Satan

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Going Through the Motions

Published July 6, 2017 by Dawn

“Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, ‘Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemy.’

“So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. And Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

“ When the ark of the Lord’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook. Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, ‘What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?’ When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp, the Philistines were afraid. ‘A god has come into the camp,’ they said. ‘Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods that struck down the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!’

“So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. The ark of God was captured and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died” (1 Sam. 4: 1-11).

Isreal, God’s people, were in battle. Surrounded by the enemy and being defeated mercilessly. They were so sure of victory, they went into battle a little under prepared. We know that because they didn’t even take the ark of the covenant with them. It had been at the forefront of their trials in the desert, their crossing the Jordan and stepping into the Promise Land. All the battles won as Joshua was obedient and conquered the land so the people of God could have a place to call home. The ark went before them, symbolic of the presence of their great and mighty God. They knew where their strength lay … for a time, at least.

Then it happened: they went zealously into battle against a great enemy. The giants in the land – the Philistines. Israel, so sure of victory, went into that battle with nothing more than a grand illusion and lost. They had forgotten to bring God into their plans, and subsequently, their plans failed.

An elder knew immediately what was wrong. The ark wasn’t there. But to the new generation of Israelites, who hadn’t been in the desert, it was only a relic. They went after it, of course, and brought along the “priests” as well, but it almost seems like they just set it up ceremoniously on the edge of the field of battle, celebrated their forthcoming victory and again, went into  battle in their own strength.

It amazes me to think of how it happened: they Israelites even shouted in praise that the ark was there. Their praise was so loud, it shook the ground and got the attention of the enemy. It scared the Philistines, and awakened them to their impending doom. Their solution? Fight harder.

It worked.

How?!

I literally sat here and cried after reading this. It’s just like us, friends.

I prayed to understand, because frankly, I’m sick of being defeated. Here’s what happened:  The Israelites were defeated the first time because they went out high on past victories, in their own strength and completely underestimating their enemy. When they were defeated, someone reminded them that their past victories were due to the presence of God among them, so they went back and grabbed the ark. Sadly, to them, it was the symbolism that mattered, not the reality. They went through the motions and expected that God was in it. He wasn’t … because they hadn’t spent time seeking His will and His way to victory.

The really disturbing part is how their hollow worship scared the enemy into action. The Philistines recognized something the Israelites did not: They had brought gods into the camp. Not God. Little Gs … gods. They had brought their own idolatrous ideas and plans into the camp and worshiped as fervently as they knew how. Their enemy noticed and although they afraid, their fear was based on what God had done for the Israelites. Not what the Israelites had done for themselves. Are you getting this? The Philistines’ fear led them to fight stronger and because the Israelites had a form of worship with no power, they were defeated.

This scares me, church. And humbles me. And suddenly, the continuous battles and frequent defeats make sense. Maybe it’s because, instead of truly seeking God, we’re just going through the motions. Maybe that’s why America’s church is powerless and the world is in chaos. Satan seems to be winning because he is, I’m afraid. Because we’re fighting him with gods; our own ideas and strategies are failing us. We have for so long refused to get still before the Lord and seek His face. Instead, we’ve changed the program a hundred and fifty different ways trying to bring people in, but all this time, what we really need to do is bring God back in. Not with our preconceived ideas of how things need to go, or what people want to hear. People need God. They want to hear God. Not you. Not me. They are dealing with deep calling unto deep, but we’re beckoning them into shallow church services. We’ve reduced the movement of God to a program and put Him in a box we refuse to let Him out of. That’s what Israel did. They went back for the box, but they didn’t open it up and let God do what He wanted to do (technically, they were forbidden from opening the ark, but I’m speaking metaphorically here). They were afraid it would look a little foolish, maybe. After all, they defeated Jericho by walking around the walls and shouting. They defeated the Midianites by breaking clay jars and blowing trumpets. All God’s plans, and let’s face it: it was a little weird sharing the war stories. A little humbling. They couldn’t take credit. Maybe that’s why they went out without Him. Maybe they wanted to actually look and feel like warriors instead of weirdos. How’d it work out? Defeat.

