Monthly Archives: March 2013

Praying Psalm 36:1-12

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praying through psalms

Dear Father,

Thank-you for Your endless mercy, and Your everlasting faithfulness. Thank-you for Your protection that surrounds me, and for Your lovingkindness. I place my trust in You, O Lord, and under  the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge. You are the fountain of my life. You sustain and satisfy me, and fill my life with great pleasures. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to walk in an honorable manner. May my heart be right before You. Let the words of my mouth be good and acceptable in Your sight.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Psalm 36:1-12    NKJV     “An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, When he finds out his iniquity and when he hates. The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good. He devises wickedness on his bed; He sets himself in a way that is not good; He does not abhor evil. Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O Lord, You preserve man and beast. How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You, And Your righteousness to the upright in heart. Let not the foot of pride come against me, And let not the hand of the wicked drive me away. There the workers of iniquity have fallen; They have been cast down and are not able to rise.”

Reading Psalm 35:17-28

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praying through psalmsDear Father,

I thank-you that You are not a god that is far from me. You are right beside me no matter where I am or what I’m going through. You will not allow my enemies to rejoice over me. You are my defense and You rescue me from destruction. I  praise You for You are a righteousness and just God. My life is precious in Your eyes. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to always see my life as You do.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalm 35:17-28    NKJV     “Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue me from their destructions, My precious life from the lions. I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people. Let them not rejoice over me who are wrongfully my enemies; Nor let them wink with the eye who hate me without a cause. For they do not speak peace, But they devise deceitful matters Against the quiet ones in the land. They also opened their mouth wide against me, And said, “Aha, aha! Our eyes have seen it.” This You have seen, O Lord; Do not keep silence. O Lord, do not be far from me. Stir up Yourself, and awake to my vindication, To my cause, my God and my Lord.
Vindicate me, O Lord my God, according to Your righteousness; And let them not rejoice over me.
Let them not say in their hearts, “Ah, so we would have it!” Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.” Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion Who rejoice at my hurt; Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor Who exalt themselves against me. Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness And of Your praise all the day long.”

Praying Psalm 35:1-16

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praying through psalmsPraying Psalm 35:1-16

 

Dear Father,

Thank-you that You plead my case with those who seek to harm me, and You fight against those who are against me. You are my shield and buckler. My help comes from You. I will rejoice in You, for You are my help in time of trouble. By the power of the Holy Spirit may I always remember that it is only in You that salvation is found.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalm 35:1-16   NKJV     “Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me; Fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, And stand up for my help. Also draw out the spear, And stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” Let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor Who seek after my life; Let those be turned back and brought to confusion Who plot my hurt. Let them be like chaff before the wind, And let the angel of the Lord chase them. Let their way be dark and slippery, And let the angel of the Lord pursue them.
For without cause they have hidden their net for me in a pit, Which they have dug without cause for my life. Let destruction come upon him unexpectedly, And let his net that he has hidden catch himself; Into that very destruction let him fall. And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; It shall rejoice in His salvation. All my bones shall say, “Lord, who is like You, Delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, Yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?” Fierce witnesses rise up; They ask me things that I do not know. They reward me evil for good, To the sorrow of my soul.
But as for me, when they were sick, My clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer would return to my own heart. I paced about as though he were my friend or brother; I bowed down heavily, as one who mourns for his mother. But in my adversity they rejoiced And gathered together; Attackers gathered against me, And I did not know it; They tore at me and did not cease; With ungodly mockers at feasts They gnashed at me with their teeth.”

Praying Psalm 34:11-22

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Praying Psalm 34:11-22

Dear Father,

Thank-you that Your eyes follow us no matter where we go or what we do. Thank-you that Your ears are ready and willing to listen to us, and that we can talk to You about anything. It brings great peace and comfort knowing that You are near the broken hearted, and that You save those who have a contrite spirit. No matter what our afflictions are, You have the power to deliver us out of them all. Evil will not win the victory over us and we shall not be condemned. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help us to grow in our reverence and respect to You. Keep our tongues from evil and deceit. Cause us to hate what You hate and to love what You love. May we cease to do evil and strive to do good. Let Your peace be a priority in our lives and may it surround us wherever we go.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalm 34:11-22   NKJV    “Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned. The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.”

