All posts for the month April, 2013

Scorned Love

Published April 30, 2013 by Dawn

I read a love letter today. Well, a modern love letter. Maybe it was just a “really like” letter. Whatever it was, it was really sweet. Of course, it wasn’t to me. It was to a friend of mine. A woman from church set her up with this guy, who organized the sweetest date ever last weekend. They went rock climbing (albeit on some smaller granite boulders), and had a picnic together. He gave her a book with a lovely inscription on the inside, a little note to assure her he was looking forward to getting to know her more. Today, he sent her an email (aforementioned letter) to tell her more about himself and to let her know how he felt about the date. It may have been a little forward, and it may have been a little early, but the guy seemed to have some strong feelings toward her. He complimented her eyes, her smile, the things she said, her hobbies, her life in general. It was really sweet. I felt really sad for him because after all that was laid out on the table, she and another friend had a great laugh at his expense.

I pondered this in my heart all day. I hate to overuse the word, but to me, this was a little tragic. He took a great risk in putting his heart out there, and sadly, she didn’t appreciate his vulnerability in the least. But what bothered me most about it is that this is what we tend to do to Jesus all the time.

He’s the world’s most famous hopeless romantic. Of course, there are many who don’t see him that way. They see rules and judgment and condemnation. But these are all worldly things, ideas of righteousness passed down through the pharisaical hands of men. The Word of God says, “There is now, therefore, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” He is “loving toward all He has made“, and “would not have it that any should perish but that all should receive everlasting life.” Jesus came and wooed us, and ultimately gave his life for us. The Word says so many things about us, such as that we are his “most precious possession.” His Word is a love letter to us. Do we take it seriously? Not usually. More often than not, we are at best, skeptical. At worst, downright belligerent toward Him. There are even those who scoff and scorn his loving attention.

I just don’t get it, though. We all are searching for love. It’s a desire from the very depths of our beings. Sure, painful circumstance may cause us to build walls up to keep us from being hurt. But take a moment to search your heart and you will hear a faint cry. It’s deep calling unto deep. We long to be loved. Not just loved, but loved and accepted. Loved unconditionally, to the degree that we can mess up and still be embraced. And we desperately need to be loved by someone who is capable of loving like that, because it just doesn’t happen anymore. It’s Him. It’s Jesus. He’s the only one who can and will love like that. I’m not selling men short. I believe that “with God all things are possible.” But I know that Christ can be faithful starting at this moment, and fulfilling every moment hereafter. There may come another man, a son of God in the flesh who will love like He loves. But Jesus has loved you already and will continue to love you forever. And He demonstrated His love like this: He endured suffering, agony and betrayal. He endured rejection and even death on a cross to ransom you. He paid a bride price to a thief for you. Satan didn’t deserve it but God didn’t squabble with him. He paid it because to Him, you were worth it. How does a person walk away from that?


April Showers

Published April 28, 2013 by Dawn

The sun came out today. I haven’t seen it in a while. With spring comes the inevitable rain, because April showers bring May flowers, right? I forgot about that back in winter when I was bemoaning the cold and praying for spring. I forgot about the sunless days and the unending rain. It’s been dreary and there have been many days I would have been more than happy to stay snuggled under the covers listening to the rhythmic fall of rain outside. I tend to sleep better when it rains.

When I noticed that the sun had peeked out, I stepped outside and saw unmistakably the effects of the rain: growth. The grass in my yard seems to have grown more in the three-day downpour than it does when the rain is scarce. The leaves on the trees are coming back in earnest. It even seems that the colors are more vibrant now, I guess because the rain has washed away all the dust that settles on things that sit immobile. The effects of Spring’s rain are breathtaking. Things are beautiful again.

In my walk with Christ, I have noticed the revolving seasons that come as well. They tend to mirror the season of nature. Winter, with it’s cold, harsh, lifeless days. Summer, a stretch of long, leisurely days full of warmth and fun. Fall, when the harvest comes to full bloom and work is finally rewarded. But before all of that is Spring. Spring, with it’s rain and tireless work to prepare for the harvest to come.

