Satan

If you are not a Christian, it is likely you do not believe in Satani. And there are many of you out there. Because I believe we are nearing Christ’s return, I am going to be as direct as possible.

You were created by a God that loves you very much. So much so, as to want a personal relationship with you. Through no fault of our own, we were born on a broken planet with what is called, original sin. (Sin means not knowing and/or not caring about what is right, …and doing what is wrong). we also have freewill—think of it as double-edged sword. Because we have freewill God will never force us into any decision, …period.

Jesus said however,“…I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.ii” It doesn’t get any clearer than that. We are free to live our life any way we want. But, to become a Christian you must come to the decision that you can’t live a sin free life by yourself. If/When you decide you need help and want to learn more about becoming a Christian, I would recommend finding a non-denominational Christian church that believes Christianity is about you establishing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not about man-made rules and rituals. It is about establishing a relationship with Jesus Christ, and following the new life Jesus has for you. He will provide you a life tailored to the you, you will become. You will never be sorry.

Now, if you are a Christian you definitely believe in Satan, …or, you should. This is not my “opinion”. The Bible makes it very clear that Satan not only exists; but, is dedicated to destroying us.iii His first appearance in the Bible occurs in Genesis 3:1.iv The evidence of his hatred for God and Mankind, can be found in every book of the Bible, save one, …Song of Songs, in the Old Testament.

Satan has many names,v but the one which I think describes him best was used by Jesus when he said, …He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.vi (Emphasis, mine). Yes! “…A liar and the father of lies.” It fits him perfectly.

Now, I need to talk briefly about the word, “bait”; a perfectly good word. Think about fishing. Worms are not dangerous on their own. But, when used as bait, …well, things change. The fish recognizes a worm as desirable and good to eat. It has just found dinner. But, the truth is, the fish was lied to; and it has now become dinner! In this context bait is a lie. Bait is used to attract, capture and/or kill something. It does this by appearing to be non-threatening, desirable, benevolent, or good—when in reality it is quite the opposite. When used in human society, it can lead to such things as buyer’s remorse, depression, loss of integrity, divorce, suicide, even murder. It depends on who is using the bait and what their intentions are. And thus, bait becomes an extremely important tool for Satan’s use.

The very first time we see Satan in the Bible, he shows us His true colors. It was a set-up of Eve. We don’t know if this was the first time Satan had talked to Eve; but, I think not. Satan knew of God’s solitary rule given to Adam, and then passed on to Eve. And, it is amply evident that Satan had this conversation with Eve carefully planned. The story starts at Genesis 3:1.vii

It seems that Adam and Eve were both in the Garden of Eden. Apparently they were separated; but not by too much. Satan, seeing an opening, and knowing exactly what God had told Adam, approached Eve, …and intentionally misquoted God’s rule. God had said, “You may eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”

But, Satan asked Eve this question, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” A misquote designed to give Eve some over-confidence, perhaps? Because…

Eve promptly responded, (perhaps a bit smugly), “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden. It’s only the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’ ” That was a pretty good paraphrase of what God said; but, with a bit of embellishment on Eve’s part.

Then, …Satan came back with the bait! “You won’t die! God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” Wow! What an enticement. No consequences, i.e., It’s not going to kill you; and, you’ll become like God…! Now that’s some bait. And, …Eve was convinced.

She went all in. The tree was beautiful, the fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. She took some of the fruit and ate it. By now Adam has appeared on scene. Eve gave him some of the fruit and he ate it, too! Folks, it was all downhill for Adam, Eve, mankind, the earth, and every living thing on it, from that very moment.

The bible says, at that very moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. Feeling guilty, (certainly a new experience for them,) they hid from God when they heard him coming. How sad is that!