Praying Psalm 37:12-29

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Praying Psalm 37:12-29

Dear Father,

Thank-you for every thing that You have provided me with. With You little are plenty are much. You never forsake the righteous. The inheritance I have in You is forever. In hard times I have no regrets for You satisfy my every need. Thank-you that my steps are ordered by You, O Lord. I will delight myself in Your ways. When I fall I know that I will not be completely cast down because You hold my hand. You never forsake me or withhold Your protection. Your mercy toward me is unending and Your blessings are beyond imagination. By the power of the Holy Spirit help my conduct to be upright. Help me to do good and not evil.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalm 37:12-29  NKJV     “The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth.
The Lord laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword And have bent their bow, To cast down the poor and needy, To slay those who are of upright conduct.
Their sword shall enter their own heart, And their bows shall be broken.
A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked.
For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, But the Lord upholds the righteous.
The Lord knows the days of the upright, And their inheritance shall be forever.
They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
But the wicked shall perish; And the enemies of the Lord, Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away.
The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.
For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, But those cursed by Him shall be cut off.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.
I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.
He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed.
Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell forevermore.
For the Lord loves justice, And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever”

Keep The Door Closed

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Keep The Door Closed

food for thought - Copy

We have only to look around at the world in which we live to know that Jesus will be returning soon. Satan knows it too. Since he knows that his time is short, he, along with the other fallen angels (demons), are working very hard. They have invaded our homes, schools, government, churches, television / movies, music, literature. Their mission is to kill, steal, and destroy. Satan hates God, therefore he hates you because God loves you.

Today there is a lot of discussion concerning demon oppression, demon possession, the occult, and the supernatural.

 

Possession -ownership: the act or state of owning or holding somethingsomething owned: something owned or held

state of being controlled: the condition of being controlled by or appearing to be controlled by a supposed supernatural force.

Oppression-dominate harshly: to subject a person or a people to a harsh or cruel form of domination

inflict stress on: to be a source of worry, stress, or trouble to somebody.

Domination -controlling power: control, power, or authority over others or another.

     Demon oppression involves a demon attacking a person spiritually. Demons will try to cause a person to worry or fear. The Bible is very clear about where worry and fear come from – they do not come from God.

2 Timothy 1:7  NKJV    

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”

     Sometimes, a demon might encourage someone into sinful behavior. However, more often than not, we are drawn into sinful behavior because of our own desires.

James 1:13-14   NKJV    

“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

     Demon possession involves a demon having direct and complete control over a person’s  thoughts and actions. There are several accounts of Jesus rebuking demons (evil spirits) that were possessing people in the Bible.

Matthew 17:14-18  NKJV   

  “And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.”

 

Luke 8:27-33  NKJV   

  “And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness. Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss. Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.”

     Some important truths to remember are: Satan and the other fallen angels (demons) do not have power over a Christian, Jesus has already triumphed over Satan and the other fallen angels (demons), Christians are God’s possession, the Holy Spirit will not live with Satan, and keep the door to Satan closed.

I. Satan and the other fallen angels (demons) do not have power over a Christian.

Satan works in the sons of disobedience, not in Christians, and will continue to do so until he is bound by God. Satan is a deceiver, a destroyer, and the father of lies. He will lie to us and try lead us into sin.

John 8:42-44   NKJV    

“Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”

     If we allow Satan, he will deceive us and lead us to destruction.

Psalm 17:4  NKJV    

“Concerning the works of men, By the word of Your lips, I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer.”

     We have a free will, and the choice is ours as to if we will listen to Satan’s lies or resist them. The Holy Spirit has been given to us and He is able to keep us from falling into the enemy’s lies and schemes, however we must allow Him (the Holy Spirit) total access into our lives.

 

II. Jesus has already triumphed over Satan and the other fallen angels (demons).

The  fate of Satan (devil) and the other fallen angels (demons) is already sealed. However, they will be allowed to continue to roam free until the appointed time when they will be bound by God.

Colossians 2:15  NKJV    

“Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

    All demons are subject to Jesus – they must obey Him.

Luke 10:17-20  NKJV    

“ Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

III. Christians are God’s possession.

Possession of something can be described as something owned, held or controlled. A  Christian is owned by God. Christians are the sole property of God. God does not share ownership or have joint custody. God tells us that He is a jealous God. One definition of jealous is possessively watchful. What God possess, He will not share.