One thing that cannot be denied about Spring is the growth. I think it’s safe to say that when it “rains” in life, if we allow God to do His work in us, there is always the unmistakable growth that takes place. When tears fall like rain, rest assured that the thing taking place in your life is causing you to grow into the person God would have you to be. More vibrant. More beautiful. More alive. Cleansed. And because of the work, there is a sweetness to rest during this season. Don’t miss the time of rest in His arms. It refreshes the weary heart and quenches the thirsty soul. Such is the promise of a Spring rain.

Tragedy on the Edge of Canaan

Published April 26, 2013 by Dawn

I opened my bible this afternoon and read a tragedy I didn’t even know existed within the pages. I guess I skipped over it seeing little significance before, but today, it broke my heart. The story takes places near the Jordan, so close to the Promised Land it literally hurts. Numbers 32. The Reubenites and Gadites stopped to enjoy the view around them and decided to settle. Just short of the Promised Land, they settled their families and their belongings. They didn’t care to inherit the provision and protection of God. They didn’t care to abide in His will. They looked around with their physical eyes and appreciated what was immediately before them to the degree that they were willing to stop short of all that God had for them.

“The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the land of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and said … ‘if we have found favor in your eyes … let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.’”

I can only imagine Moses’ face when he heard them speak this. His face must have fell, chin to the floor in dumbstruck awe. And then perhaps he tightly closed his mouth and his jaw line tensed as he struggled to recover from the shock. Forty years in the wilderness and you aren’t even going all the way? You want this instead of that? You want this land without promise, and you are willing to sell out your brothers to have it?

“Moses said … ‘Shall your countrymen go to war while you sit here?

Moses thought it was because they were either lazy or scared. And he pointed out that this was a sin their fathers had also committed. It appears their forefathers were the same men who dissuaded the Israelites from entering Canaan the first time.

“This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land. After they went up … and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the Lord had given them … And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the Lord even more angry with Israel.”

But the Reubenites and Gadites insisted they were men ready for battle. They just wanted to unload their wives and children, and all their belongings. In effect, they were tired of traveling and wanted to settle down, and they looked around and said, “Why not now? This looks good and we are on the edge of Promise, so this is just as good as what’s on the other side of that river, right?” So they assured Moses that if they could receive that land, they would make their families comfortable and then go ahead of the children of Israel into battle to drive out the inhabitants of the land so they could also receive their inheritance.

As I read further into the chapter, I noticed that Moses, even after relenting to their requests on the premise of their binding oath to the rest of the Israelites, never referred to this land as their inheritance. Actually, what he said to them was this, “…if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for battle, and if you will go armed over the Jordan before the Lord until he has driven his enemies out before him – then when the land is subdued before the Lord, you may return and be free from your obligation to the Lord and to Israel. And this land will be your possession before the Lord.” The land was to be their possession, but it would not be the inheritance. Not something from the Father because of a birthright, but just a belonging given to assuage desire. Is that not a tragedy? And to be free from their obligation to the Lord? I can’t even imagine that kind of life.

I’ve been standing here on the edge of Promise for quite a while, and I know the promises God has given me. They are forever in my mind. I completely understand the weariness of the Reubenites and Gadites. The journey has been long and tiring, and I spend a lot of time peering off into the distance, straining to catch a glimpse of the beautiful Land. I know in my heart it is wonderful and worth the wait. But I’m tired. God spoke of abundance and I am still scraping by. He spoke of peace and rest, and I am living in a constant state of chaos. I understand the intense longing to finally settle down and be done. But, and maybe this will serve as a notice for my enemies, I’m not willing to settle. I don’t just want a land to possess. I want the inheritance. I don’t just want to settle. I want to receive the Promise. I want to walk the land that I have envisioned based on God’s promises. I know that I have battles left to fight. I know that I will have to continue to put one weary foot in front of another until I finally get there. I know it’s gonna take some work. But I cannot allow myself to have come this far to quit. Forty years in the desert, what’s one more day? Or two? Or another year? While the thought is not immediately comforting, I am compelled to obey God. One day at a time, I’ve made it this far and I know that if I just take them as they come and do all I can with the moments, I can tread on until I reach the land. Dear Father, help me not to stop short of the Promised Land. I don’t want to receive anything less than Your Will for my life. And may I make no excuses to quit. Thank you for helping me to plod on.