If you read on you will find the full consequences of their actions. Paradise was lost! Oh, they didn’t die on the spot, but they did lose the opportunity to eat the fruit that would have bestowed eternal life on them—and mankind! Make no mistake about it, they learned about evil and the consequences of sin. Can you imagine how terrible that must have been—after what they had known before they defied God. Adam and Eve had to deal with their first son, Cain, murdering his brother, Able.  Tragic!  And, yes, Adam and Eve did live very long lives, but they eventually died just as God had said.  And yes, we will also die, unless we are alive when Christ returns.

So, now you have seen how Satan works. Satan will use every tactic he knows to lead mankind into sinning. And unfortunately, Christians—because we still live on this broken planet—do not have immunity to sin. What we do have, is forgiveness of our sins; and help, when we battle Satan and his demons.

We do not have a get out of jail free card. Don’t forget that as Christians, God, in the form of the Holy Spirit, dwells in us. He knows our mind-set, our thoughts, and our intentions. We cannot hide from him. Just remember that He is a just God; and will never forsake us.viii He will help us. He will teach us. He will bless us. He will protect us from supernatural powers. But he won’t save us from the consequences we earn by using our free-will to deviate from his plan for us. Remember his plans are perfect. Our plans? …Not so much!

Satan may attack us at any time. Be ready. Fight Satan through prayer. Engage the Holy Spirit. Over time, as we learn more about God, our relationship with him will grow and we will find ourselves growing and strengthening in our belief. We will be able to recognize “bait” and turn away from it. We will also learn how to recognize God’s truth. We are being “perfected”. It is a process that will last until Christ either returns or calls us home. We will be perfected the instant we leave this planet, …with Jesus at our side.ix

My prayer:

Abba,

Thank you for helping me with this post. Only you and I know what a struggle we have had. I covet the safety you promise me.

Lord, while on the one hand I pray for the return of Christ, you know I also want to see as many people as possible saved before His return. Either way, you are the driving force; and, I will keep writing as long as it is your will for me.

It distresses me when I hear Christians say something like, “Well yeah, I think Satan is real, but I don’t believe he has any direct interest in me; or any other Christian for that matter. I mean I know what I’m doing; and, even if it isn’t exactly perfect I’m sure God understands. And, I think it’s pretty much that way for everyone”.

Father, forgive their arrogance.

Help me, Father, to show people how Satan uses us as his “pawns”, and sometimes as his “bullets” to attack You. I don’t want to scare anyone. Rather, I want them to recognize an attack on themselves, or others—no matter how benign it may seem. I want them to have confidence in you and to engage you immediately through prayer. I want them to be confident in your guidance which will lead them to victory. I pray they will stay the course, and come out the other end wiser, with greater faith, feeling blessed and praising you.

Thank you, Abba. Through Christ I pray, amen.

Larry

i There are many other religions that believe in Satan. In fact: many people worship Satan. And, like Christianity with it’s many denominations (I’m sorry to say) their are many different ways of Satanic worship. Then too, there are many other belief systems that do not recognize Satan or our God (YHWH). Most of these are Eastern religions.

ii John 14:6. NLT

iii As a Christian you do not have the right to pick and choose what you will believe from the Bible.

iv This begins the story of, “The Fall.” It is the story of how sin and death was introduced into God’s creation.

v Satan has many names. I found 40 in the Old and New Testaments. Some of the most common are: accuser, adversary, Antichrist, Beelzebub, devil, destroyer, dragon, enemy, evil spirit, Lucifer, murderer, murder from the beginning, son of Perdition, son of wickedness and wicked one.

vi John 8:44. NLT

vii All scripture quoted in the telling of this story is taken from the NLT translation of the Holy Bible. Quoted scripture is rendered in italics.

viii Hebrews 13:5 NLT

ix All scripture in this post is taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

No God. Know about God. Or… Know God! [Part 3 of 3]

Know God!

If you’re still with me, I’m going to assume you are either, A.) already a Christian, or B.) looking for more information about the Christian life – and, if you are in category B, this is written especially for you.