I think it’s time to stop going to war without God. Stop trying to win people to our ideologies and get back to what scripture actually says. Stop trying to make it fancy and give it to people straight. Stop worrying about if they like our worship and just worship. It’s not for them; it’s for Him. Stop candy-coating, or polishing up, the truth and give it straight. It is the truth that sets men free, not a confusing combination of cutesy anecdotes and platitudes. Our sermons have become so devoid of actual scripture, the garbage being fed to the multitudes is quite vomitus. No wonder the world can’t stand the church! God himself would like to spew us out of his mouth, no doubt!

Stop doing your thing, church. Do God’s. And if you don’t know what that even means any more, I think that’s a good indication it’s time to get on our knees and shut up long enough for God to speak. He hasn’t changed. He cannot. He will not. Therefore, we must.

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Judas is Alive and Well

Published June 23, 2017 by Dawn

“Then Jesus said also unto the twelve, ‘Will you also go away?” (John 6:66-71)

Am I the only one who reads this and immediately asks, “Why didn’t Judas go then?” He had an out, and obviously no fidelity to Christ, so why didn’t he take this opportunity to turn away? I’ve spent hours studying this and I think it’s because Judas had access through his relationship to Jesus, to something that greatly benefitted him. His image, and thereby his ego: He was the keeper of the purse … and he was a thief (John 12:6).

I can’t imagine he was comfortable in his position. After all, Jesus alluded to him early on by saying that one of them was a devil (John 6:70). Did this memory ever prick Judas? Did it come to mind as he reached into the purse while no one was looking? Did he remember Jesus calling him out while he stood in the shadow of the synagogue waiting for his thirty pieces of silver?

Obviously, Judas was a snake in the grass all along. I mean, I imagine when Jesus sat down to eat with Pharisees, Judas sneered and jeered right along with them. We get a glimpse of his true colors when Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with precious perfume … Judas couldn’t imagine a bigger waste. “Why wasn’t this sold and the money given to the poor?” He couldn’t stand her devotion to Christ, but he covered his hatred with a piety that likely caused division in the room. His comment likely sowed seeds of distaste among everyone there. After all, the poor were a Godly consideration, were they not? Her humble way of honoring Christ was disputed and I can’t help but wonder if Judas leaned back at every table they supped to with his arms across his chest waiting for an opportunity to condemn the graciousness of God for the sake of the law.

Unable to shake his disapproval, Judas eventually stood in the outer court and pilfered Jesus out to the highest bidder. He was willing to deliver this man who called him friend. Why? Satan had entered him. How can Satan enter someone who is walking next to Jesus every day? All he needs is an opportunity, it seems. Judas provided that opportunity by esteeming his position and his access more than he esteemed his Lord. His rebellious nature was evident in the way he questioned Jesus instead of rejoicing with him. He welcomed Satan by refusing to submit to Christ as his sovereign Lord. To him, Jesus was a man. A man he hardly valued. Thirty pieces is a small price to exchange for eternal life and everlasting love, but Judas took it and betrayed Jesus with a kiss.

Let’s pause here and notice the kiss: Judas betrayed Jesus, but still acted like his friend up until the very end. I have thought about this part all day long. How did Jesus respond to this betrayal? I reflected on it first by asking, “How would I?” My immediate response would have been to steel myself against the blow; act as if the crushing weight of it hadn’t affected me at all. As I thought about this, I realized that this approach is the place bitterness firsts digs in. When I have been betrayed, my response is to ignore the feeling of it. But the result is not what I imagine it should be: with every memory, the pain hits me fresh and I have to bury those feelings again. No, Jesus did not respond like that because such a response inhibits immediate forgiveness. To feel such betrayal is sometimes unbearable, but I have intentionally felt betrayal, to see what can be done and there’s only one thing: to cast that upon the Lord (1 Peter 5:7), or be crushed by it. I know this is what Jesus did. It’s very scriptural. He felt the betrayal wholly and then cast it immediately upon his Father so he could stand up under it (1 Corinthians 10:13). After casting betrayal on the Lord, His help enabled me to forgive, and I know Jesus immediately forgave Judas for hurting him because holding on to hatred is sin and Christ was without sin (1 John 3:15, 2 Corinthians 5:21).