Totally Distracted

Published April 25, 2013 by Dawn

I came home the other day after another extra-long day of work and jumped right in to the flurry of dinner and cleaning before church. I ran around the kitchen scrounging up an idea for a meal and gathered all the necessary supplies to make poached eggs, fresh fruit and oatmeal. I scattered food and supplies over the countertop so I could prepare it quickly, put the water on the boil for the eggs and pulled an egg out of the carton so I could start cracking them into a cup I had sitting by waiting for the water. I cracked the first egg, and watched myself pour it …into the egg carton. Slowly and methodically as if that’s the way I always make eggs, I poured the egg out of the shell into the carton and then looked at it stupidly. I knew something was wrong but couldn’t figure out what it was for a full five seconds before it jumped out at me: the egg does not get poured back into the carton. It goes in the cup!

That was the moment I realized I had been really distracted. But I didn’t have time to even consider what was weighing so heavily on my mind, I had to get kids fed and washed up for church, and somehow in such a short amount of time, also clean up some around the house I’ve hardly seen in the past few weeks. And although I know that there a lot of distractions right now due to my work, I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that this was way more than what was going on in the physical. Something has bound my mind to the degree that I am existing but not really living right now, and it took me a couple days to figure out what it was. Or rather, it took me a couple days to slow myself down long enough to sit at Christ’s feet while he enlightened me as to what was stealing my moments from me.

I am completely distracted by my need to understand things. I know that God is working and that I am on the edge of Promise, but there’s so much more that I don’t know or understand and all of these things are literally stealing my moments. Lately, I have gone through the motions to such a degree that I realize the moment that my kids climb out of the car at school in the morning that I really miss them. I miss playing games with them and talking to them about their day. I miss sitting in the presence of God and just knowing him. I have been so distracted in the physical sense and in my mind that I have missed a lot of life lately. This, I know, is not life abundantly. It’s hardly more than just breathing.

So what it is that I feel I so desperately need to know? I guess in one word, it’s the “how.” I know the who. It’s God. I know the when. It’s right on the horizon. I know the why. Simply because He loves me. The what is what is His best for me. I’m struggling to understand the how. How will it all work out? How will it look when it does work out? How will I know how to walk in it? Just a few questions I can’t figure out and all the sudden the rest of my life is a blur while my focus remains on this conundrum. I know I can’t figure it out and it’s prideful to imagine that I can, but for whatever reason, I haven’t let any of this rational thought dissuade me from surrendering peace in exchange for worry. And now that I’ve been revealed, I feel foolish for worrying about it instead of anticipating His gifts with joy. What a waste of time and energy (and food) worry has become to me! Over and over, Christ has said to me, “Do not worry about tomorrow…” Why can’t I rest in His arms knowing that He’s got it all figured out?

In truth, this distraction that is so binding is just another level of spiritual warfare I tend to not understand until my hindsight kicks in and I look back at a situation and have an “aha” moment. Like now, I can say with full confidence that the distance between my daughter and I has lengthened because I have not looked her in the eye and had a meaningful conversation with her in at least a week. Knowing that time and attention are her love languages, I am sure that she is confused and frustrated with me. Look at the wedge Satan has been able to drive into our relationship simply by distracting me! Father, please destroy that wedge between us and fill in the gaps in her heart that my foolishness has left. Likewise, I know that my son is also suffering in silence because I have not made the time to let him snuggle in my lap before bed, and I have turned chores into a command instead of allowing his willingness to do them be an expression of his love language: works. Father, please erase the pain my distance had caused in him. Restore our fellowship and restore both of their hearts to wholeness. Thank you for showing me how distracted I’ve become and allowing me to see the foolishness of worrying. You are God! You are Almighty! You can do anything and everything, and you love me! You have the best for me and I know that I can trust you. You have been faithful and you will continue to be faithful because that is your nature. You cannot lie and I have heard your promises. Help me to trust you with the how in my life. The truth is, it’s a relief to not worry about it all. Thank you. I love you.