Note: I’m not going to call Christianity a religion.  Christianity, in it’s purest form, is simply a personal relationship with our Triune God.  That is: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.  That may be difficult for you to grasp right now; but, trust me, it’s true.  Oh, fully comprehending God is impossible; but, having a personal relationship with Him is not. (Really – and, I’m going to tell you how.)  If you become a Christian it will be the most liberating, joyful, empowering, yet humbling, thing you can ever do.  It will change your life.

We (Christians) believe the Bible is “God Breathed”.  This tells us where the message originated – regardless of who actually wrote it down.  I tell you that, because the Bible is made up of 66 books written by about 40 authors over a period of approximately 2,000 years.  It contains History, Prophesy, Poetry and Instruction. The oldest book, Job (arguably), is believed to have been written perhaps as early as 2,000-1,800 BC.  The most recent (Revelation), about 95 AD. It is in the pages of the Bible that you will learn not only about the Christian God; but also, how to truly know Him.

I could start a list God’s characteristics; but, I’m not sure I could ever finish it.  So, I’m going to dwell on only a few. 

First, I’ve already said that God is supernatural.  (If He were mortal, how could He truly be God?)  He resides in His Kingdom (called Heaven).  It is invisible to us – likely in another dimension). 

Second, God is omnipotent (has unlimited authority and power) and omniscient (has universal and complete knowledge, including infinite awareness, understanding and insight).  When Moses (mid-1400 BC) asked God His name.  God told him it was “Yahweh” meaning “I Am Who I Am” or, “I Am”.i  

In the “No God” post, I said I believe God created the universe. (Note:  Within the Christian community there are two camps.  One believes in an “old earth” [at 4.5± billion years] the other believes in a “new earth” [at 10,000± years]).  The point I want to make about this discussion is simply this: it doesn’t make any difference if God created the universe billions of years ago or thousands of years ago.  The point we all agree on is… He did it.  He (Our Triune God, is the great architect, engineer and fabricator of the universe – period. When He did it, simply doesn’t matter to this core belief.

Third, as the Creator of everything, everything belongs to Him.  He is supreme and sovereign.  There is no other god.

Fourth, God loves His creation, most especially mankind.  Because He loves us, He created us in His image.  No, we are not miniature versions of God;  however, we do have many of His characteristics.  Not all of them; and certainly not to the same degree.  Most obviously: God is perfect, …we are not.  On the other hand, one way we are made in the image of God is that we have eternal souls.  We are eternal beings, living in temporary bodies, on planet Earth.

God could have created us as mindless slaves.  Instead He created us as intelligent beings with freewill.  When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them dominion over the earth.  He placed them in the Garden of Eden and gave them only one rule.  Do not eat the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden. For a period of time Adam and Eve lived in a paradise on earth.  Adam and Eve walked and talked together in the Garden.  They enjoyed the animals and all the plants.  God visited them and they all talked together.  But that would come to an end.

Fifth, God is Just

Sixth, and important, important, …important!  God’s justice is tempered and perfected by His unbounded grace and perfect love.  I mention it now, because it is critical to what happened in the Garden of Eden; …and, everything following.  But before going there, we need to talk about Satan.

The angels are also created beings, not in God’s image.  God created them to serve Him in Heaven, and occasionally on Earth. There are (evidently) thousands upon thousands of angels.  Satan, one of the angels, was known as the most beautiful of all the angels. And perhaps because of that, he had “issues” with pride.  He wanted to be the equal of God.  When God didn’t agree, Satan gathered approximately one-third of the angels and attempted a coup. Obviously it did not succeed; and Satan (now a sworn enemy of God) and all his followers, were banished from Heaven – to earth.  Satan became pure evil and is referred to as a liar and the father of lies. In fact, he is incapable of telling the truth; and if he seems to tell the truth, it is a twisted truth that will bring about evil. Satan ultimately destroys anything he touches.

