WHEN SATAN DOUBLES DOWN
By Lydia Goodman
October 3, 2015
“...I can't stop this feelin', deep inside of me Girl, you just don't realize, what you do to me When ya hold me in your arms, so tight You let me know, everything's all right I, I'm hooked on a feelin' I'm high on believin', that you're in love with me...” -B.J. Thomas
Sweet, huh? Love, acceptance, self-worth....all wrapped up in cotton candy. So many are attempting to live a Christian life grounded in a spiritual feeling not unlike the lyrics. We want to feel the supernatural and marvel at the work of God in OUR lives, alas; not so much in the lives of others. We crave spiritual highs and dread the dryness of the valley. Faith may fluctuate daily depending on circumstances or how you “feel”. You may have heard a message from a mega-money minister that something has to be wrong with you if you are not being blessed by God because God really REALLY wants to bless you. So, you repent and hold on to what little faith you have because you really REALLY want to be blessed. This in turn, leads to a false guilt that there is no way that God can really REALLY love you, because, you know, HE would really REALLY bless you. And, if you were really REALLY being honest, how would your faith be characterized? Is your faith expecting God to serve you or is your faith serving God?
You’re just not feeling it.
Too many Christians are allowing the lies of Satan to control their lives based on their own warped thought patterns and emotions. What greater accomplishment could there be for him but to render the Christian life ineffectual-by any means necessary? We have accepted the deception of Satan as he has doubled down on Christians all over the world. Whether it be through attacks on the family or the coarsening of society (think Planned Parenthood) or the brutal atrocities perpetuated against people of faith, Satan has made himself known to be alive and well. We have stood by idly as some churches have lost their effectiveness in discipling believers by substituting an entertainment-driven doctrine that teaches self-satisfaction and self-fulfillment (self-centeredness) as being more important than the self-sacrifice required to bring others to Christ through the work of His Holy Spirit. Are you feeling it?
Then, there’s politics. Plenty of feelings there driving the public discourse. Anger has become the beating pulse of Christianity in the political domain. Quick to jump on the bandwagon, some Christians are making a name for themselves by attacking anyone who dares not agree with their opinions of what living a life of faith should look like. I, for one, am sick to death of self-serving politicians and political pundits pulling out the religion card only to garner votes and attention in an attempt to sway the conservative evangelical vote. Name-calling and character-smearing of those we disagree with is par for the course...and it will only get worse. Whatever the outcome, God is in control. We either believe it or we don’t.
Lest we forget, Satan is the greatest liar and deceiver of all time. Our battle is not against flesh and blood. He and his minions are committed to personally rendering Christians unable to fulfill their God-given purpose--which is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. How does Satan work? He is a master at using fear tactics. Who enjoys being called a “right wing extremist” or “ fundamentalist Bible-thumper” or “politically incorrect”? Who does not fear the evil persecution of believers we are witnessing daily at the hands of ISIS? And, if that doesn’t bother you, then he will hit you right at home-where it hurts. Just a guess, but I bet Satan’s favorite quote used against anyone who boldly speaks out against sinful attitudes or behaviors is, “Judge not lest ye be judged...you hypocrite”. You can bet your bottom dollar that I’m judging.
Because I sin just like everyone else. I have to start each morning (and sometimes many times a day), repenting and receiving forgiveness through God’s grace. False guilt, feelings of unworthiness, anxiety and worry over the future are not from God but emotional wrecking balls thrown by Satan in an attempt to paralyze the Christian witness. Any so-called Christian, behind or in front of a church or bully pulpit, who twists our God-given emotions to gain profit or garner votes by manipulating our fears, needs to be judged.
Those who believe that ‘the end justifies the means’ when it involves stoking the embers of anger, uncertainty, and pride are in dire need of judgement.
Through his strategy of doubt, deceit, and debauchery, how many voices have been silenced by Satan? Yes, Satan has doubled down in an attempt to destroy the psyche and effectiveness of God’s people. But remember, his strategies won’t work against the true believer for “...greater is He that is in us than he who is in the world”. Holding fast to that truth, emotions such as love, peace, joy, etc.; will flourish in the life of the believer, no matter the circumstances. We must believe that God is working out His purposes, no matter how horrible things appear throughout the world or how we personally feel. Are we called upon to have a faith contingent upon our faulty emotions and thoughts? NO. We have faith because Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer, first loved us and we know nothing can separate us from that love.
But, we do have a choice to make. Will our faith be based on “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so...” or “Jesus loves me this I know, for my feelings tell me so...”? Know what you believe and why you believe it...and double down yourself.
© 2015 Lydia Goodman - All Rights Reserve
As a writer and commentator, Lydia Goodman is passionate about speaking out against progressive policies that threaten to erode our personal rights, freedoms, and traditions. Lydia has also written numerous articles on world human rights issues, in an effort to focus attention on the atrocities perpetuated against people of faith.