As Christians, we will be exposed to the person of Judas in one of two ways – I won’t exclude the possibility that we can be exposed to both.

Firstly, we can be a Judas, loving the office in God’s house more than we love God. Loving the attention and the access more than we love and honor our Heavenly Father. We can be Judas by hating in our hearts those in the church who display any kind act toward Jesus, and justifying our hatred by drawing attention to the folly that often accompanies their efforts because God knows how to humble people. We can be a Judas by betraying Christ, or his workmen, by something as seemingly innocuous as slander or undue suspicion. God’s children do well to cultivate self-control under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, to avoid doing harm to His Son!

Secondly, we can be exposed to Judas through others. Every church has a Judas, and every individual will know one. Here, we have to lean upon the example of Christ. Jesus allowed him the money bag. His thievery was evident to all but ultimately, between him and God. Jesus allowed him to self-implode. Judas no doubt experienced deep conviction while traveling with Christ. Jesus was holy and shared a message of righteousness. Judas had opportunity to repent, but embraced his sin instead. Jesus let him. Jesus didn’t turn away from Judas’ kiss, which I am sure made the impact of Judas’ betrayal all the heavier to bear. Jesus heaped the burning coals (Romans 12:20); he didn’t respond to betrayal with hatred in like manner. Jesus defended the innocent from Judas’ charge, but he didn’t berate Judas or publicly humiliate him.

Jesus was (and is) in all ways gracious to everyone, including Judas. This means two things to us: God’s grace will forgive the Judas in us, and we should be gracious when hurt by the Judas in our lives. This much I know is true: Judas is here to test and betray us. Jesus calls him the devil (John 6:70), and the devil “has come to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10). However, Beloved, Satan could not defeat Christ, and he cannot defeat those who are completely surrendered to Jesus and sheltered by the Almighty! Don’t be Judas, and don’t be defeated by him either.

What Went Down That First Easter

Published March 27, 2016 by Dawn

“It … is … finished.”

Jesus’ last breath sent a shiver up his spine. Hiding in plain sight among the stragglers still standing near the cross, Lucifer shuddered as a coldness swept over him. He stared up at Jesus feeling victorious, but something about his death seemed all wrong.

He knew prophecy. The power of the spoken word. He had been there when Yahweh has spoken the earth into existence. He stood glorifying the King with the rest of heaven’s hosts that day. He marveled then, and marveled now, at the power that enveloped each word spoken by God. He was bitterly jealous of the Almighty for that very reason. It was a power Satan did not possess.

Distressed by the icy grip that had taken hold of him, Lucifer quickly fled toward Sheol, content that the Son of Man was no longer living. Unbarring the gates, he descended into the halls of torment to breath in the familiar comfort of man’s agony. His home. His paradise.

“Lucifer!”

The grip tightened. The coldness seeped deeper. That voice. He thought he’d never hear it again. He thought it was over. Hadn’t he just heard Jesus say it was finished? Wasn’t it supposed to be finished, then?

Lucifer turned in terror, straining to identify the sound coming down the stairwell from above. It was the unmistakable sound of destruction. His beautiful gates, with their familiar sqeauky hinges, were now being ripped irreversibly from the thick walls of the cavernous hovel he inhabited. A deafening crash followed as no doubt they were tossed carelessly, yet forcefully, aside. Frozen on the landing, Lucifer could do nothing else but cower as he heard the quickly approaching footfalls echoing as if a gigantic being were headed toward him.

“Accuser, I have come!”

Beads of sweat formed all over Satan’s cold, jaundiced man-form. Jesus stood before him, whole and towering menacingly. All the authority Lucifer had feared in God was in His son, and he knew he was powerless. He couldn’t muster the courage to even mumble a reply.

Jesus held out his hand. “Give them to me, now.”

The command was enough to draw the demon’s hand out of his cloak involuntarily. Against his will, he thrust the keys forward. His hand was shaking violently. The thought of Jesus touching him was terrifying and repulsive.