Satan still wars with God.  But, since he cannot attack God directly he does it indirectly through mankind – God’s favorite creation. (That includes you and me). This explains what happened in the Garden of Eden.  Satan approached Eve and engaged her in conversation. Using lies and twisted truth, he convinced her to eat the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden.  She did, liked it, and then convinced Adam to also eat it.

That willful disobedience of the only rule God had given them, ushered in death, pain, and every other evil on Earth – to this day.  By listening to Satan and following his words (rather than God’s one rule), Adam and Eve gave Satan control of Earth.  Even more importantly, mankind was instantly separated from God. Today, we call Adam’s and Eve’s sin, ‘Original Sin’.  Since we are all sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, their sin has passed down through the ages to each and every one of us.  We are all born, sinful by nature.  Satan thought he had won a great victory over God because God cannot abide to even be in the presence of sin; and, the only payment for sin is death. 

But there is still more to the story, ….

Remember those two words omnipotent and omniscient, well now you will see an example of them in action.  Even at creation, God knew what would happen in Eden; so, He had a plan in mind for the redemptionii of mankind.  No way was God going to forsake His most loved creation.iii

All of the above is found in the Old Testament.  Most of it in Genesis, the first book.  The Old Testament also contains a ton of history; a lot of “law” (that applied in the Old Testament – but not the New Testament); prophesy (much of which would come to pass in the New Testament); and, wonderful instruction from the lives of many great men and women.  Satan runs rampant through the Old Testament, with much of his mayhem designed to find and kill the “son of Eve” who will ultimately kill him (Satan).iv Additionally,  throughout the Old Testament there are wonderful “hints” and “sneak previews” of God’s plan that will give mankind a path to redemption.

Approximately 400 years separate the Old Testament From the New.  During this time God was silent.  But His plan was progressing.

The New Testament begins with four books called the “Gospels”.  The word  means: Good News.  It is these four books that spell out God’s plan for redemption.  Why four books on the exact same subject? Easy.  There were four different authors, each writing from his own perspective.  Together they provide a well rounded picture of Jesus. Jesus is God’s only son.  He came to earth as a baby.  His mother, a virgin named Mary, was impregnated by the Holy Spirit and gave birth to Jesus nine month later.  Jesus lived a sin-free life; and is the crux of God’s plan to redeem mankind.

OK. Remember the important words Grace and Love? This is where they intersects with us.  As noted, the only payment for sin is death.  So, we ALL deserve to die.  After all, no one is without sin.  Because of God’s Grace and Love, He sent Jesus, to earth to become the payment for our sin.  And, when this perfect man – who had committed no sin – died on the cross, He became the blood sacrifice, carrying the weight of sin for all mankind – for all time.

Jesus was put into a tomb.  And, on the third day He arose from the dead. Why?  That was the final proof that Jesus was truly God’s Son.  He had been beaten, lashed, crucified, suffocated, and had a spear thrust into His side to penetrate the membrane around His heart. He was pronounced dead by absolute experts in crucifixion.  He was sealed in a tomb from Friday to Sunday.  He was dead.  Yet on Sunday the tomb was found empty.  Over the next 40 days, he was seen by hundreds of people (over 500 in just one instance).  Then He ascended to Heaven, where He sits at the right Hand of His Father (once again in His supernatural form).  It is from there that He will return in the final scene of God’s Great Plan.  Christians believe in a living God.

Jesus will return as the Messiah.  The expected king and deliverer of the Jews.  And, on this visit to earth, Jesus will be on a very different mission.   All Christians (living and dead) will be gathered to Him and given new bodies.  Satan, all of the fallen angels, demons, devils, and all of his followers, will be judged and thrown into Hell.  The Earth will be cleansed of all evil by fire, and then re-created.  Heaven and the New Earth will merge – with a new capital called “The New Jerusalem”.  God and all of His People will live together on the recreated Earth.

