Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Devil's D List

"He prowls around like a lion, seeking whom he may devour."

The devil. Did you know he has a "D List?" Well, he does.

We've just started a study in our small group called "Twisting the Truth" which has us diving into the unseen spiritual world, an often-times scary place. As the bible says, we don't fight against flesh and bone but against the evil spirits of this world.

We took a pretty close look at the enemy himself as described in the bible on Saturday night and seeing some of the scripture through a different pair of eyes made for some pretty frightening revelations. Satan has been given this world. For now, of course. We know Who wins in the end. But nonetheless, it makes it no less horrifying that we have to live in a world that is basically ruled by our enemy. Thinking about it sends chills up my spine.

Thankfully, we have been given tools to keep him from overpowering us. The Word of God, our Salvation, the Holy Spirit, prayer! Oh, there is so much power in prayer.

With that said though, we still have to be alert and vigilant because the top thing on his "D List" is deception. He will twist anything he can, ever so subtly to make you believe it. This is how he worms his way in and the deceiving begins. In our discussion Saturday night, we came up with a small list of things that this deception causes, and as the week progressed, my husband and I have been coming up with more.

In the church, deception causes dissension and division.
In marriages it causes divorce.
In individuals it causes drama, delusion, and can be the catalyst for drug use and drunkenness.
In Christians, it causes doubt.
He goes to work in people to cause depression and despair.
All over the world, the devil's "D List" is taking over minds, hearts, marriages, churches. Any little door he sees cracked open, he will slither his way into and then squeeze the very life out of his prey! He is the prince of darkness. His ultimate goal? DEATH & DESTRUCTION!

Not necessarily physical death, although that can certainly be part of it. But he calls for a spiritual death - a death much worse than anything physical might cause. The death and destruction of your own soul...

It sounds far-fetched right? Except that this is exactly what so many people are allowing to happen to their own lives. Look at America. Look at our government. Look at your neighbors or just take a walk in a mall somewhere or Wal-Mart. Good grief! People are being devoured by the devil. He's running and ruining their finances, their relationships, their thoughts, their actions, their marriages, their children.

But you know what? As children of the One True King, we have the power to stop it. We forget about this power too often. You know what the Bible says? It says, "Resist the devil and he will flee." Not, he might flee or he'll consider fleeing, or even he'll take a few steps back. No, HE WILL FLEE!! When we step up and demand his exit, he has no choice. He has to go! He has to run and retreat back to where he came from. Unfortunately, after a while, as we let our guard down, he will return and try again - sometimes the same tactic, sometimes a different one. But remember that power we have! Use that power!

Friends, it's time we take his D List and we shred it! Let's make our own:
-Desire for God
-Digging into His Word
-Dying to ourselves
-Delighting in Him
-Dressed with the full armor

Can you think of others? Let's combat his list with one longer! Share some items from a new D List that you can use to DEFEAT him!

We will overcome through the Overcomer! 

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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Being the Breadwinner

Being the sole financial provider is tough. Knowing that it's your paycheck alone that pays the bills and keeps food on the table is stressful. Even in our society today that pushes feminism and gender equality, it is still unusual to find a woman being the provider for her household (except in single mom cases). Rarely still do you see an intact family unit with a strong marriage where the man stays home and the woman works. Yet, that is what our family looks like. Now let me be clear: this is not by choice. My husband is by no means a "dead-beat." He would work if his body were in the shape it needs to be to allow that. Unfortunately, arthritic pain keeps him from holding a paying job. I stress the term "paying" because let's face it: as a stay at home dad, he's got a full time job. 

With this strange "mix-up of roles" as some might call it, my sweet other half has struggled with not being a financial provider. I have tried to encourage him countless times that he provides in other very important and necessary ways - um, hello, you're raising our son and he's still alive when I get home. That's an accomplishment! He constantly shows me gratitude for being the one to work and "keep bread on the table." It is in this role that I find myself wondering...if roles were reversed...would I just take it for granted because "that's the way it should be" or would I appreciate him as much as I do now? I guess what I'm trying to get at is this: ladies that get to stay home or only have a part time job because your husband pays all the bills - APPRECIATE HIM! I have many friends that are stay at home moms...and God Bless you! There are days I'm not sure how even my husband does it. Yes, we are smack in the middle of that defiant, independent, ornery stage. But do you appreciate the simple fact that his paycheck pays the bills for you to have that opportunity? Just remember, it could be the opposite. 

And...with that said, I am completely and utterly grateful for the life God has blessed us with. Is it tough to live paycheck to paycheck? Sure. Do I sometimes wish he would experience healing so that he could get a job. Honestly, yes. But God has placed us in these roles for a reason and we have to be mindful not to whine about them or take each other for granted. He may not pay the bills but here's what he does do: takes care of our son each and every day, mows the lawn (even in pain), takes out the trash every week, cooks dinners, washes dishes, does his own laundry, and the list goes on. Sometimes I have to remind him of everything he does do - especially when he focuses too much on what he can't do. 

I also have to remind him...and myself...neither one of us are the true providers. God is. Always has been. Always will be. Not me, not hubby. HE is the PROVIDER. And He supplies all our needs. We may not have finished floors in our bedroom or Florida room, or a working AC unit right now, or a car that doesn't click and clack and squeal...but we have a roof over our heads, and a window unit that's kickin' out some pretty decent air, and the car runs and gets us from point A to point B...and we have each other. I remarked to him the other day that statistically, in relationships that don't put each other ahead of themselves, and don't have Christ as their center, we should have been done already. With all the marriages that end because of financial hardships, we should be finished. But, we're not. We're stronger than ever and with every trial and valley, we just get stronger. 

Being the breadwinner is tough. But realizing that God will always supply what we need and making sure we hold onto each other through whatever comes our way is vital to the peace we feel on a mostly daily basis. God blessed me with an amazing man and even though some may furrow their brow in confusion over why we can be so nonchalant about our situation, we know that God works all things together for good. No matter who the breadwinner is...

Hehe...thought this was cute. 
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