I have just been pondering on the times that various people have attempted to discourage me from speaking, writing or just plain living for the Lord! Remembering how they suggested that I leave such work to the “experts” or to various “ministries,” and just to concentrate on myself. And those were the church-goers!
Those with no semblance of faith, have used outright lies and belittling tactics to harass me. Others will exclude me from their gatherings; or if I am invited, I would not be free to talk about the Lord, and those things that are important to me.
Others, have been beguiling, and suggested I tone down my Christian side of things, and try to fit in with the them (and the world) a bit more. They think their suggestions are reasonable, and that I am extreme; but unbeknown to them, I know who is behind their words.
Who then is behind such silencing techniques, that are wrought upon the Christian believers? It is, of course, the age old evil one, the devil, Satan, the accuser of the brethren, or the adversary!
Remember “the armour of God” passage in Ephesians 6 tells us this.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore, take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
I must emphasise though, that we cannot stand against this invisible enemy in our own intelligence, strength or merely use human “methods”. We must, of course, put on the full armour of God, in Christ, as the Ephesians scripture tells us. We must take care not to react with ranting and retaliation when we are riled. We must not plan and plot the downfall of those who denigrate us. Wisdom and caution and prayer are called for, in great measure.
The “deceiver” will use specific, subtle, stealthy plans to target each believer; his goal being to defeat, discourage and dishearten us. He is always working his wicked schemes to attempt to trip us up, to cause us to fall into the pit of despair and to attempt to derail the Lord’s plans for our lives.
He wants to silence us, to make us ineffective in sharing the good news of the offer of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants us not to shine the light of Christ in this dark world.
We simply must remain alert and vigilant to his tactics wrought upon us, whilst staying close to, or abiding in Christ.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9
Keep in mind that we are dealing with a sworn, mortal enemy. The enemy of our very souls and eternal destiny. This is not a computer simulation or video game, but a very real war with a very real, deceptive foe. He will use anything and anybody as his pawns and minions in his war strategy against us and the Lord’s plans.
A Few Scriptures For Your Encouragement
Ephesians 6:16 taught us that our faith acts as our shield, but we need to know how to go on the offensive against our enemy. For that we look to verse 17,
“…take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God …”
REMEMBER that is what the Lord Jesus used when he had fasted for 40 days in the wilderness, prior to the start of His ministry. When the devil came to Him with various temptations, the Lord quoted scripture to Satan, to refute the enemies twistings and misuse of God’s words. “It is written…” was the response of the Lord Jesus Christ to the adversary.
REMEMBER too, how Jesus taught us to treat the people who were causing us difficulties.
“I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you …” Mth 5:44
BUT He also taught us to,
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16
AND He also taught us,
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” Matthew 7:6
Well, to fulfil all those instructions we are certainly going to require the wisdom of God, which the letter of James, tells us He gives liberally to those who ask.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith…” James 1:5-6a
REMEMBER also to pray for the Lord to “deliver you from evil”; to pray for opportunities to bless others and do the good deeds that the Lord has prepared for you each day. Pray that your faith will grow stronger, and that you may,
“…take the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” Ephesians 6:16
And pray, as Paul also suggested, for boldness to continue sharing the gospel, even in the face of discouragements.
“…that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel…” Ephesians 6:19
Today, I just wanted to encourage all believers to keep on going in the Lord, even when we are under various pressures to stop, seduce and silence us. Remember, God listens to the prayers of the righteous, and they are referred to in the book of Revelation as,
“… golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” Revelation 5:8b
Don’t let the devil defeat you. Don’t let the enemy entangle you. Don’t let Satan silence you. Instead, be an overcomer with the strength and power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Keep on speaking, witnessing and writing, so that you can say with the Psalmist,
“My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” Psalm 45:1
AND FINALLY remember that the Lord LOVES those who are HIS.
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39
May the Lord continue to use and strengthen His people around the globe, in the frequent battles we face.
Be encouraged brothers and sisters.
Blessings to you all.
You may also like the following posts:-
A Basket Case for the Lord, where I wrote about how we can be used by the Lord even in our weakness and with our imperfections. We don’t have to be perfect in ourselves before we can be used as servants of the most high God and the Lord Jesus Christ. He will use anyone who is willing.
Encouragement for End Times Believers, where I wrote a short post on a few Bible characters who faced difficulties in life.
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