So, if Jesus died for everyone, it’s a done deal.  What does one have to worry about…, you ask?  Well, Gods plan is simple, but not quite that simple.  I repeat, everyone is free to accept Jesus’ sacrifice and gain eternity in Heaven.  The cold, hard fact is, not everyone will.  (It’s that freewill thing).

Thus, not everyone will be in Heaven.  Only those who answer the Holy Spirit’s urging and choose belief in Jesus, have a repentant heart, and ask Him for redemption, will receive it.  They will become the adopted sons and daughters of God.  They will also receive the Holy Spirit to live within them (establishing that personal relationship with God).  It is these who are assured of entering into Heaven after death. 

Many (most) will harden their hearts to the call, and turn from God.  God will allow them to do this.  God, while not approving all our choices, will honor them.  Again, no one will be forced to become a follower of Christ.  But remember this: God is just.  He will not, literally cannot,  abide willful disobedience (sin).  Those judged sinful, will spend eternity in Hell – completely separated from God.  That means there is, literally, nothing “good” in hell.  Only, complete, black, never ending evil.  And, no hope – period.

Where are we now in God’s plan?  Well, we know that Christ died on the cross for us.  We know that after dying on the cross Jesus regained dominion over the earth – from Satan.  We know that Christ will return to earth at a future date; which is unknown (and unpredictable).  While He delays, Satan – who knows he has lost – never-the-less, continues to make as much trouble, for us and God, as possible.  Satan continues his war, and tries to use us a pawns. It’s as if he doesn’t know he can’t change our destiny if we stand our ground.  He (Satan) can, and does, do tremendous harm.  But he cannot change the final outcome.  He is beaten.  The Bible says that God is waiting to give as many people as possible the opportunity to accept His offer of Salvation.  But there will always be people who won’t accept that offer.  And, at some point, it will suddenly be too late.  In the meantime, those of us who have accepted Gods Grace must continue to do the work He has for us, …while we can.  God will bring us through, and grow our faith in the process.

So, establishing your personal relationship with the one true God is as simple as saying and meaning, the following words… 

God, I accept you as the one true God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.  I know I have sinned and cannot do anything to save myself.  I believe you sacrificed your son, Jesus, to be my redeemer; and, I accept your grace.  I wish to turn away from my sinful life and live for you. Thank you Jesus, for saving me.  Amen.

If you have taken that step, you will, likely, soon have some questions. In my next post, “For New Christians” I will give you some pointers and references I think will help you.  And, congratulations!

If you have not taken that step, know that many Christians are praying for you.  God grieves over every soul that is lost.  It hurts Him, but it doesn’t change Him.  Someday we all must stand in Judgment.  Christians have a free and exclusive pass.  For everyone else it will be too late.  I write this not to scare anyone.  Just to make you aware of what this world is really about.

In Christian Love…

Avery Goodday

i ‘Yahweh’ is derived from the Hebrew word for “I Am”.  (The problem for us today, is that Hebrew doesn’t use vowels (YHWH).  And, since the Jews never pronounced the name of God out-loud, the correct pronunciation is “lost” and we can only make an educated guess at the correct pronunciation and spelling.

ii Redemption: To redeem.  To buy back; to release from blame or debt.

iii As Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eve, God cursed Satan and told him that a son of Eve’s would destroy him.

iv ibid.

Brain Programming

Our brain is a truly marvelous computer.  Our most personal computer.  It has never been reverse engineered, so there are no competing models.  And nothing designed by man has come even close to the capabilities of the three pound (approx.) human brain. 

There is a great deal we know about the brain; and, far more yet to be learned.  Further, much of what we learn is vague.  e.g. Some areas of the brain show strong lateralization, particularly areas that are involved in language. In most people, the left hemisphere is “dominant” for language, with the right hemisphere playing only a minor role. There are other functions, such as spatiotemporal reasoning, for which the right hemisphere is usually dominant.  But did you notice the words, “most people” and “usually dominant”. Yes, it will likely be a long time (if ever) before we fully understand the human brain.