Exodus 20:4  NKJV   

  “…For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…”

     A Christian’s future is held by God. The steps of a righteous man are ordered by God. God sustains and protects His children. Not only does God save us, but He has the power to keep us also.

Psalms 37:23  NKJV   

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.”

     A Christian is controlled by God. God has power and authority over Christians. Satan does not have  the right or power to enforce rules or give orders to a believer.

 

IV. One house, one owner -the Holy Spirit will not live with Satan.

When a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in them.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20  NKJV   

  “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s”

1 Corinthians 3:16  NKJV    

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

Romans 8:9-11  NKJV   

  “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

     Demons cannot dwell in the same house with the Holy Spirit. Throughout the Bible were are given examples of demons fleeing when they encounter Jesus. They could not stay where He was.

Luke 4:33-35  NKJV  

   “Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.”

     Light and dark do not mix. Light always rules over darkness. The Holy Spirit is light and Satan is the dark. They will not live or abide in the same house.

II Corinthians 6:14-16  NKJV  

   “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.”

 

V. Keep the door to Satan closed – Don’t open the door.

A Christian must not open the door for Satan to have access into their life. Certain things must be avoided. Don’t give Satan an opportunity into your life. He will use every opportunity he can to gain a foothold in your life.

Ephesians 4:27  NKJV   

“nor give place to the devil” 

1 Peter 5:8-9  NKJV  

   “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

     A foothold mean a firm base for progress. It is a secure starting position from which further advances can be made. In other words, if you allow Satan a starting position in your life, you make it easier for him to make further advances in your life.

A few of the ways, but not all of them, a Christian can keep the door to Satan closed are:

 

1. You can keep the door closed to Satan by submitting everything to God.

James 4:7-8  NKJV   

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”

A Christian must accept God’s authority and will.

A Christian must agree with God and His commands.

A Christian must accept and defer to God’s knowledge and judgment.

 

2. You can keep the door closed to Satan by continually being filled with the Spirit, and walking in the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:18  NKJV  

“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit

     We must be filled with the Holy Spirit at all times. The Holy Spirit, living in the believer, has more power than the evil powers that are in the world.

1 John 4:1-4  NKJV   

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

     We must walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16-18  NKJV  

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”

     Part of walking in the Spirit is measuring things by God’s Word. When faced with choices we must base our decision and position on what God’s Word says. Not on what is popular or easy. You must settle it in your mind that you will do right, even if you are the only one.

Matthew 7:13-14  NKJV  

  “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the  gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

     Another part of walking in the Spirit is conducting our lives in a godly manner.

Philippians 1:27  NKJV   

  “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel”

Ephesians 4:1-3  NKJV  

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”

3. You can keep the door closed to Satan by being obedient to God’s commands.

A Christian must know God’s Word and do what it says. We can’t just know what God’s Word says, we must act upon what we know. We must obey God out of our love for Him. When you truly love God, you will want to please Him. True obedience comes from love, not from fear or from fear of punishment.

James 1:22  NKJV    

  “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

     Jesus even tells us that if we love Him, we will obey His commandments.

John 14:15  NKJV    

“If you love Me, keep my commandments”

4. You can keep the door closed to Satan by dying to your old way of life.

Repent means to recognize the wrong in something that you have done and be sorry about it. It also means to feel regret about a sin or past action, and change your ways or habits. It does not mean being sorry that you were caught in a sin, instead you are sorry that you sinned against a holy God. Your actions will line up with your feelings. If you are truly sorry, you will change. You will bear fruits worthy of repentance.

Matthew 3:8 NKJV   

  “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance

     If you are dead to the sin that Satan or other fallen angels (demons) are trying to tempt you with, you won’t take the bait.

Romans 8:12-14  NKJV    

“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

     Works of the flesh are positive proof ( evidence) that a person is not living under the influence and the power of the Holy Spirit, but is living under the influence, control and direction of Satan and is being energized (powered) by him. They are living bondage – they are not living in the freedom that Jesus Christ has given us.

       Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV    

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

We must die daily (deny) our selfish, sinful desires. Each day, we must refuse to give in to our soulish desires.

I Corinthians 15:31  NKJV   

“I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily” 

     Our flesh and our spirit are at war with each other. If we allow our flesh free reign it will direct our choices. Your flesh will cause you to do things that you really don’t want to do.

