I don't think any of us, as believers, walk into deception intentionally. So why is it that we fall into his deception when we have no intention of doing so?
I think it has to do with the way he 'pokes' at us. You know, that way kids poke at each other in the back seat of the car, trying to get a reaction out of their sibling. If they do it enough, the sibling yells and the 'poker' has succeeded in his/her goal. As adults, it's comparable to that 'hot button' we all have. Think about that person in your life who knows the things that get you upset and they 'poke' at that hot button until they get the desired response.
This is how I see the enemy 'poking' at me. He likes to take memories of my past mistakes; memories of my fears and insecurities; or memories of my shame I carried before salvation, and then 'poke' me with them. He'll poke and poke and poke, hoping I will give in to the memory of past failures, insecurities, and shame and not step out to be all that God calls me to be.
Ultimately, it all boils down to some kind of fear. Fear of:
- Financial loss
- The future
- Being rejected
- Being Left out
- Being Unloved
- Being Ignored
2 Timothy 1:7 says:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
AS A RESULT OF THESE FEARS …WHAT ARE THINGS YOU HAVE SEEN AS EVIDENCE OF THOSE STRONGHOLDS IN LIVES?
- The first one that comes to mind for me is disobedience (doing things our own way…not in God’s will)
- How about denying or running from a calling on a life (too afraid to step out and live in faith)
- And then there is lack of success…when we are more afraid of our weaknesses than the trust we have in God’s strength, we cannot step up and succeed at anything.
- I also see pleasing people instead of God (fear of being rejected…so do things to be popular)
- Another result of fear is seeing people who get involved in unhealthy relationships just to feel loved.
- Ultimately fear leads to a lack of spiritual growth (staying put leads to a stagnant life)
o For God HAS given us a spirit of power
o For God HAS given us a spirit of love
o For God HAS given us a spirit of sound mind.
These gifts are from the Holy Spirit.
The enemy wants us to believe that the spirit of fear is stronger than the gifts given to us and the power granted to us through the Holy Spirit. (see more about this awesome power linked here)
But we know the truth, and when we step out in the spirit of power, love and sound mind we see:
- Obedience…doing what God says even when it doesn’t make sense; When you see believers doing things that you would be so afraid to do…stepping out of their comfort zone…this is a Christian who has learned to deny the deceptive lies of the enemy and no longer live in fear…but in full power of the Holy Spirit.
- Success…however it is defined by God in your life, but that success is evident by the fruit of your life. You trust in Him more than you are afraid of your own weaknesses…so you step out and step up to all that God has called you to be.
- Fruitful life…when we walk in the life called us to…it is evidenced by the fruits.
- Spiritual growth…walking in faith takes us to places that we can further experience the truths of God and grow in our knowledge of them.
So what do you think?