Published April 19, 2013 by Dawn

The hardest part of writing this blog may be explaining the background details that led me to a very profound thought last night in the midst of some of the deepest laughter I’ve engaged in in quite a long time. I was sitting on the couch trying unsuccessfully to watch a movie while my kids took showers. Unsuccessfully because my daughter, queen of all piddlers, had gotten me caught up in a competitive game of Peaknuckles. You probably don’t know what that is unless you grew up in the boonies without a television. It’s a very base sort of entertainment that’s incredibly hilarious due only to the human factor in it. It’s known by several names, Peaknuckles being the one I’m familiar with. A student informed me he and his brother called it “Bloody Mercy” and I also found on the internet that others simply refer to it as “Say Uncle.” Whatever. In our house, it will forever be known as Peaknuckles. The gist of the game is to interlace your fingers with the fingers of your opponent and then use all the strength you can muster to bend their wrists back to a place where they give up, yelling “Peaknuckles!!” And then you are declared the winner and they decide many times over to try to beat you until both of your hands are mangled and sore from this senseless form of competition, and your abs have had a thorough workout because of the laughter. This is why I don’t engage in Zumba or Crossfit. I get my workout done through housework and intense games filled with laughter. It works for me.

Anyway, she started it off as a way of distracting me from the fact that she should have been getting in the shower. And since I’ve been working longer hours than usual, it worked without any hesitation on my part. I loved the opportunity to just play for once. So, she started grappling with my knuckles and I caught on really quickly to what she was enticing me to, so I simply held my hand steadfast, knowing she didn’t have the strength to push my hand back to bend my wrist. But then, she became really determined to push my wrist back and with as much strength as she could muster, with her game face on, she gave it all she had. My hand didn’t budge. I looked at her face, contorted due to the effort she was putting forth, and busted up laughing. With each renewed effort, she grunted and groaned, trying her hardest to win this battle. I held my hand steady and laughed until it hurt and tears formed and slid down my cheeks. She gave it her best and failed every time. I won every time. It didn’t matter much because it was all in the spirit of fun. But as I was watching her during this game, I had this thought: “I can’t wait until the day I can look at Satan in the midst of the battle and know the strength inside of me so well that all I can do is laugh in his face because of the futility of his efforts against me.”

I have been in battle all week long. Intense battle. And Satan has come against me so strong on several occasions that though I was poised in the midst of them when other people were present, I fell apart the moment no one was looking and I just know Satan had a small victory just knowing he had shaken me. I felt a small victory, knowing that the Spirit of God had helped me maintain my witness. But I was also bothered by the fact that I couldn’t not let it get to me. I may have remained composed during the onslaught, but that was mainly just on the outside. The inside was still ruffled. Still frightened. Still hurt. And after it was all over, I still fell apart. I kept praying, “Father, whatever you are trying to perfect in me, don’t let up until I’ve changed.” And so every day this week, I’ve been in battle.

I don’t know if that day will ever come for me. I seem to be so sensitive that everything gets to me, and when the enemy attempts to ruffle my feathers, whether I portray it outwardly or not, I surrender my peace almost always. My joy is effectively stolen from me almost every time. I’ve never been able to laugh in his face, because I am so weak in my own strength. I cry out “Peaknuckles” in every battle I attempt to fight in my own strength. I don’t even know what that will look like, should it ever happen that I have the upper hand. And maybe that’s what keeps me humble.

But I know what it looks like for Jesus to laugh in Satan’s face. And that’s comforting. Jesus simply stands steadfast and laughs at Satan when he tries to pull something. Satan, with all determination in his face, can do nothing more than groan and grunt in effort against the power of Christ, but Christ will not budge. Man! That’s a guy I want playing in my place. He never loses. And in light of Christ’s strength, Satan seems almost comical in his hopeless attempts to battle the Son of God.