“Here! Take them!”

Jesus reached out and pulled the keys out of Lucifer’s hand. Clenching his fist around them, he commanded silence from all of the underground world. Looking hard into the face of his enemy, he spoke with such assurance, Lucifer could only stand mutely, whimpering in agreeance as his role in the universe became an insignificant minutia for all of eternity.

“All power and authority has been given to me. You will hereafter be a minor detail on the fringe of humanity. Though some will flock willingly to you, others will only be harassed by you. None will be conquered or overcome without their willing consent, and after the times have reached their fulfillment, you will be cast out into utter darkness for all eternity. Is has been decreed and will surely take place. Sin and death are hereby defeated. There is no power in hell, no power in fear, and no power in you that cannot be conquered by just the whisper of my name. Mankind will forever more subjugate your kingdom with the power alive in them. It is the same power alive in me. Tremble, you cowering snake. Today, I have crushed your head. It is finished!”

Without another word, Jesus turned and left. Satan sank to the floor, unable to combat or defend his realm. He felt the power drain from him. He heard the faint tic-toc of eternity echoing through the halls and for the first time, abhorred the sound. Utter darkness. The Lake of Fire. He knew his time was near the end. How much longer he had, he could only guess, for no one but Yahweh knew the times appointed. He trembled in fear. Jesus had overcome. God had won, just like He said He would. Lucifer crumpled up on the landing there and let out a piercing howl. He had been stripped and beaten. Defeated. Yes, he felt it in his marrow. It was finished.

 

 

Jesus said unto them, “Shut up.”

Published August 22, 2015 by Dawn

“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” – Matt. 24:12

There’s enough going on in the news today to properly frighten anyone. Rampant riots and vandalism here in my own backyard, people actively seeking out cops to kill. Gunmen entering movie theaters and churches like they’re hunting for sitting ducks. Parades and protests where people are joyfully throwing anything, from bricks to excrement, at others. Kids being gunned down in their homes or stolen and sold into sex slavery. Babies being ripped apart and their pieces sold to the highest bidder. Parents killing their own children, and children killing their own parents. Religions slaughtering religions. I think it’s enough to terrify anyone. And … harden anyone.

Please don’t get me wrong: I believe in clarion calls. I believe in men and women of God sounding the alarm about social injustice and religious persecution. But the Holy Spirit led me to a thought tonight that gave me chills. This verse is about the church.

I didn’t want to believe it. After all, this is the time to shine. This hour of great darkness is the moment of great impact for the church. Only we don’t know how to handle it, and we’re doing it in our own strength and failing miserably. The very people we should be reaching are the ones we are alienating. You’re probably already mad at me, but I hope you keep reading. I’m not trying to make you upset, but I have to tell you what’s on my heart.

Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” But many of us are not speaking the truth in love, we are just speaking the truth … and turning sinners away because they didn’t come to Jesus clean. The church has become so high-brow we no longer reach the lowly and destitute. The wickedness in the world, the tremendous influx of Satanic activity has frightened us and caused us to lash out in anger instead of reach out in love. We believe the Word and we want others to believe, but we don’t know how to love them AND teach it because we’re freaking out instead of being still.

Too much study and not enough prayer had produced men and women who know the Word inside and out but have not spent time in the presence of God to know His heart. Is it impressive to know a lot of scripture? Maybe to some people, but it certainly does not impress God. Because Satan knows the scriptures better than any of us and has crafted so many false doctrines with it that all of us should be frightened. “Even the very elect can be deceived.”

Prayer is the only safe measure for the child of God because it guarantees we will know His voice and have discernment. Knowing the Bible without knowing God makes for a very self-righteous person who measures up in their own eyes, and hates the world for not being right. I know this is true just by reading a lot of “Christian” posts on facebook. If sin doesn’t break your heart, you are most likely hardened. If speaking about unborn babies being brutally murdered in the womb doesn’t break your heart, you are stone. I’m not talking about how well you stand on your high horse about it. I am talking about how you minister in this.

