Are You OK?

It’s an Alabama winter day. The temperature has risen dangerously high, and everyone has battened down the hatches in anticipation of the severe weather that often results when cold fronts crash into warm fronts. I am tucked inside, thinking about you, those that read my writings, and wondering if you are ok.

This season is a tough one for many of us. It’s the time of year when the enemy brings up what is missing in our lives. I know that he keeps that “one thing we most want and seem to never get” in our faces all the time, but he pushes extra hard during the holidays. It’s one of his most effective discouragement tools. How do I know this? Because I haven’t gotten what I want the most in the whole world. I want my son free from mental retardation. Such a thing is not too hard for God.

The enemy knows what I want, and he knows that I have been waiting and believing for a long time. I don’t think that I am special in this. I think most of us long for an answer to that one prayer that is the most important of all. And I think we are all subject to despair when the enemy taunts us with reminders of how long we have waited for that answer.

Now, I can’t get your prayers answered. But, I can help with putting the devil back in his place. And that helps with the despair.

First, realize this. The enemy comes in on what we believe. If we believe that we have to have something in order to be ok, then guess what? All the enemy has to do to make us miserable is remind us, and keep reminding us, that we don’t have that one thing. Instant misery.

When we believe that we MUST have something – whatever that something may be – in order to be ok, hasn’t that one thing become our god?

Paul said this in Philippians 4:11. “For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in.”

Paul suffered. He was rejected by his people, beaten until he was crippled; he was imprisoned, betrayed and abandoned by his friends. And, in the midst of all of that suffering, he somehow learned to be content. He went on to say that the secret lay in being strengthened by Jesus.

Well then. God is no respecter of persons. If He strengthened Paul, He will strengthen us, too. If, in that strengthening, Paul learned to be content, so can we.

I pray for us all right now. Lord, strengthen us so that we can learn to be content!

Here is how I responded to the enemy’s taunts this time around: Lord, You have given me everything I need pertaining to life and godliness, so into Your hands, Father, I commit my spirit. (2 Peter 1:3; Luke 23:46).

No. The devil didn’t go away immediately. There was a struggle with my emotions. But, this time around, when the enemy’s cold front crashed into my warm front, I did not allow him to whip up his usual tornado of weeping and begging until I ended up, soggy and beaten, in the pit of despair. Because Jay’s healing is not my god. Not anymore. I don’t have to have that one thing to be ok. I have everything I need in my beautiful Lord.

Are you ok?

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:2

Blessings upon your new year,
Susan
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What’s in it for the Devil or Don’t Be Dinner!

Written April 2017

Have you ever asked what the devil gets out of torturing people? What is the payoff for that kind of maniacal behavior? If you are like me then you have been offered a number of explanations. I’ve been told that the devil is out for revenge against God; that he is out to hurt God by hurting us; that he is angry because we replaced him as God’s chief worshipper; that he is jealous of us because God loves us so much and, one of my personal favorites, that the devil is just insane. I kind of agree with that last one. BUT I’m not convinced that any of these suggestions is what truly motivates the devil to keep up his relentless attack against humanity.

Now, some of you know me personally, and some of you don’t. For those who don’t, I am a prayer minister who has also served as pastor, youth pastor, children’s pastor, and teacher. I’m Elijah House trained and I have studied under Dr. Tom Hawkins (Restoration in Christ Ministries), Dr. Jim Wilder (Shepherd’s House), Dr. Karl Lehman (Immanuel Approach), Dr. Charles Kraft (Hearts Set Free), Chris and Jen Coursey (Thrive Today), Dr. Mark Virkler (Communion with God Ministries) as well as others. I have been praying with people for many years. In that effort, I have seen patterns consistently emerge that expose what I believe to be the real motive behind demonic attacks.

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Someone (I’m sorry to say I don’t know who it is) described how lions capture and devour their prey: “A pride of lions will stalk and attack animals that are larger than they are — including wildebeest and water buffalo weighing thousands of pounds. When lions attack, they do so through multiple attacks from every side. Eventually, one lion gets a grip on the throat of the water buffalo and kills it by strangulation. It is a slow and painful death. The water buffalo goes down, and the lions begin eating it before it is dead.”

Doesn’t this description accurately picture what it feels like when we are under spiritual attack? Our peace and rest, confidence and contentment is hunted down from every direction and gnawed off our bones while we yet live! Our spiritual enemy doesn’t eat flesh like we chow down on a steak or like the lions consume a water buffalo. So, what exactly is our enemy consuming?