But a clinical understanding of the brain is not the purpose of this post.  The purpose of this post is to cast light on how Satan schemes and attacks us; and, how we can stand against his attacks.

Living as a follower of Christ is not easy.  It is a constant battle with a super-natural being who is forever trying to destroy us by shooting lies at our heart.  Jesus has given us His unconditional love, plus freedom, joy and contentment.  And, the father of lies follows right behind whispering his trash into our brain.  He may be saying things like, “You a Christian?  After the things you’ve thought and done? No way.”  Or, “Who could ever love you?  You don’t deserve love?” Or, “Go ahead, tell them what they want to hear.  You deserve that commission”.  Very often these thoughts (whispers) will sound like good, logical, normal thoughts.  They may even make sense and sound true.  e.g. The old “Go ahead. Everyone else does it”.  Thus, it is quite possible that you have “bought into them” and accepted them.  So, first we have to be able to identify Satan’s lies.  But, how?

If it sounds true, it may not be.  Why?  Because God’s ways – His truth – is very often not what we are used to.  It is often totally opposite to the ways we have known.  It may not be what you are prepared to hear, or want to hear.  Think about it.  We swim in our culture.  A culture that comes at us from every direction, every waking hour, and from multiple sources.  It is foreground and background.  It is next to impossible to escape, and most of it is Satan’s propaganda – pure and simple.  (OK, that word ‘pure’ may not have been quite the best choice).

The problem is (and how this ties into the first two paragraphs) is that our culture has played a very significant role in the programming of our brain.  Our brain then directs our thoughts and feelings, what we say and how we act.  And the longer we think a particular way the more ingrained into our system that thinking becomes.  (Think default programs).  Additionally, what we think about and dwell on long enough, we will act upon.  It is self-fulfilling and very often, ultimately, self-destroying. 

Therefore, it is critical that we know how to distinguish between what is of God and the life in His Kingdom that He wants to give us;  and what is of Satan’s evil ambitions which are totally opposed to God’s Kingdom, … and, will lead us to death. 

OK, this would be a really good point to pause your reading of this post and read my post of February 19, 2013.  It’s title is ”How’s Your Eyesight?”. 

Welcome back.  Remember this, God will never contradict Himself.  If what you are thinking contradicts the following characteristics, …it’s not from God or of His Kingdom.  “Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.  It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.  Love will last forever….” 1Cor 13:4-8 [NLT].   That’s a good start, and here are some more characteristics of Kingdom thinking “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Phi 4:8 [NIV].

And this, …the key scripture for this post.  “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  Romans 12:2 [NLT]. Hmmm, “…renewing of your mind.”  Sounds like programming to me.

Romans 12:9 tells us to, “…Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” As citizens of God’s Kingdom we are to hate (loathe, detest and despise) any sinful thing with which we come into (any form of) contact.  These things have no place in God’s Kingdom.  We won’t be able to make God’s earthly Kingdom perfect – that will happen when Christ returns – but, we can make it better.  Allow God to reprogram your mind.  Let’s get on with it.

Abba, I live in awe that in all of your creation, you created me… unique. And, that you actually desire this relationship with me.  Lord, I want to become exactly what you would have me be.  I want to fulfill your plans for my life. 

For that to happen, I need to renew my mind.  And, I know I can’t do that by myself.  So, I’m asking you to help me with this.  You know every corner of my mind – even those part’s I’d like to hide.  Help me to replace everything that is not from you Lord, with the tools and armor I will need to complete my work here on planet Earth.

Then help me Abba, to recognize the lies that Satan will use when trying to gain a foothold in my heart and mind.  When he attacks, help me to respond in appropriate and effective ways – not attacking people, but rather standing my ground, and relying on you to take care of the true enemy.  This is my desire Lord; and, I ask it in Jesus name. Amen, and thank you.

Avery Goodday

 

A note of caution: Remember, we do not hate people.  “For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 [NLT]. And also remember this: every person who becomes a follower of Christ is “ground” won from Satan.  That’s a victory!

