"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, November 11, 2011

FIERY DARTS

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."



It happened recently during a random moment; a conversation with another individual that the enemy was not invited to! The deceiver strove to derail my thoughts to turn negative and sour. He took pleasure in discouraging me to the point of self-doubt. Ever been there? No sooner does a negative comment come, the liar makes you like a dog chasing fireflies of suspicion, criticism and disparagement; irritating to say the least.

Not long ago someone made a comment to me that I took offense to. It hurt and I felt the statement was unwarranted. It took me several days to reflect and delineate the swirling thoughts in my head. But the initial sting felt like an open wound oozing my raw emotions. You'll never guess who delighted to pour salt on this open laceration. You guessed it!

The impostor's fiery darts penetrated something like this: Hester, who are you trying to fool? You really think your little devotions minister to others? Ha! Most of your friends don't even read them. Oh, and you really blow it as a mother. You try to be patient, but you know how often you mess up. One more thing, do you really think God is concerned with your struggles? He's got greater concerns to deal with than your hurt.

Second Corinthians teaches the importance of taking every thought captive. To take a thought captive means to capture it and make sure it is obedient to Christ. If a thought lines up with God's Word we should receive it humbly. When a notion is a lie from the enemy we must discard it and consciously choose not to dwell on his trickery.

Satan makes it appear easier to believe the deception and follow the downward spiral leading to further decay. When we allow ourselves to park our mind in the place of negativity and self-doubt, our rival wins. If we don't take our thoughts captive they will make us captive to them; we might start believing the lies. The devil's attempts to defeat us, to give in to our flesh of insecurity can cause us to spin like a hamster's wheel.

Forcing our human nature to surrender to God's Spirit and recognize Truth takes purposeful intention. It is impossible, however, to recognize a lie if we do not know the truth!! Our opponents objective is to destroy our mind, cause doubt, discouragement, confusion, intimidation, etc. We defeat this con-artist with the Truth. There is a promise from the Word for every lie Satan would try to use to obliterate us.

Extinguishing fiery darts may look something like this:

  • Lie: "I am worthless. My life has little value or purpose."
  • Truth: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine." Isaiah 61:4.
  • Lie: "I feel like such a loser. I will always struggle with food, money, weight, materialism, insecurity, jealousy etc."
  • Truth: "No, in all things I am more than a conqueror through Him who loved me and greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world." Romans 8:37 & 1 John 4:4.
  • Lie: "I'm not good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough or liked enough etc. "
  • Truth: "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I was knit together in my mother's womb. I am God's masterpiece. I am bought with the blood of Christ and I am a child of the Most High God." Psalm 139, Ephesians 2:10, & Ephesians 1:7.
  • Lie: "I just cannot move beyond the sin in my past; it continues to haunt me."
  • Truth: "I (God), even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more. In Him I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Isaiah 43:25 & Colossians 1:14.

Our reinforcement comes from the matchless Word of God not the daily horoscope, not Dr. Phil, Oprah or Google, but the inspired, inerrant Word of God. When filtered through Scripture, our response to enemy attacks can become an arsenal full of weapons of truth.

This incident reminded me once again that ministry is tough. People say insensitive things. While I may want people to like me, I remind myself, "I'm not living for them, I'm living for Him!" The adversary wanted to throw me down, but I wielded my weapon of Truth and demolished his pathetic attempt.

Extinguishing fiery darts . . . one at a time. Are you ready for battle?




Heart Work:
Ask for the Lord's strength to help you evaluate your thoughts as they come. Do they line up with God, His Word and His character? Rely on the Holy Spirit's power to enable you to control the input you allow into your mind.

Defeating Satan's lies is possible by refuting them with God's Truth. What Scripture can you memorize to defeat his attempts? Check a concordance or go to BibleGateway.com and type in a key word to show you related verses.


Heart Exam:
What thoughts are you presently struggling with? What strongholds in your mind need tearing down?

Are you taking control of your thoughts or are they taking control of you? What thoughts do you need to take captive or eliminate from your life?


Heart Changing Word:
Proverbs 23:7 (NIV) "For as a man thinks within himself, so he is . . ."

