05 March 2013

The Real Enemy

We begin our journey with understanding who the real enemy is in our lives. During our GiG meeting on March 2nd, we discussed 2 of the 3 Sharon Jaynes writes about in her book "I'm Not Good Enough" and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves.

The first enemy is Satan. This is a BIG DUH! However, he's tricky. We don't always realize the subtle things he does or suggest.  We don't always realize the little whispers in our ear. The one thing we have to come to understand is Satan is powerless. We give him WAY to much credit. You've heard the saying "The devil made me do it", well, that's not true. Satan (aka the devil) can make a suggestion BUT he can't make you nor me do a single thing.  We always have a choice!  He can tempt us. He can make things look pleasing. He can use every thing possible to seduce us. In the end, he can't force us to do a single thing.

We looked at what the Bible calls Satan ("I'm Not Good Enough" pages 23-27):
  • ruler of demons (Luke 11:15)
  • the god of this world / age (2 Cor 4:4)
  • the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2)
  • the accuser (Rev 12:10)
  • father of lies (John 8:44)
  • the deceiver (Gen 3:13)
  • the great dragon (Rev 12:9)
  • the devil/satan (Rev 12:9)
Let's look at that one "father of lies" and the other one "the deceiver".  These two characteristics will play a BIG part in our study and discussion over the next few months. Take a close look at what God's Word calls Satan.  Keep that close to your mind and heart!  Satan can take the truth and twist it! He did it when he tempted Jesus. (Matthew 4)

When we watched the Women of Faith's webcast Inside Chatter, Sheila Walsh said "The Son of God used the Word of God to defeat the enemy of God".  Just as Jesus used God's Words  to deflect Satan's terrible attempt to twist God's words, we are going to learn the truths that will counter the lies Satan whispers in our ears. 

The second enemy we discussed that evening is the flesh.  The flesh can mean a couple of things. First of all, flesh, bones, and blood. You know, the stuff we are made of!  The second thing is the sinful thought pattern.  There is a part of us that desires to please ourselves. I guess the best way to describe it is our selfishness.  True human nature has nothing to do with looking out for fellow man kind. True human nature is to look out for #1 ... good ole self!

The desire of flesh is:
  • what about me
  • I want
  • how come I can't have
  • where's mine
  • look at / take notice of me
  • it feels good, I must do it
Inside a person who has accepted Christ, there is a struggle! The struggle between the flesh and the spirit.  The flesh (self) wants what is pleasing to "me" verses the spirit, that part of us that desires to please God. I used the lower case "s" on purpose. In Matthew 26:41 Jesus speaks to some very sleepy disciples saying, "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (NKJV)  (NLT = Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”) 

  • Jesus didn't leave us to fight this battle alone! He sent the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit dwells inside each believer giving him/her the power to choose to do what is right! To do what is pleasing to God.  At some point we have to decide between the "I wants", "what about me's", and the "how come I can't haves" AND  "I truly want and desire to be content with what God has planned for me."  Is God enough?  It's the oldest trick in the book! Satan has convinced many people (and angels) "the grass is greener on the other side" that "God is holding out on you" over the ages.

We ended our time with 4 things that begin us on the path of realizing who the true enemy is and beging rejecting the lies:
  1. Take responsibility for our own actions (Satan can't make us do a thing!!!!)
  2. Confess our sin or mistakes (Sin is a deliberate, willful act against God / a mistake or moment of weakness can take place because we are human)
  3. Repent (Repentant, sensitive heart)
  4. Turn & go the opposite direction
This whole section reminds me of so many songs!
  • "The Struggle" by Tenth Ave North "Hallelujah
    We are free to struggle
    We're not struggling to be free
    Your blood bought and makes us children
    So children drop your chains and sing"
  • "East to West" by Casting Crowns "I start the day, the war begins
    Endless reminding of my sin
    And time and time again
    Your truth is drowned out by the storm I'm in

    Today I feel like
    I'm just one mistake away
    From You leaving me this way

    Jesus, can You show me just how far
    The east is from the west?
    'Cause I can't bear to see the man I've been
    Come rising up in me again

    In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
    'Cause You know just how far
    The east is from the west
    From one scarred hand to the other

    I know You've washed me white
    Turned my darkness into light
    I need Your peace to get me through
    To get me through this night

    I can't live by what I feel
    About the truth Your word reveals
    And I'm not holding onto You
    But You're holding onto me, You're holding onto me"
  • "Enough" by Chris Tomlin (I prefer Barlow Girl's version)  "All of You is more than enough for all of me
    For every thirst and every need
    You satisfy me with Your love
    And all I have in You is more than enough

    You are my supply
    My breath of life
    And still more awesome than I know
    You are my reward
    worth living for
    And still more awesome than I know

    All of You is more than enough for all of me
    For every thirst and every need
    You satisfy me with Your love
    And all I have in You is more than enough

    You’re my sacrifice
    Of greatest price
    And still more awesome than I know
    You’re the coming King
    You are everything
    And still more awesome than I know

    More than all I want
    More than all I need
    You are more than enough for me
    More than all I know
    More than all I can say
    You are more than enough for me
There are many others that would fit too!

The next GiG meeting will be March 16th 5:30 PM at Starbucks on Scottsville Rd.  Even if you don't have the book, you are always welcome!

God is desiring to let you and many others know just how special and valuable to Him you are!!  He wants to break down the prison strongholds of our minds and hearts. He wants to be Victor on the battlefield called our minds!!  You are free! Sin and death no longer has a hold on you and He wants you to know that!!

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