How’s Your Eyesight?

Those of you who follow this blog know that I am very aware that there are a great many events transpiring in the supernatural realm (or dimension) that surrounds us.  How can I be so sure of this?  Because the Bible is very specific about it!  But, as always, we have a choice.  We can go through life seeing with only our physical eyes; or, we can look at life through “eyes” that “see” what God tells us is true. 

 And, like most decisions God gives us, it’s a “one or the other” proposition.  But know this, while we cannot see (with our eyes) what is going on, we can be impacted by these events.  Thus, I’m afraid that picking and choosing when we will use our “Kingdom Eyes” and when we won’t, is not going to serve us very well.  In 2 Cor 4:18, we are told, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” [NIV]

Consider, God is with you right now.  There are, very likely, angels in the same room, as well.  Every person you know, every person you talk to, is an eternal being.  And, these are truths we ignore at our peril. 

Yes, I agree, we will seldom, if ever, know exactly what is going on at any given moment.  However, just knowing there is this huge unseen war going on around us actually allows us to better cope with the dimension in which we live … here on earth.  How so?  Well, suppose you are going through an extremely difficult period.  You decide that it’s just part of life and start working on solutions (based entirely on your own devices and skills).  Things start to improve; and about the time you are thinking you’ve got the situation in hand, the bottom falls out.  Now you are in real trouble and since you’ve already tried to resolve the situation and failed, you simply don’t know where to turn.  (Yes, I’ve, “… been there, done that, and have the T-shirt.”)

You might want to try thinking about it this way.  Ask yourself, “OK. God lives in me.  He sees everything that has, and is, happening. What does this situation look like to Him?”  Well, I can think of at least three possibilities.  Maybe this is an attack by Satan. Satan could be trying to hurt God through me.  Or, this could be a consequence of my own actions.  Something I’ve earned and need to use as a learning experience.  Or, maybe God is growing me and tempering me for a future “assignment”.

So, what is truly going on?  We may never know for sure.  But there are things we can still do.  Start thinking about what we know about God.  For instance, God is love.  All those ‘facets of love’ found in 1 Cor 13:4-8 – well, they show us an awful lot about who our God is, and how He operates His Kingdom.  Here is another list of ways to look at things with Kingdom eyes.  Paul is writing, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, what-ever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” [Phi 4:8 NIV]  Grace and faithfulness are a couple of other characteristics.   The point is, look at what matches up to God – and fight everything else! Having second thoughts about yourself (or your salvation)?  Satan at work!  Want to get even with the person whose lie started all the trouble?  Satan at work!  Having inappropriate thoughts about that super-hot girl who was just transferred into your department?  Satan at work!

Talking to God, and reading scripture are the absolute two best things we can do.  Prayer puts spiritual forces at work through the authority Jesus has given us.  And, reading the inspired Word of God does the same thing.  Remember, God lives in us.  When we engage God through prayer and scripture, super-natural powers go to work for us.  Rom 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Did you catch that “…all things,” thing?   I’m sorry to have to say this; but, what that really means is that we will still experience both easy things and difficult things; good things and bad things.  But, the difference for Christians is that all of it can be used by God to benefit us.  Yes!  What Satan intends for evil can be turned – by God – into, maybe not pleasurable experiences; but, experiences that move God’s plans for us forward!  And, can’t you just imagine how it must affect Satan, when something he intended to cause us harm – and thus hurt the God who loves us – is, instead, accepted by us as an opportunity to learn, to grow our faith, and strengthen our walk with God? 

Remember, having “eyes to see”, means not just seeing into (or having an under-standing of) the spiritual dimension.  It also means seeing events, people, our culture, – all things in the physical dimension here on planet Earth – through God’s eyes.  If we can do that, we will become vessels, the warriors, the servants, and the friends that God can truly use to grow His Kingdom right here, right now.  …Let’s get started.

Avery Goodday