Galatians 5:16-17  NKJV   

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

I Peter 2:11-12  NKJV  

  “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

Romans 7:15-20  NKJV   

“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”

     Remember, what you feed the most will rule you. If you want your spirit to have rule over you and not your flesh, you must feed your spirit more than you feed your flesh!

5. You can keep the door closed to Satan by not allowing the world to influence you.

Although the entire world is under the influence (sway) of Satan, the evil one, it does not mean that you have no choice in being persuaded by him.

1 John 5:19  NKJV   

“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one“.

     If a person falls in love with this world or the things that this world has to offer, such as riches and fame, they will fall under the influence of the world and Satan. The world will have the power to effect them.

    1 John 2:15-17  NKJV 

  “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

     As a person falls more and more in love with God, the world has less and less to offer them.

 

6. You can keep the door closed to Satan by abiding in Christ.

Abide means to dwell, to live or reside in a place. As a believer we must abide in Christ, and not neglect normal Christian growth and maturity.

1 John 4:15  NKJV  

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”

     When a person abides in Christ, He is their source of life and strength. They have the power to resist Satan through Jesus’ power and strength. As a Christian abides in Christ they begin to take on His nature – they begin to walk as He walked. They like the things that He liked, they hate the things that He hated, they have the same burdens, desires, love and compassion that He had.

1 John 2:6  NKJV    

“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”

7. You can keep the door closed to Satan by putting on the armor of God.

Soldiers use armor to protect themselves in battle. God equips us with protection in our battle against Satan and evil influences. He has given us the armor, but it’s up to us to put it on.

Ephesians 6:10-18  NKJV   

  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”

     If we put on the armor that God has provided us with we will be able to withstand Satan’s attacks and temptations. The armor of God will enable us to not to fall for Satan’s schemes or give in to sin.

* The Belt of Truth – A Christian must be truthful. A dishonest person cannot stand against Satan, the father of lies. A Christian must live a life of integrity – a life of truthfulness and honesty.

Proverbs 28:6  NKJV  

“Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.” 

Ephesians 4:25  NKJV 

  “Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.”

* The Breastplate of Righteousness- A Christian must live in a righteous manner. Our behavior should be morally upright. The type life that we live is important because it will either open the door to Satan or help keep it closed.

When a person makes Jesus their Lord and Savior they will have new standards. Their morals will change. They will begin to take on God’s morals (standards) and reject the morals of the world.

II Corinthians 5:17  NKJV   

  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

* Feet Shod With the Preparation of the Gospel- The peace of the gospel is the true peace with God that comes through being reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:1  NKJV    

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

     The peace that comes from reconciliation with God removes fear, one of Satan’s greatest weapons.

Ephesians 2:14-18  NKJV    

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.”

     Just as God desires for us have peace with Him, He desires for us to be at peace with ourselves and with others. Peace with ourselves comes when we see ourselves as God sees us. In God’s eyes, Christians are loved, forgiven, and His children.

John 1:12  NKJV   

  “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” 

     We can have peace with others by seeing them as God sees them, and by forgiving them.

Ephesians 4:32  NKJV   

  “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

     Part of having our feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel is helping to restore people into a right relationship with Jesus Christ. God has given believers the ministry of reconciliation.

II Corinthians 5:18-19  NKJV  

   “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

* The Shield of Faith- The shield of faith is our protection from all of Satan’s attack.

Satan will use everything he can to try to kill you, including  fiery darts and flaming arrows. We must use our shield of faith in order to protect ourselves. The Bible describes faith as the substance of things hoped for but the evidence not seen.

Hebrews 11:1  NKJV  

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 

     In other words, we cannot tangible see or feel the results of what we believe, or of what we are praying about, however we know without a shadow of doubt that it is true, or that it will come to pass.

We hold our shield of faith by trusting what we know about God and His promises. Even when our eyes and our feelings tell us something different.

Romans 10:17  NKJV    

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

     As we soak in God’s Word it will build our faith. Then when Satan tries to attack us with fiery darts and flaming arrows they will not penetrate our shield of faith. Our faith is what will help us overcome.

1 John 1:4  NKJV    

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith”

     Another way that we use our shield of faith is by joining with other Christians. When we join with other Christians they can help build our faith and encourage us.

Hebrews 10:23-25  NKJV    

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

* The Helmet of Salvation- The helmet of salvation is the protection for our mind. Left to themselves, our minds will lead us astray. That’s why it is so important for us to allow God to be in control. When God is in control we can be confident that we will not be overcome by the enemy.

