Scriptures keep us looking to the Lord – to help us day by day. We also look so that His help will help us help HIM grow the Kingdom (and do everything else we have going on too). Time management is best directed by the One who is timeless.
I wrote this but left it unfinished in March of 2015 – it is now good to revisit the piece and our eternal desire towards peace in a world that will never know where to look for it until it realizes (one person at a time) that Peace is only thru Jesus and that it won’t be world peace until He takes care of the worldliness of the devilish things dragging us down. I also have been inspired by those who see the devil in plain sight – and still decide to go fight – and I am reminded of these brave people having read an article about inner city ministries to combat the scourge of drug devastation of people. Tthe first step (in everything) is to give them HOPE. HOPE is best known when we know the Lord who will ease our pain and get us thru. Here is the link for the one I just read about recently: https://www.therockphilly.org/
Let us pray for those who put on the armor of God and go work in the world.
Here is the revised writing, edited 6 years later with a touch of more wisdom (which is nothing but a drop in the bucket compared to the lifetime of wisdom we hope to grow into).
I love Joni Mitchell and her clever lyrics. I love her music and am intrigued by her, not just because I have long hair like her. It is no wonder what attracted me to the song: “A Case of You” – “Oh I am a lonely painter. I live in a box of paints. I’m frightened by the devil. And I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid.” I wondered (and wonder) if there are folks not afraid because they just go along with the antics – or as I rethink this lyric – if they are not afraid because they let Christ go first and have HIM battle for them. So many people are gifted with strength and so many are beautifully led by God’s Holy Spirit – they are an inspiration to me. I want to “tune in” to those “that ain’t afraid” – people who don’t fear the devil because they are wearing the armor of GOD.
This song is a way for me to start an awkward yet awakened Christian’s discussion (that we all need to have) about the devil and us. For years I hesitated to even say the name – I am not sure I ever really understood the devil in the biblical way before now. How could I? If I didn’t read the whole story of Jesus and the prophecies and I also didn’t understand the future end of the devil in the Revelation John wrote down for end times for earth, how then could I understand accomplishment and the whole need for Jesus – just Jesus – to heal the broken – to rule over the unruly – to rid the Kingdom of rotten robbers. I thought of the devil as in the eye of the beholder, meaning there is a vast difference in how people relate to him. We just don’t know to watch out for His schemes. We are uneducated in the POWER of Jesus to help us rise against. Jesus Himself said a MAN can stand against the devil’s schemes with the help of the Lord.
At the dollar store’s preparation for Valentine’s Day, I saw too many cartoonized Lucifer sun catchers compared to the cuter cupids… the devil pieces were moving so fast – twice the speed of the cupids – that was so sad to me – and yet I realized these plastic devil pieces were just plastic – only being powered by the sun – so they would not even be allowed to take the credit for their own movements… Yet maybe it is because no one bought the lucifers and only bought the cupids? Yes, we have to not look at them as cute lucifers and let them get a foothold in our lives – we have to turn away from the devil schemes – we have to look for the Source of strength and good growth from cultivating JESUS. There is torment in our lives between FOLLOWING GOD and the hidden and not so hidden temptations of Lucifer. I never really believed in the devil much – but now I do – you can’t pick and choose what you believe out of the Bible – you have to accept the devil exists if you accept Jesus… I always felt that if you can spend more time praising the multitudes of blessings from God, then you have less time to worry about and get distracted from the devil trying to tell you that you don’t have enough of things. Yes the devil can creep up on you, so let us start by knowing how to stand strong against his ways. Let us Look to Jesus for His Way.
His Yield from our YIELDING
Mark 4 recounts Jesus’ parable talk of little birds stealing seeds – that might be the devil image of my choosing – that the devil is simply an opportunist – just taking what he can get when you aren’t paying attention – taking and stealing until it is gone. Taking and stealing joy too – instilling confusion – enriching bitterness due to self-absorbed thoughts – diverting attention away from the nourishing water to grow the good seeds of faith…. Perhaps hell on earth is the lack of pruning away the thorns from inside of us. – Let us ask God to sharpen HIS shears…
MOST IMPORTANTLY LET US REMEMBER THAT: GOD THROWS US MORE SEEDS TO TRY AGAIN IN OUR SOUL’S SOIL. To fight the devil in our own life journey, I feel we need to solidly STOMP, put a foot down, and SAY NO to those little opportunistic birds – see that they scatter and fly away and then we pick up the seeds from the Sower and plant them, hold them, share them, and maybe save a few for another day… Actually – we can look at the yield of good seeds grown in us and give them back by giving them forward – grow and cultivate His Fruit and give to new soul soils.
I was dry soil – God did NOT give up on me – He sent more seeds – He gave more water – He opened my eyes to His Love. He now helps my garden grow to yield more seeds for the Kingdom. His Yield from our yielding. May we all focus on His growth in us.
Concerning Spiritual Gifts
Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:1-3
Spiritual battle. The Armor of God.
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. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:10-20.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15. Satan’s deceptive spiritual nature. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
John 4:22-26. God is Spirit. “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
Mark 4:1-20 The Parable of the Sower. Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ [Isaiah 6:9]” Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”