I think about all the things Satan is battling in my life: my future. Promises spoken from God that have yet to be fulfilled. The fullness of the will of God in my life. I have cried out in surrender over them many times, and then Jesus stands up and says, “No. Let me take this one.” And I am persuaded to trust his strength. And I look forward to the day when Satan will yell out in pain and helplessness, “Peaknuckles!!” And he will release those things he’s trying so hard to keep from me. And he will walk away rubbing his sore knuckles and Christ will hand them to me and say laughingly, “Did you see his face?!”

He’s breaking my heart

Published April 17, 2013 by Dawn

The day I got this heart is still very fresh in my mind. I remember lying on my couch in the early hours of the morning, before the sun had even come up, and just basking in the presence of God. I was praying and worshipping Him and then He spoke a word. He said, “I’m going to give you a heart transplant.” And me, in my naiveté said, “…ok.” And then, I started to cry out in anguish as I literally felt the pressure on my heart of God’s hand breaking up the stone. I’m not sure how long it took, but I knew the entire time that God was breaking up the tomb that held my heart. Years of what I will simply term “life” had caused me to become so hardened and bitter that I couldn’t hardly stand people. I truly believe I hated most everyone I knew, with the exception of a precious few. And even those, I struggled sometimes to love them fully, with all of myself. The pain was intense as God worked meticulously to break apart the stone in me. And when it was over, I immediately felt more alive than I had felt in years. I felt vulnerable and real. I felt capable of feeling deeply again. And I knew that God had worked a miracle inside of me. I had a heart of flesh again.

That was seven years ago, and I have lived with this heart of flesh all this time, loving people as best as I know how. I have allowed this heart to be vulnerable to people and I have survived rejection with my heart still intact. I have prayed over my heart so that no walls could be built up around it. Solomon says in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all things, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” I have guarded my heart diligently. With all that being said, I will now admit that even then, I couldn’t keep my heart from being broken. But this time, it is a blessed thing. Jesus is breaking my heart for His people and it is a most wonderful thing.

I knew the moment it began to happen that Christ was breaking my heart. One of my students was sharing family drama with us over lunch and I looked up at another coworker who saw the despair on my face and encouraged me to quickly leave the table. I rushed from the lunch room with tears streaming down my face and quickly found a place of solitude to pull myself together. I began to pray, “Father, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Am I being hormonal here?” And I heard him gently say, “I’m doing this because you asked me to break your heart for what breaks mine.” Oh, it hurt. And it happened from that day on, many times. Someone would begin to talk about their pain and I would just weep for them, really feeling their hurt in the deepest parts of myself. Situation I used to judge now caused me to fall to my knees in complete misery on peoples’ behalf. I saw humanity in pain and it hurt so bad. A student’s dog died and I cried. Another student didn’t get her way and I cried with her. My kids would express their pains and frustrations and I wouldn’t be able to do anything more than hold them and cry. Stories of accidents, shootings and bombing, orphanages, mental anguish, all the pain of a sick world caused me so much anguish. But today, I realized how deep the Lord has worked in me when I walked out of Maurices in tears. I had just seen a pair of jeans priced for $70 and walked out with the strangest mixture of frustration and hurt. My kids walked as quick as their legs could carry them, searching my face to seek me out. My daughter took my hand very gently and said, “Mom, what’s wrong?” I looked down into her worried eyes, stopped walking and told her, “There is a world of hurting and dying people out there, and yet somehow, we disregard that for the sake of $70 jeans to suit our pride.” Then I began to weep. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. The pain was too much. I know now how Jesus’ resolve took him all the way to the cross. Past the hatred and rejection, past the mockery and past the physical death. All the way down to the grave, all the way down to the bottomless pit where He stripped Satan of all final authority in the affairs of men. He did it because the pain was too much. He had watched people hurt for way too long. His heart was broken for a torn world ruled by pride and self-seeking men. His heart was broken for the innocent. He hurt deeply for all of creation that He so desperately loved. I feel so blessed to know a little of the love of my savior. And equally blessed to have my heart broken so that I can love fully the world that He loves. I know that without his help, I am not capable. Thank you Lord, for breaking my heart these past few weeks. Continue to work in me so I give all of myself in serving the world you came to save.