I Thessalonians 5:8  NKJV   

  “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.”

     The first step to allowing God to be in control of your mind is salvation. With the salvation that we receive through Jesus Christ, we also receive His grace and His strength to help protect us from evil attacks.

II Corinthians 12:9  NKJV  

   “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

* The Sword of the Spirit- The sword of the Spirit is the only offensive weapon in the armor that God has given us. When Satan tries to lie to us or to twist the truth, we must know what God’s Word says about that particular thing. The right word at the right time can accomplish mighty things.

Proverbs 15:23  NKJV   

  “…And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!”

     After Jesus was baptized the Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. During the forty days, Satan came to Jesus three times. Each time that Jesus was tempted by Satan, He only responded using the Word.

Matthew 4:3-4  NKJV  

   “Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

Matthew 4:5-7  NKJV   

  “Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” 

Matthew 4:8-10  NKJV   

  “Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

     When we are tempted, we too, must only respond with God’s Word.

 

8. You can keep the door closed to Satan by casting all your cares on God.  Don’t allow Satan or the other fallen angels (demons) to gain access into your life through worry or fear.

1 Peter 5:6-7   NKJV    

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

Psalm 55:22  NKJV   

  “Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” 

     God has instructed us in His Word, not to worry. We are told that worrying does not help.

Matthew 6:25-34  NKJV   

  “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”

     Instead of worrying about something, a Christian needs to immediately give the problem or situation to the Lord. Not only can He work things out, He sympathizes with us. In Him we will always find the exact help we need, mixed with mercy and grace.

Hebrews 4:15-16  NKJV   

  “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

9. You can keep the door closed to Satan by resisting sin. Believers must resist sin, not play with it.

James 4:7-8  NKJV    

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”

     Resist means to oppose and stand firm against somebody or something, to refuse to give in to something,  to refuse to accept or comply with something, and to refrain from something in spite of being tempted. Concerning Satan’s temptations a Christian must stand firm and refuse to give in. They must stand firm on what God’s Word says about sin. Sin is lawlessness and it will separate a person from God.

I John 3:4-6  NKJV    

Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.”

     Today, many people that would not commit a particular sin themselves seem to have no problem watching others commit the sin in a movie, show or even singing about it in a song. Would this not be considered playing with the sin? Would this not be sharing in their sin?

I Timothy 5:22  NKJV   

  “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.”

     Filtering our activities, and what we watch, listen to, and read is one way of resisting sin. A filter is a device that acts as a barrier which allows some things through while at the same time blocking others. God has given us a wonderful filter, the Bible. Some good questions to ask yourself are: “Would Jesus have participated in this?”,  “Would Jesus watch this?”, “Would Jesus listen to this song?”, and “Does this movie condone evil or sinful behavior?” If there is any question in your mind if something is a sin or not, don’t do it.

While Jesus went many places where sinners were and had fellowship with them, the Bible never gives any examples of where Jesus participated in their sin.

A person cannot truly say that they are resisting evil when they begin to regard things that are considered immoral or wrong  (according to God’s standards) in a tolerant way, without criticizing them or feeling strongly about them.

    Remember, sin will cost you more than you were willing to pay, it will take you further than you wanted to go, and it will keep you longer than you wanted to stay.

 

10. You can keep the door closed to Satan by renewing and guarding your mind.

One sure way to guard yourself against Satan and his temptations is to renew your mind. Renew can be described as replacing something. We must replace our carnal mind with the mind of Christ. Renewing our mind is not something that automatically happens to us. We renew our minds by meditating on God’s truth and by letting the Holy Spirit guide and shape our thoughts and behaviors.

It is a choice that we make. We will either work with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to transform our minds, or we will not.

Ephesians 4:17-24  NKJV    

“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

     The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. As we spend time in His presence, He will bring to light to every lie that the enemy has tried to place in your mind. There are times that a person’s mind has become so insensitive to moral darkness, that only the Holy Spirit can show them the truth.

Everyone’s mind is being molded – either by the world’s values or by God’s values. A believer mind must be transformed by renewing it. True spiritual transformation starts in the mind and heart.

If a person’s mind is devoted to (centered around) the world and its concerns, it will produce a life that is tossed about by the culture.