I was praying this evening and the Lord said to me, “Please pray for the women who have had abortions in this time.” And then he revealed to me the deep pain of the women who have had abortion procedures out of desperation and are now finding out about the lies they were told and the vicious circumstances surrounding the death of their unborn child. Many women have undergone abortions in desperation, not apathy. And they struggle with it. And now they are hearing stories of babies born live and killed afterward. And they are seeing the videos with baby limbs and organs spread out in a petri tray. Their hearts! Oh dear Lord, their hearts! If the church gets on a high horse and forgets the lowly, we have done nothing fruitful for the kingdom of God. Because God wants all people to come to a saving knowledge of Christ and repentance. And if we are giving them a Gospel that makes them grovel in anguish and hide in shame, we are not bringing them nearer to the foot of the cross.

I think many of us would do well to go back there, actually. Go back to the place where your soul was set free. Sit at the bleeding feet of Jesus. Listen to His agonized breathes for you. For me. For us all. His love is so deep, He endured so much and we should be telling people. Sure, talk about sin if that’s how the Spirit leads you. But otherwise, talk about Jesus. Talk about repentance. Forgiveness. Santification. Cleanliness. Holiness.

Here’s the litmus test: Put your Gospel in the mouth of Christ at the scene in John 4. Let Jesus share the things you are preaching to the woman at the well. If your Gospel changes His attitude or His heart and message toward her, you are doing something wrong. Go back to the cross.

Dear friend, if I still have your attention, let me tell you something. I was sitting her a few months back and the Holy Spirit spoke this: And Jesus said unto them, “Shut up.”  I was shocked. But I continued to be still and listen and the Spirit continued: “So many people are speaking knowledge. Head knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” Knowledge makes us feel like somebody, but it fills us with pride. Love doesn’t lord over people, it builds them up. Therefore, love is effective on a level that knowledge is not. I’m not saying water down the truth. I love the truth. I’m simply stating that truth without love is brutal. It’s rape to the heart. The people we minister to in this way are victims because they aren’t asking for our brutality and they aren’t enjoying it.

The Word of God brings conviction when properly spoken, through the Spirit. The Word without the Spirit brings condemnation. Do not forget that “it is the kindness of God that leads men to repentance.” Don’t believe me? Go walk with Jesus a while. The only people he was stern with were the religious.

“Hate the sin and love the sinner” you will say at this point. But check yourself: are you really hating the sin and loving the sinner? Or are you hating both and loving the way that pride is making you feel? Please church, let’s go back together. Let’s go back to the feet of our agonizing Lord. Look at Him. He did this for everyone that will believe! Stay there until God removes your heart of stone and gives you a heart of flesh. Because this is our time to shine! This is the time for revival! This is the time for the Gospel to spread like wildfire because it is dry out there! Please go back!

Break our hearts, Lord.

Tired of Being Picked On

Published June 30, 2013 by Dawn

I was reminiscing with a friend today and cracking up over how we’ve changed since childhood, and boy, have I changed! Believe it or not, I was a little rough around the edges …. Well, I was more than a little rough around the edges. I was a real, bonafide “hellion,” as they call ‘em. I had a desk on reserve in the ISS room because I spent more time there than in the regular classroom. And it wasn’t for comfort’s sake. Actually, I think the ISS room in which I spent most of middle school in was a health violation. It was in the basement of the school, and it was cold all year round. And when the lady bugs got really bad, the ceiling was dripping them on us. They were everywhere. It was musty and moldy and gross. There was a one-man bathroom in the room that they actually made us use! And to top it all off, we even had to eat lunch down there too. Clearly, I did not do this for fun. I spent so much time in ISS because I couldn’t stay out of trouble. Trouble followed me like a pesty little brother. And what did I do? Well, the hellion that I was, I punched it in the face!