Spiritual Warfare 101: Psychological Operations

Published April 6, 2013 by Dawn

“To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”

“The Art of War, a treatise written by the Chinese military thinker Sun Tzu in the fourth century B.C., advocates the idea that an army of superior numbers can be ‘made not to fight.’ Even General A. M. Gray recognized the “human dimension” in war and that ‘moral forces exert a greater influence on the nature and outcome of war than do physical.’”

It’s no secret that we are at war, in both the physical sense and the spiritual sense. What’s scary is the tactics being levied against us, in which we often find ourselves asking, “So, are you for us or against us?” Confusion has become the order of the day, and the enemy seems to claim way more victories than we do. But the following information will hopefully give fresh insight into this present (spiritual) war, and may you be blessed with new intelligence that will uncover the enemy’s tactics.

I was reading through a Marine manual for warfare, and came across the following dissertation on psychological operations, which is a type of warfare aimed specifically at the mind and heart of the enemy. As you read through this information, keep in mind that this information comes straight from the warfare handbook of hell, and you are the enemy spoken of.

“PSYOP (psychological operations) can reduce enemy combat effectiveness; degrade enemy morale; enhance deception operations; facilitate the occupation of enemy towns; help control enemy propaganda; assist in rear area security; and confuse and harass the enemy.” Beloved, in other words, Satan is out to reduce your ability to wage war for the Kingdom of God by degrading you. He wants to cause you such emotional turmoil that you are completely unable to move in any direction. That pain that you feel, that frustration and confusion that you live in is just a tactic to cause you to quit. I know much of this battle, and I know how hard it is to press in and move forward in prayer when you are literally falling apart inside. But notice that PSYOP also includes “enhance[d] deception operations”. Most of what you feel and seem to know is a lie! Don’t believe it! In moments like this, I literally have to plug myself into worship music 24/7 and drink in the Spirit through His Word to pull myself out of the funk. Satan’s goal is to occupy as much of you thoughts and feelings as he can, and he works through many facets. The shows you watch, the music you listen to, even the places you go and the people you see. This is war and nothing is out of bounds for him. Remember, all’s fair …

“Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotion, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign government, organizations, groups and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originators objectives. The attitudes and behaviors of foreign groups can influence situations in ways advantageous or harmful to the attainment of one’s objectives. The use of PSYOP is but one way by which foreign individual and group attitudes and behaviors can be influenced. PSYOP enhance combat power. Effective PSYOP modify the behavior of the target audience in accordance with the commander’s objectives. ” Don’t miss that. Satan is out to influence your emotions, your motives, your reasoning and ultimately, your very behaviors. With the right cunning, he can make you more of a tool for his kingdom than you’ve ever been for the kingdom of God. He’s got your flesh on his side, and to wrestle with flesh is one of the hardest things we will ever have to do this side of heaven. Satan will use circumstances and people, and all the pain or frustration involved to cause you to react in ways that are favorable to his purposes in your life and the lives of people around you.

“PSYOP are conducted during peacetime, crisis, hostilities short of declared war, and declared war. PSYOP can be executed in a national, joint, combined, or single-Service context, by unified or specified commands, by subordinate unified commands or joint tasks forces. PSYOP can be carried out as an integral part of an overall military action or independently of other military operations.” Basically, there’s never a moment when psychological operations would not be effective and will thus be used against you any time of the day or night, in any season, in literally any and every situation that Satan can weasel his way into.

