Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Schemes of the Evil One

It has often been pointed out that the word "evil" is the word "live" spelled backwards. Satan delights to take what God does and try to reverse it, remove it, recline it, reduce it. His lying is always roundabout, complicated and deceiving.



SATAN IS A LIAR
...not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

Satan likes to beat us while we are down. So many times I have fallen into the trap of the devil. His best playing field is our minds through our thoughts. If he can change our way of thinking, he can change our actions.

When you feel the attacks in the midst of God's work, it is satan. When you feel the attacks in the midst of your ministry and service to God, it is satan.

Satan has had his own hay day with me. In this recent battle a few weeks ago, it became so clear. He got me so worked up regarding some things resulting in a ten day span of being worried and fearful. Even at the peak, I shamefully wondered if God was really working in my life and if He had good planned for me. It seemed I was lacking so much of what I wanted and so many others had so many things (not material things). In this state of misery, I let problem X grow to the point of thinking well if problem X exists then it must mean this, and then that must mean this. Enough is enough. God once again showed me HIM. He showed me ME also. He showed me what He will do and what I need to do. One of which is to be more AWARE and to recognize the schemes of the evil one.

God came full circle on this recent issue. Once He revealed Himself to me, showed me the truth, and relieved my anxiety, He then provided three blessings. Do you know that they all pertain to HIM...three ways in which I will be able to draw even closer to Him. I don't find it any coincidence that He showed them to me right after the week of emotional confusion. And I tell ya what, I am excited over what He'll do with these three sources of drawing me even closer to Him. I believe this is God's attack right back at satan. He (satan) is trying to get us to focus on the negative and the hardships of pain. He wants to steal the show from God. He wants to remove God's blessings from us. He wants to distract us from God and the good things He has for us. He wants us to focus on ourselves and the impossible situations we have. He wants us to feel abandoned by God. He wants us to give up hope. You see, HE--satan, the devil, the evil one--wants to destroy us.

HE CAME TO KILL, STEAL AND DESTROY.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

I am cautious in this subject matter because I do not want to give satan any more credit or attention than he deserves. However, we cannot naively go through life not recognizing his dirty work. If we fail to recognize his work, then we can fall into the trap of believing his work is actually the lack of God's work. We never want to blame God for something the evil one is doing. See where I'm going? In the midst of my distraught thinking, I began to think God didn't care and didn't really have a plan because I've not seen any "evidence" or "fruit" in His work. What we need to realize is the fruit in our lives many times start with being fruit in our hearts. God needs to transform our hearts in certain areas before He produces the fruit we desire to "see" in our lives.

Satan will be the first to remind us of the things God has not produced in our lives YET. A friend recently told me that a certain promise God had given her has not come to pass and it doesn't look like it will soon because of other complications. She continued to say that satan reminded her all weekend that this is so and won't happen. My response was: "shame on him but when God provides your miracle and His promise to you, you can shove it in his (satan's) face!!!"

THE PLANS FOR YOU
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I despise the schemes of the devil that he pulls on God's people. He is very good at his nasty and tricky ways but God is greater at His ways! With all the challenges we face, it can seem as though God is not working in our lives and things can seem impossible. We cry out to God, "Why aren't you working? Why aren't you doing something?" But have faith, HE IS. Don't be quick to judge God for not working in our lives and don't be quick to blame God for the attacks of satan. When God is up to something good, when we are serving and working for Him, when we are striving toworship Him so whole heartedly, when we are desperately seeking to keep our eyes on Him, satan gets VERY mad and he throws MANY things at us. A friend said she "felt like the devil was causing so many difficulties to be thrown my way, so that I would focus on my situation and not on my God...he is trying to distract me because he knows the good things God has promised me."

BE ON GUARD: RESIST THE DEVIL AND HE WILL FLEE
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Again, I do not want to give the stage to satan more than he deserves. However, his presence is real and it is something about which we need to be cautious. So, don't be alarmed when you are being blessed by God or you are serving God and you feel stones thrown at you. When you are striving and thriving for God, the attacks of the evil one will be upon you.

My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. Ephesians 6:10-11

Staying Strong in Him,

22 comments:

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Paula-love this post..."Satan delights to take what God does and try to reverse it, remove it, recline it, reduce it". Very insightful friend and a great reminder of who satan is in our life!

In his Graces~Pamela

much2ponder said...

Good post! I hate the devil! I find that at times when I pray for help in certain areas...it seems the heat in those very areas get turned up. I am not surprised because the enemy of my soul does not want me to be able to live my life for the Lord and feel good about it.

I posted part two about expanding my view if you are interested:) and Part three is coming soon.

littlerad said...

Paula,
this spoke to me today, thank you...
You are in my prayers...
Connie
GBU

Edge of Design said...

Draw near to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you! The key is to draw near to God. I'm convinced you're doing that but sometimes we pull away.

annette said...

Great post, we don't want to give satan to much credit, but we must know the enemy or the Lord would not mention him in Scripture.

God's blessings to you.

Annette

Amy said...

I just told someone yesterday that the devil must know what God is doing in my life and he is getting nervous.:)Hence, my current situation.
Satan definitely likes to kick us when we are down...a typical bully.
But with God in our corner....we are able to get back up and keep fighting.:)
Great post, Paula!
God Bless,
Amy:)

Natalie said...

Satan is powerful and present in this world. We must continue to cling tight to the truth that God is MORE powerful and MORE present. I'm so glad I know the end of the story. Aren't you?!?

Kim said...