Ephesians 4:14-16  NKJV    

“that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ”

     If a person’s mind is devoted to God’s truth it will keep them from being tossed around by every wind of doctrine. A mind that has been renewed will be able to resist the temptations of Satan and the culture.

Romans 12:1-2  NKJV  

   “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

     Part of guarding our minds is by being careful of what we allow into them.

Psalm 101:3  NKJV   

  “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes…”

     The following verses in a children’s song have a lot of truth to them…

“O be careful little eyes what you see”

“O be careful little ears what you hear”

“O be careful little feet where you go”

11.You can keep the door closed to Satan by being careful with who you hang around.

Friends are an important part of your life and they are a gift from God. Each person needs to choose good friends because our friends have an effect on us. Friends that share the same faith in God make the best friends. When our friends live for God it is easier for us to live for Him too.

Friends are valuable to you. God wants you to have friends. We need friends to encourage us and to lift us up when we are down.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10  NKJV    

“Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.”

     God also wants you to remember that friends have a powerful influence on your life. The kinds of friends you choose will affect your values, attitudes, relationships with people, and the kind of person you become. The greatest influence on our lives is peer pressure.

Proverbs 13:20  NKJV    

“He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.”

     Our friends make impressions on us. In some ways we become like our friends.

I Corinthians 15:33-34  NKJV    

“Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame”

12. You can keep the door closed to Satan by being careful not to dabble in the occult.

Demonic influence and oppression are realities in the world in which we live. When a person entertains themselves with things that glorify evil and darkness, they are helping the enemy gain access into lives.

One such evil that is rapidly growing today is an interest in occultism. When we say the word sorcery people usually think about magic or witchcraft. Sorcery is a type of false worship. Some dictionaries definition it as magic performed with the aid of evil spirits; witchcraft. Other dictionaries define sorcery as trying to use the power of Satan and his demons to affect people’s lives. However, there is still another definition of sorcery that many in today’s world try to avoid or overlook. And that is drug use.

The Bible makes God’s feeling very clear concerning occultism. It was an abomination to Him during Biblical times, and it still is to Him today.

Deuteronomy 18:9-14  NKJV   

  “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.”

     A person that claims to be a Christian has no business dabbling with occultism, in any form. All forms and types of occultism must be avoided. A few examples are: astrology, worshipping the sun or moon or stars, spells, enchantments, charms, sorcery, wizardry, witchcraft, divination, fortune telling, mediums, spiritism, familiar spirits, séances, channeling, clairvoyance, and spirit-guides.

All people who practice occultism will be judged by God, and will be cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8  NKJV    

  “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murders, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liers shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Revelation 22:12-15  NKJV  

   “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie”

     When choosing music, what do the words of the song glorify, who does the singer glorify-either with their words or with their life? Does the song contain inappropriate words or themes?

 

When choosing a movie to watch, does the movie contain any occultism (magic, witchcraft, or supernatural phenomena)? Does the movie make light of God and His values? Does the movie contain inappropriate words or themes?

 

When choosing clothing that has words or symbols displayed on them, are they immoral? Do the words contain occultism – do they have an occult meaning? Are the words inappropriate?

 

When choosing a book to read, does the book contain any occultism (magic, witchcraft, or supernatural phenomena)? Does the book make light of God and His values? Does the book contain inappropriate words or themes?

 

While some people would never think about dabbling with occultism, they can still open that door by participating in holidays, celebrations, and activities that have pagan roots and meanings. As a nation, we have opened that door into our children’s lives by filling their minds with lies about Santa Clause, the Easter bunny, trick-a-treat, leprechauns, cupids, fairies, wizards, mythology, and the list goes on and on. Can we really expect our children to grow up and become godly people, with a heart after God, when we have placed so many stumbling blocks in front of them? As a person, and as a nation, we will reap what we sow. Are we teaching our children to love God or to love the things of this world?

I John 2:15-17  NKJV    

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

12. You can keep the door closed to Satan by being watchful in prayer.

One way to draw closer to God is through prayer. Prayer is simply talking and listening to God. A Christian needs to be in constant and continual communication with God.

Ephesians 6:18  NKJV   

  “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” 

I Thessalonians 5:18  NKJV   

  “pray without ceasing” 

Romans 12:12  NKJV   

  “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer

       Being watchful in prayer will help us to avoid falling into Satan’s temptations.

Matthew 26:41  NKJV  

   “Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”