because the sifting ultimately is for our good and His glory. You see, Satan is trying his hardest to recruit an army against God on this earth. And I believe the folks he seeks and attacks the most, are those seeking God. Like those individuals searching for His salvation through Christ's substitutionary death, or those babes in Christ who desire to start a habit of digging into God's word, and even those who have been saved for years and are trying to spread the Gospel to the next generation. Satan knows that in order for him to gain a foothold, he's got to put all his weight into turning those who seek God, away from the Lord.
 
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
- 1 Peter 5:8-10

So Satan deserves some credit. He whispers lies to believers all day long, yearning to turn just one heart away. Passive acceptance of this reality is not an option.

I started two new Bible studies in the last few months. Both have me digging into God's Word,  shoveling fistfuls of rich truth in the garden of my heart. Satan sees that. He sees my desire to grow closer, to know better the God of all grace and comfort, so he's hitting me where it hurts. Lies he's been busily whispering in both my ears are common to every one of us: You're not worth it. You don't matter. You aren't loved. You have no value. No one sees you or hears you. No one cares. You are alone.

Honestly Satan, you've done a great job of convincing my heart momentarily that these lies must be accurate based on circumstances surrounding me. I've shed many tears. What if Satan is right?!

But your hard press has only made me more aware of the truth.

My God IS bigger than you, Satan. The Lord is in complete control. The Lord seeks my best.

It's TRUE that I'm not worth anything, that I don't matter, that I don't deserve an ounce of love, and that I am alone APART FROM CHRIST. Because of His death in my place, I am completely WORTH IT. I am completely LOVED. I am ENOUGH BECAUSE of Christ.

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.
- Colossians 1:21-22

Your plan of attack backfired, Satan. God is still winning. You can keep TRYING to turn all these WONDERFUL things like being a stay-at-home-mom of babies who whine, cry, and have leaky poop diapers, into TERRIBLE TRIALS. You can keep trying, but I'll keep fighting because of the One who redeemed me and loves me perfectly.


Resources: IF Equip: Acts & Good Morning Girls: You Are Loved

7 comments:

  1. Lauren, thank you for posting this! I am in the same spot right now. I have an immense desire to draw closer to Him, but every time I feel like I am making headway, something is in my path to tear me down. Satan is attacking me because he sees my spiritual life strengthening. Thank you for this encouraging post.

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    1. Joy, you are totally right. Satan wants nothing more than to throw you off course. Praying for you today as you call Satan out on his schemes and remind him that our God is strong; that our God will not allow us to be crushed! Keep digging, Joy!

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  2. it's so easy to let our circumstances influence our thoughts and therefore our heart's reactions. so glad that GOD is in control and on the throne. i need to keep reminding myself of this…..God will help us in our unbelief.
    thanks for the reminder, friend.

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    1. YES! Those circumstances, whether really good (marriage, children, or home ownership) or just plain hard (illness, death, or some other great loss), can easily be twisted by Satan. He can spin things in just the right way to break our hearts and tear apart relationships. But God has promised that a bruised reed will not be broken (Is. 42:3). He is ALL POWERFUL! Praying for you as you parent Si and SJ!

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  3. Yes, Lauren… I have felt this many times in both my careers. This song became my anthem my last year of teaching:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOkImV2cJDg

    enjoy :)

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    1. I LOVE this song! And such a perfect reminder! Praying for you and sweet Sara to have a super day! Miss you!

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    2. I LOVE this song! And such a perfect reminder! Praying for you and sweet Sara to have a super day! Miss you!

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