My most memorable “crime” from middle school was exactly that: I punched some kid in the face. Fifth grade, on the bleachers before school started, and he was one of my boyfriend’s best friends. I think fifth grade is the worst grade ever. Bodies are beginning to change and kids become really awkward, and really rude to each other as they all cope with their physical changes by poking fun at the next guy’s. Well, fifth grade was horrible for me. I didn’t grow like all my friends. I was still short and shapeless, but my hair was doing something completely ridiculous! It was curling, and not in a cute, Curley-Sue sort of way. It went from stick straight to poofy and wavy. And, the hair on my face darkened. Yep, I was that girl in fifth grade who got the moustache. And that was back when it wasn’t cool to be a girl with a ‘stache. Mine was very noticeable, and therefore, very ridiculed. I put up with it for quite a while. In retrospect, I still defend the day I put an end to all the stupid comments, because it ended a couple weeks after it started. Which was lucky for me because no girl out-’stached me until high school.

Anyway, that particular morning, I had had enough, and when the jokes started up, I took a very calm look at the boy pointing and laughing, and I moved toward him, and in one quick motion, punched him right in the face. But, one hit wasn’t enough for me, so I hit him again. In the end, I got about a dozen punches in before a teacher took notice and called me down to the gym floor. I calmly got up and walked with her up the stairs to the principal’s office, fully satisfied that I had hurt him as much as his words had hurt me.

From that day on, I had a reputation as a fighter. People just did not mess with me anymore after that. The moustache comments only happened outside my earshot after that, and any kid who dared get in my face about something didn’t ever dare to actually induce me to fight. I was mouthy and sarcastic, and great with insults and everyone in middle school saw me punch a kid in the face, so why would they want to pick on me? What none of them knew was this: I was not that fighter they perceived me as. I had a mean talk, but the truth was, my arms and legs turned to jelly when I got confrontational with people. I couldn’t have hit anyone who was actually going to engage me in a fight, because I would have been too scared to hurt them. The boldness to hit that boy that day was only there because I knew he wouldn’t ever hit me back. Back in the day, boys didn’t hit girls.

There were other times, though, when I was on the verge of a fight and thanked my lucky stars later that my mouth had saved me from getting beat up. For instance, there was this one time, I was standing in front of my locker and a girl in my grade confronted me about something. My mouth intimidated her enough to make her back down. To this day, I still remember that showdown, because I remember thinking afterward how lucky I was that we had not come to blows. Standing there with adrenaline rushing through me, knowing I didn’t have what it takes to fight her. How lucky I was that she didn’t pounce on me.

This scenario makes me think of our battle with the devil, and how in truth, we don’t have what it takes to fight him. All we have is our mouth. The Bible says to resist the devil and he will flee, and that speaking the name of Jesus in the authority of the Lord sends him running. How wonderful that is! And the better we become at waging this war, and the more we defend ourselves with the name and authority of Christ, the more wary the devil becomes of messing with us. “Resist the devil and he will flee.” In the same way that other kids were afraid to mess with me because they saw me fight once, the devil will become more afraid to mess with us once we’ve established ourselves as fighters! I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being picked on.

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.”

*http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1990/BJE.htm

She paints her face because she’s REALLY ugly…

Published January 24, 2013 by Dawn

“Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she painted her eyes, arranged her hair and looked out of a window…” 2 Kings 9:30

Sometime around sixth hour today (using the standard high-school, hours-’til-I-go-home method of determining time), I had this thought that’s stuck with me from then until now: “Jezebel paints her eyes because in reality, she’s really ugly.” In my insecure days, I could totally relate to that. Needing to paint myself up to become something more than what I am because it seemed that what I was wasn’t good enough. But before you turn away, just know that I’m not even talking about women and physical appearances here. I’m going deeper and pointing out a spiritual truth. Jezebel is ugly!

Whether or not Queen Jezebel was physically attractive makes no difference to me. As a woman, I know that make-up is used to attract men, is it not? I mean, I don’t paint my face because I like it necessarily. In truth, I don’t. In fact, I dislike it so much that I hardly ever do it. When I do, it’s only because I got my eye on someone and I want him to have his eye on me too. It’s a seduction tool, and it always works. Make-up can take the plainest Jane and make her into an absolute Beauty. You can add a little dimension to your eyes with some liner and all the sudden, your everyday glance becomes enticing. Don’t get the idea that this is a discourse on make-up, it’s not. I’m painting a picture, if you will. Bear with me.

