I have written previously about our struggle against spiritual forces led by Satan and about how we are daily fighting “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).   God shields us from awareness or sight of these forces and the battles.  He allows us only perception to see the “flesh and blood” people in front of us who are sometimes being manipulated by the evil forces.  God shields these things from our sight out of love because He does not want to unnecessarily frighten, demoralize, or confuse us.  There is really no point anyway in dwelling on what the enemy is doing since he has been defeated by Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself on the cross, by God’s daily projection of His Infinite Power into His spiritual children for countless spiritual victories, and by the totality of God's work on humankind throughout the world over the span of human history.  Moreover, Satan’s ultimate defeat has already been predicted and foretold to us by God in the Bible.

The important thing for us, and the proper focus of our attention and energy, is to be doing God’s work of loving service (Matthew 25:31-46, Isaiah 58, James 1:27,  and Matthew 22:37-40).  We should always keep our eyes on the Lord and not on the waves (Matthew 14:22-33) or the storm around us or even the obstacles in front of us.  God only asks obedience, humility, submission to His Will and Way, and daily fellowship with Him as well as time spent in His Word.  And, above all, God expects us to lovingly serve all those around us, in our lives, or those we encounter by God’s design as they cross our path (such people whom God brings into our lives or across our paths in variably-timed, sometimes very short, encounters).  Thankfully, we need not do any of this on our own, nor does He expect us to do anything in our own power.  In fact, He tells us that we have no capability to do His work on our own (John 15:4-6).  He is faithful, loving, good, and true, and He wants the best for each of us, so He will help us, guide us, mentor us, and empower us for every step of the way, if we submit to Him, trust Him, and yield our control, doing things His way.

We need to be aware of Satan’s work and his involvement in various situations which we may encounter so that we can be on guard.  We need to be able to recognize his work in certain situations so that we may circumvent his schemes – not through our power, of course, but through the spiritual power that God gives us.  But our main focus is not to be on the things of Satan.  We should not be dwelling in negativity, feeling sorry for ourselves, giving in to negative emotions, nor accepting the enemy’s presentation of reality.  He often works to deceive us by making us think of the most negative possible outcomes to our problems, making us worry about the most negative possible scenarios for whatever situations we may be facing, and making us to interpret the actions of others in the most negative light.  By deceiving us in this way, he tries to keep us unhappy and unproductive.  But we have a choice.  We can choose to accept the lies of the enemy, in effect looking at the waves like Peter, taking our eyes off of the Lord.  Or we can choose to reject his lies and, instead, fill our hearts and minds with things that are worthy, good, honorable, true, etc.  When we reject Satan's lies and negativity and choose the positive, transcendent thoughts of God, we, thereby, keep our hearts, spirits, thoughts, and emotions uplifted, giving us the will, moral fortitude, and emotional energy to do the daily work of God and to stand strong and confident in His service.

Philippians 4:8:  “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

 


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07/31/2016 3:10pm

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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