Look at John 10:10. Jesus describes our enemy as a thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy. What does the devil steal? He can’t wear our clothes, drive our cars, spend our wealth. What do we have that he wants – or perhaps – needs?

If you look at Genesis, chapter 3, which chronicles the fall of man, you will see that the devil sought out Eve and directed her to consider the forbidden tree as a source of food. As you know, she ate and so did her husband. Now look at verse 14: (Please read the verses; don’t skip over!)

The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat …

Look at Genesis 2:7:

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

And Genesis 3:18-19:

By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

And one more, Psalm 103:14, then we will talk.

For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.

When Adam and Eve fell, it became necessary for them to feed themselves through their own efforts. This is a natural consequence of living outside of God’s design. God is not being mean; it is the result of sin. When Satan fell, it became necessary for him to sustain his own life. What sustains the life of Satan and his horde? Food. Just as food sustains our life. But what kind of food does a fallen spiritual being require?

Let’s look back at Genesis 3. Satan hid himself inside a serpent, slithered into the garden, and suggested to Eve that she needed something else to eat besides the fruit of the gabillion other trees in the garden. Inherent in his temptation was the lie that she needed another source of sustenance other than what God had provided. She didn’t. God had fully provided for her. The being who lacked a food source was Satan.

Satan was desperately seeking a new source of energy, something to sustain him since he was cast down and separated from the life of God. What better option than the newly created image of God? How we must have overflowed with life when we were first created. But Satan is unable to fill himself from the sweet emotional energy that flows from love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He cannot feed from the harmony that results when we are aligned with God’s design.

But there is another kind of energy we are capable of generating. Nervous, panicky energy that flows from painful emotions such as confusion, hatred, rage, shame, terror, jealousy and despair. Let’s take a break from the biblical for a moment and look at the science behind what I am saying.

According to researchers in the field of neurocardiology, our hearts emit a measurable electromagnetic field that is affected by the emotions we are experiencing. This electromagnetic field is energy that can be measured. When we are upset, our hearts emit dissonant or incoherent energy. Researchers are finding that a coherent or harmonious energy signal can be achieved through gratitude, appreciation and love. In other words, the emotions we experience, our state of inner being, is reflected by the energy our physical hearts produce.

Shortly after I received Christ, I had this experience that highlights what I am explaining.

My mother and I attended the wedding and reception of a high school friend of mine. We had a great time, chatting with the other guests and visiting the champagne fountain. This was my first champagne fountain and I did not know of the power therein. I visited it a few times too many, becoming pretty tipsy without realizing it. We came home, went to bed and I woke up to a vision. It was just like watching a television show. Two men entered the scene; one was very fat, the other extremely thin. Both of them were wearing tuxedos and carrying chairs. They set the chairs opposite each other across from a small table and began to talk. I knew that they had come to feast. Here is some of what they said: “You certainly made a complete fool out of yourself tonight. How embarrassing. You are an embarrassment. I can’t believe you said that! How could you act like that? You’re a disgusting, stupid girl, getting drunk like that. You call yourself a Christian? You’re a laughing stock.”

I writhed in shame while I watched and listened. This kind of self-shaming was not new to me, but I had never before seen what was happening in the spirit realm. I had always thought it was just me hating myself. Then, from off-stage, another voice calmly spoke, saying, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” My tormentors stopped talking, looked around, and then resumed their accusations. Again, the voice spoke, calmly and firmly, quoting 1 John 4:4 over and over, “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” The two evil beings grew obviously more uncomfortable and agitated until they stood, snatched up their chairs and left! The tormenting thoughts instantly stopped.

These beings had come to feast upon the energy generated by my painful emotions. I am convinced that the enemy of humanity keeps our world in a state of angry, fearful chaos because humans in emotional turmoil supply him and his horde with the energy they need to sustain themselves. Once we are removed as an energy source, he will be reduced to the following: Those who see you will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying, ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?’ Isaiah 14:16-17

While we wait for the return of our Lord, let us learn how to address our wrong heart beliefs that have wounded us so deeply and produce so much painful emotional energy. Let’s us learn how to NOT be dinner.

I invite you to visit thepoolministries.org where you will find tested and effective tools and strategies for inner healing and deliverance. Stay tuned for Part Two.

Blessings and Smiles,
Susan