Paula~
What a great post. He is so crafty, and it's so important that I stay in the word....as it's sharper than any two edged sword.

Bless you...for speaking truth.

Kim~

Jenn at Casa de Castro said...

Paula, what you've written is SO true. All of it! My dear husband and I are practicing the art of being joyful... yes, JOYFUL, when satan attacks. That must mean God is at work 'cuz the evil one never wastes his time on people who are not a threat. It saddens me that so many people, even believers, fail to recognize or acknowledge that satan is in fact alive and well and seeking whom he may devour. We have to be on guard ALL the time.

Thanks for this great post and reminder to keep my mind stayed on the Truth!

Yolanda said...

Paula,

I wanted to shout when you have all of James 4:7 on your posting. So many times I hear....resist the devil and he will flee from you.

And they miss how we do so...by SUBMITTING TO GOD! Then we have His power to resist the devil.

Lovingly,
Yolanda

godlover said...

As Yolanda said, it's all in the submitting of ourselves to God. If we're submitted to God we can't be submitted to the Devil. It's impossible to do both at the same time. Satan is a crafty little devil but God is sooooo big. Paula this was a great post. We certainly don't want to give Satan any credit at all but we don't want to be ignorant either. He came to kill, steal, and destroy. Christ came to give us freedom in our forgiveness and facts in our faithfulness. Cling to the Lord and let Him be your shield. He will deflect all of Satan's arrows. O, God is so good!! And we are so blessed by writers like you.

God bless you, Paula...
Marj
Calaveras County CA
http://gdlvr.blogspot.com

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

You bet, he's a schemer! And for those who are in hot pursuit of our Father, his attacks often escalate full throttle.

My mind is the battlefield of my defeat. God clearly showed this to me a few years ago and since then, I've been training my thoughts toward God's higher purposes.

Thanks, Paula, for this post and for your many words of encouragement over my life. You are a faithful friend through your penned thoughts and through your prayers. I count it a privilege to have you as my friend.

peace~elaine

andi said...

You got it. He is out to sift us as wheat. I find comfort that our Lord Jesus fought Satan's attacks with Scripture. As we are grounded in His Word, we are ready for battle. Thanks for the great post. :)
I didn't think about using a pencil to form the rainbow. That would have been faster. I guess I'll know for next time.
You asked about a Hair Product: My favorite hair "item" is The Clip. I don't do much to my hair. I shampoo it, dry it for maybe one minute and then twist it once in the back. I put a clip with 6 teeth in it and it is a great messy up-do. :) Oh, don't comb it out after you wash it. Just flip head upside down to dry.

LynnSC said...

Mighty true words. The enemy is good at tricking us... but God is better and bigger. Thanks so much for the reminder to keep our eyes focused on our Father.

I think often about the faith that God had in Job... He trusted Job enough to allow satan to test Him. Wow!! For God to have faith is us is more than I can comprehend.
Lynn

Joyfulsister said...

Hi Paula.. We have a saying that when the Lord starts blessing the devil starts a messing. The devil tries so hard to discourage us so we cannot pray,or do God's will or calling in our lives. When people ask me how do I keep on going despite all that I am going through with my health, and other issues. I just tell them, how stupid the devil is because the more he tries to prevail in discouraging me, the more I pray, There is no going astray or doing things his way. One way to give the devil a black eye is to continue on doing God's will and to keep praying and praising his holy name..Amen!!!

Hugz Lorie

Laura said...

Hi, Paula!
Thank you for stopping by to see me at the Wellblog. It is funny how God confirms things by repeating them, isn't it? sooo...I need to be on my guard. I loved all the truths you spoke in this post. He wants to destroy us. I'm so glad that you were able to see through his ruse and triumph!

Sharon said...

PAULA,
What a greattttttt post!!! I do NOT like the devil. And I have been catching him trying to steal my joy as well. But I pray for my lord's help, and he helps me recover. Just another reason we must stay in the word.
thank you,
Sharon
question for you, how did u know i posted, where do i add you, so i know when you have posted???

Your post really touch me and give me such a positive outlook on things that I may be struggling with that day or week. keep up the great work, it's awesome!

Laura said...

You are so sweet to take the time to "talk" me through a tough time! My family is considering leaving our home church. It has been a very difficult time for me. My sons and I attended without my husband for many years. After thirteen years of prayer, my husband not only joined the church, he became the praiseband leader for our new Contemporary service. Our church has been in conflict for a few years, and the Contemporary worship service is a point of contention. there have been a lot of hurtful moments, a lot of opportunity for growth. I know that God has been guiding this whole process, but still, it is hard to leave the family that has been with me all these years.
Thank you for asking...prayers? Yes, like you, I believe the make a difference.
luv to you,
laura

Melanie said...

Yes, Satan is very real... but if we lean on God we can put 'ole Satan "in his place"!

Have a great weekend!

Lelia Chealey said...

So true as I am seeing the enemy trying to keep my daughter.
Thanks for sharing.

valerie said...

Paula,
I love this post.
Satan is on the prowl because he knows his time is short.
He only comes to steal, kill & destroy, but Jesus came to give us life.
Thank you for the comments on my blog. I always look forward to them.
Have a great week!
Valerie

Pam said...

More confimration of what I have been thinking... thanks for asking me the quiestions you did today, and for recommending these posts, and for coming and reading so many of my posts... this is a big reminder to me of the way that time has stollen away so many of the promises God made me... becuase satan lies to me saying "it's just been too long, and too much has happened, and by the way you are the craziest person that ever lived." Thanks for reminding me I'm not and the promises are true.