“Alexander the Great perfected a method of psychological harassment which was the hidden cause of many of his victories. Alexander developed psychological procedures and his actions were similar to modern day psychological operations. He developed and put into practice the following principles: (l) Maintain good relationships with pacifistic elements within neighboring peoples in order to take advantage of favorable opinions and sentiments. (2) Use secret agents to infiltrate and spread rumors and news. (3) In moments of crisis, bury the enemy — with public opinion — under an avalanche of information, true or false, that can produce concern, demoralization and chaos.” This information goes straight to my heart. This is exactly the war coming against the church today. A war of epic proportions in which Christians, in an attempt to be politically correct, are twisting the word of God so as not to offend anyone. Watered-down messages, a system of conformity to the world system, a refusal to acknowledge sin. All such operations aimed directly at the pacifistic elements within our belief system, and most of us don’t know how to respond because the truth is unpopular and what’s popular is not sanctioned by the Holy Spirit. What ultimately happens is that we slide down the slippery slope that makes our gospel ineffective and to the world, we look like fools because we no longer know what to believe. How in the world did Satan become so affective? By “us[ing] secret agents to infiltrate and spread rumors and news.” Enter ministers who preach either a polarized gospel full of half-truths or ministers who preach that the church needs to conform it’s views to fit a world that doesn’t agree with the truth. People who from the pulpit accepts lifestyles that scripture condemns, who preach more out of books written by men than The Book written by the breath of God. What results is Christians who never wanted to be peculiar sticking out like sore thumbs because they refuse to budge on their moral and biblical beliefs. Buried under public opinion, under that “avalanche of information, true or false,” men and women of God have increasingly been bombarded with concern, demoralization and chaos.

“Today, PSYOP have become more critical as ideological and revolutionary struggles increase. When properly conducted, PSYOP can be an effective force multiplier throughout the spectrum of conflict (low, mid, and high intensity). PSYOP can reduce enemy combat effectiveness by inducing enemy forces to disengage, desert, or act less aggressively; degrade enemy morale; enhance deception operations; facilitate the occupation of enemy towns; help control enemy and friendly civilians in the combat area; counter enemy propaganda; assist in rear area protection; and confuse and harass the enemy.” Brothers and sisters in Christ are falling away left and right because of the intensity of this warfare!

“During war, combat operations may be conducted in, or on, the periphery of a single country, be limited to a single theater, or be conducted worldwide. Regardless of the extent of the area of conflict, ideological warfare in the form of PSYOP should be conducted on a worldwide basis. Three basic reasons for this are to gain support for [Satan’s] actions, to isolate enemy[s] from outside support, and to establish a psychological climate to achieve postwar goals. … PSYOP campaigns are conducted to weaken the effectiveness of the enemy’s military forces by reducing the will to fight among the enemy populace and leadership groups, and to degrade the ability of commanders and political leaders to act decisively.” So from the top down, Satan is literally dividing the church. It is imperative in this time of increased warfare for Christians, all Christians, to know the Word of God for themselves. No more following blindly a man just because he stands behind a pulpit. Remember, scripture warns us that Satan “parades himself as an angel of light.” Jesus said that even the very elect could be deceived if he had not told us all that we needed to know beforehand. But if we don’t read our bibles intently, we will never know what scriptures says that will save us from the enemy’s tactics. Satan is not a weak enemy. He is smart! He studies us and knows our weaknesses and we are not to be without knowledge of him. But our understanding only comes through the Word. It’s time we as Christians start taking responsibility for our spiritual walks with Christ because when we stand before God, we won’t be able to blame all our mistakes on our pastors. The purpose of this war is to reducing our will to fight, and Satan is so effective at this. I know I have had many days of getting on my face before God and crying out in weariness. “I don’t want to fight anymore! This is too hard and it hurts and I have had no rest!” But God is good, and He is quick to rescue us and pull us out of the battle for a little while so we can recuperate.

“Psychological operations are an important dimension of military power… everything we do or fail to do has a psychological impact on our enemies, our allies, neutrals, and even ourselves. We can [and] … must understand and be prepared to employ PSYOP throughout the levels of war and across the spectrum of conflict.” This is Satan’s Gameplan. As Paul says, “Do not be unaware of his tactics.”