John 8:32 "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

2 Corinthians 11:3 "But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ."

Ephesians 6:16 "Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."

Philippians 4:8 "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."



Copyright 2011 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.

18 comments:

  1. Wow. This so spoke to my heart. I have been learning a lot lately on how to shield my self and also be prepared for Satan attacks, which have seemed to increase lately. Its so refreshing to know I am not alone in this battle. Not that I wish it upon you:) or anyone else.
    Thank you for putting the scripture out there. I will be putting those on my prayer cards. Miss ya and love ya.

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  2. Oh wow, am I ever right there with you on this! I read this stat: for every negative thing we hear, it takes 10 positive ones to soothe us? Wow! God's Word is full of them, but here are a couple: this friend reads your devos. This friend appreciates that you share your journey & struggles.

    Love you, sweet friend!

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  3. So true! So relevant!

    And guess what... your job is just to produce the fruit. The Gardener will take care of bringing in those who need it's nourishment. :)

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  4. Shannon,Thank you for sharing with me. Yes, the enemy seems to try to constantly attack; It seems to be when I think I'm having a pretty good day and then, BAM!, he strikes. eerrggh!! This why being on guard is necessary. :) I miss you too and love you, Hester

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  5. Susan, your comment blessed me this morning. Thank you for being an encouraging friend to me (and for reading these devo's :) ). We're in this together sister. :) Love you too, Hester

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  6. Jess, thank you for your encouragement and sweet reminder that obedience is my part and to leave the rest to God. Thank you for sharing this morning. :) Blessings to you, Hester

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  7. Jennie said via FB:

    "Thank you Hester for your word today. Seems crazy that the enemy can weasel in like that creating so much conflict within us. So grateful for a God who is ALWAYS victorious!"

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  8. Ellen said through an email:

    "Thanks Hester. We've all been there, even travel down that road far too often. Don't you let Satan doubt you. We appreciate your pure heart that comes through your devotions and yes, we read them and reflect, pray for you and commit ourselves to walk closer to God because of them."

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  9. Hi Hester! Could you post this message over and over? Everyone needs to be reminded or told how to put up our Shield and use our Sword! We need to intentionally train our children, especially our daughters to use this weaponry so it flows out of their mouths with ease. As a young girl, I wish my Christian influences would have trained me. I would've spent more time in victory than in defeat! God Bless you my friend!

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  10. Lisa, Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. You are an intentional mother and I respect how you reinforce God's Word into your children's lives. The truth sweet sister will always set us free!! Blessings to you as well, Love, Hester :)

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  11. Linda said through an email:

    Dearest Hester……………

    I read your Hester’s Heart offerings! Please, never feel that your ministry is a failure.

    You are so wise to forgive and go directly to the source of all truth!

    I pray for you, Hester, and I love you, my dear sister!

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  12. Kristy said in an email:

    Dear Hester,

    Slam dunk! A timely word, that blog of yours! PERFECT truth and topic in the battle to defeat lies with the truth. Oh how there's power in God's Word! Victory for the oppressed! Hope for the future!

    This topic just hits ya where ya live...at least it does to me. It's this constant discernment of what am I believing? Precious message, thank you!

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  13. Megan said in an email:

    Beautiful. And timely....in ways that you may never know in this lifetime.

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  14. In our daily life we see and meet these dart people...I wish more than anything I could change their heart and they could see for just one moment what they are truly missing in God's Love for them!
    Keep writing your words..I love to read them!
    Holly

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  15. Holly, thank you so much for your encouragement. I will continue to write. Bless you! Hester,

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  16. Sarah said in an email:

    Oh Hester, once again I am waking up to sheer inspiration! This blog has really spoken to my heart and I am so grateful for the simple way God has used you to point out the areas in my life where I am not letting the truth set me free of satan’s lies.

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  17. I LOVE this one! This one was like a fiery dart right into MY heart! I am in a study group reading "The Search for Significance" by Robert McGee and your little devotion here is like the Cliff's Notes version of that book! I am going to pass this one on to our group leader. Keep up the divine work! X's

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  18. Stacey, I have heard of that book but never actually read it. I'll have to pick that one up. Thank you so much for your encouraging words and God bless you as you defeat the lies of the enemy. Love, Hester :)

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