So, Queen Jezebel hears that Jehu is on his way to depose her (that’s a nice word for “coming to kill her”) and what does she do? She paints her face and fixes her hair. Why? I think it was in a last-ditch effort to portray innocence and vulnerability, or maybe just to have a pleasant, disarming aura about her. Whatever the case, it didn’t work because of the Spirit of God in Jehu and his connection to his calling that made him impenetrable to her tactics. Ouch! That’s going to hurt when I admit how I figured all this out today…

Queen Jezebel was a physical representation of the spiritual enemy named “Jezebel.” The Jezebel spirit closely resembles Queen Jezebel in the way it manifests in our lives: bitterness, hatred, rage, jealousy, anger, back-biting. Jezebel (speaking of the spiritual now, unless otherwise noted) entices us to sin in these ways by seducing us, in the same way Queen Jezebel intended to avoid death by seducing Jehu. I am in the middle of a season of spiritual renovation, in which God is working to rid me of deep roots that tend to be manipulated quite easily by the spirit of Jezebel. His Spirit has named this season “Unadulterated,” and I firmly believe that when it’s over, I will be pure. Completely Unadulterated. But like Queen Jezebel, the spirit of Jezebel does not want to die in me, which is why I found myself ensnared by a situation at my work today. By the time I realized what was happening, it was too late to back out of my involvement.

It all started when one coworker walked past me the moment I realized I had a pretty important question I needed to ask her. I was baited there. I intended to just ask her the question and move on, because I’m not really one to talk about people or even situations that I could easily have an opinion about. Actions are my thing. I try not to use my words carelessly. “Try” being the operative word here. I’m not a saint. Anyway, she answered my question and without taking a breath, segued into a conversational rant about a meeting I missed a few days ago. Still, I cared little about the content and tried to encourage her to let go of her frustration. Really, there’s no sense in lugging all that around, especially when you can’t do anything about what your complaining about. But she was undeterred and kept talking. Wanting to seem polite, I listened. And then my mind got involved. And where my mind goes, my mouth usually follows. Before I knew it, I was verbally involved in something I really should not have been. But anyway, that conversation followed me as I tried to escape and get back to work. Enter coworker number two, three and four, and as I politely tried to end the conversation, I realized feathers were ruffled and I hadn’t remained so pure in this encounter. When I finally got away, I headed back to my room and happened to be walking past a door as another woman was coming out. Her hands were full, so I opened the door for her and before I knew what hit me, I was standing listening to a conversation laced with profanity because she was unhappy with someone and it involved several of my students. My spirit had been walloped by the previous conversation and was a little bent out of shape when I came upon this woman, and by the time we were done talking, Jezebel had wrapped her delicate claws around my jugular and begun to squeeze. I needed release! Instead of finding the nearest empty room and praying, I high-tailed it to my classroom where set several other coworkers whom I knew could not be trusted to discuss things without letting Jezebel in, but having already been disarmed, I fell into their rant the moment I came in the room. Jezebel’s pretty face had enticed me and ensnared me and I was trapped in a mess I should never have been a part of! Then it hit me: Jezebel paints her face because in truth, she’s really ugly. If we could only see how ugly the spirit of Jezebel is, we would be less inclined to fall into her trap. But she is so subtle and sweet, and yes, seductive, that we are so often trapped before we realize we’ve been victimized. We’re caught! And I wonder how many of us let that spirit operate through us because we’ve never seen it without it’s “make-up.” I really believe that most of us allow this spirit to drive us because it looks good and feels good to our flesh. But wake up! That’s what make-up does! And Jezebel knows the value of looking good! It works all the time!

In the end, I realized that it takes more than a mindfulness of who Jezebel is to avoid the pitfalls. It takes true spiritual discernment. The Spirit of God inside you that calls her out. That’s the only way we will stick to our guns and resist her. Our calling has to be greater than our flesh. This is how Jehu defeated Jezebel, and this is how we defeat that spirit today.