Saturday, January 2, 2021

Satan's Power of Suggestion

One of the devil's most successful devices he employs to steal, kill and to destroy, is the power of suggestion. He throws a measure of truth (an honest possibility), into a deceptive idea to allure God's people away from the voice of truth. He will constantly suggest that God is not with you, that you have failed too many times and give you several biblical examples to prove it; he will suggest that God doesn't love you and that you are one of those hopeless unfortunate souls predestined for wrath; he will suggest that God doesn't hear your prayers and that your efforts are in vain: he will use your doubts and failures to prove this; he will suggest that the path to life is too difficult for you because God is withholding his power because there is something inside you that God finds displeasing. He will seek to weary you with this. You will cry out to God again and again only to receive no answer from God regarding the suggestion that something inside you is displeasing to Him. The devil will then suggest that God is not answering you because, although you are unaware of anything displeasing to God in your life that you haven't confessed or turned from, that it is still inside you and that is the reason why God isn't answering back. Being sincere, you will continue to seek the Lord and possibly find no answer. 

Satan desires to work his way into our imaginations, that we may entertain his suggestions and play them out in our minds. If we give him place in our minds, he will use our imaginations as his platform to build his strongholds, using our thoughts and feelings created by His suggestions as the building material. The more his suggestions are entertained, the stronger the imaginations; the stronger the imaginations, the stronger the feelings, such as: despair, fear, discouragement, cold love, weary in well doing and bitterness. The stronger the feelings, the stronger the desires, such as: giving up, seeking comfort that isn't found in God, and busying self with things other than God. 

Nevertheless, if we are humble and trust God with all of our hearts, even Satan's power against us can be used for good. We can take these suggestions, examine ourselves, and with God's help become purified if needed. We can learn to rely upon God more fully. Our closeness to God can be increased. What Satan intended to harm us, God can use to build us up.

If upon examining yourself, you realize that you have been holding on to some sin, justifying sin, or that you were unwilling to accept some hard truth: confess your guilt, determine to draw near to God, trust completely in Him, and heartily embrace all the truth He leads you into. God doesn't have a problem with the depth of our sin, but it is with the shallowness of our repentance. He expects more than a confession from our lips: He expects our lives. He gave His life for ours. "But there is forgiveness with You that You may be feared" (Psalm 130:4). 

Satan's power of suggestion is an attack against our faith. Our faith, if it is going to endure such an assault, such a persistent villain, it must be rooted in the word of God. Below are some Scriptures we must hold onto tightly:

"Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). We must trust Him completely to finish the faith He Authored within us. Regardless of how doubtful, compromising and fearful we have been. We must repent of our unbelief and go forward, extending our feeble hand to the Hand that was nailed to the cross for our unbelief.

"Being confident of this very thing, that He which had begun a good work in you will complete it", "For it is God which works in you both to desire and to perform His good pleasure" (Philippians 1:6, 2:13). It was not the result of vain confidence, but of knowing God that Paul was convinced God would complete the good work He began in these early believers. God will also work to complete the good work He began in you too. 

"And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20). Throughout the New Testament you will discover faults and failures in early disciples and early churches: Among the disciples, there were strifes, competitions, violence, betrayal, doubts, faithlessness, fearfulness, double mindedness and other things. Among the churches, there were divisions, competitions, false ideas, disorder, leaven, tolerating seducers, pride, and sin to the extent that Jesus even described Himself as standing outside the church and knocking on the door (Revelation 3:20). Whatever your situation is, you can be confident that Jesus isn't willing to give up on you as long as you have breath. Your sin may be so great that you find Him knocking on your door. If you hear Him knocking, be not afraid to answer. Make haste and open the door of your heart to Him. For He said, "If any man hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come into him, and will dine with him and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20). Embrace His loving rebukes, correction and discipline. Humble yourself in His sight and He will lift you up. He said that the thief, the devil, comes to steal, kill and to destroy but that He came that we may have abundant life. 

Believe the promises of God and the truth He revealed to His messengers. Stop entertaining the devil's suggestions. "Give no place to the devil" (Ephesians 4). 

Remember, "Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Cast down Satan's suggestions before they become strongholds. At times, you will be bombarded with countless flaming darts from the evil one, filling your mind with endless suggestions to create doubts and fears. You may get discouraged because the battle against these suggestions is so intense. Nevertheless, we must "fight the good fight of faith". We must take up the shield of faith to quench all of these fiery darts. Other times, you may feel that God has abandoned you; that you made it as far as you have only to be abandoned. This imagination is created because you look back on your life and remember the power of God at work within you, how you were growing spiritually, how God was using you, how you were overcoming trials and temptations and how you had a vibrant faith and how easily you believed in the impossible: but now you find yourself seemingly complacent and overwhelmed with discouraging thoughts. For this reason, the apostle wrote, "Wherefore take upon yourself the whole armor of God, that you may be able to to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Ephesians 6:13). You may think to yourself that it seems you have been standing in the same place for a long time, and have not advanced much, if at all. Again, give no place to the devil's suggestions. Refuse to entertain his ideas that God has abandoned you in your sorest conflict. "Gird up the loins of your mind", "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance" (Ephesians 6:18); "Pray always, and do not lose heart" (Luke 18:1). 

The battle is real. Don't give up. Don't be ignorant of Satan's device of suggestion. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit: which is, "The word of God" (Ephesians 6:16), and overcome that evil one by the BLOOD OF THE LAMB, THE WORD OF YOUR TESTIMONY (what God has done for you), AND BY NOT LOVING YOUR LIFE EVEN UNTO DEATH!

Grace and peace be with you.

#despair #hope #suicide #Spiritual #Warfare #ThePowerOfSuggestion

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“Reason dictates that persons who are truly noble and who love wisdom will honor and love only what is true. They will refuse to follow traditional viewpoints if those viewpoints are worthless...Instead, a person who genuinely loves truth must choose to do and speak what is true, even if he is threatened with death...I have not come to flatter you by this written petition, nor to impress you by my words. I have come to simply beg that you do not pass judgment until you have made an accurate and thorough investigation. Your investigation must be free of prejudice, hearsay, and any desire to please the superstitious crowds. As for us, we are convinced that you can inflict no lasting evil on us. We can only do it to ourselves by proving to be wicked people. You can kill us—but you cannot harm us.” From Justin Martyr's first apology 150 A.D. Martyred A.D. 160