Be that man.

Getting ready for a garage sale, I was  cleaning out some old items from my closet and I came across some papers that had been stuffed in my old bible cover. Most of them were old messages that I had given at one time or another. A couple of them were from funerals I had presided over; one from my aunt’s and one from my dad. As I went through the folded up papers, I read a note that I had kept tucked in my bible. It said, “Remember His awe, and be that man.”

I had written this note after a Sunday morning spent encouraging and praying with some brothers in Christ. I had a moment with the Lord that morning, an awakening of sorts. I had spent most of my adult life looking for a spiritual mentor, a father figure to lean upon and learn from as I learned to walk with God on my own. My dad had been somewhat absent for most of my adolescence and teen years. He didn’t have a walk with the Lord, so I couldn’t really go to him for any type of biblical counsel on fatherhood, being a husband, etc.  I looked to Pastors, counselors to lead me, to help me define my boundaries, spiritually,  so to speak. It’s not a bad thing to have mentors or to seek biblical guidance for life’s issues. In fact God tells us that there is “wisdom in a multitude of counselors.”

I think my tendency was to seek validation from those mentors, validation as a man, as a child of God. I was afraid to take steps on my own. I needed the opinions of other men, and at times, what I really wanted was for them to tell me what to do. I was pretty weak in my identity as a man of God, and as  I sat there that Sunday morning listening to my brothers, I heard the Lord clearly tell me, “Bob, stop looking for that man, and be that man.” I was stunned. What do you mean be that man, how do I do that?” I questioned! I had a hard time just making simple decisions, and now You’re charging me to suddenly “be that man”? So I wrote down what He said, “Be that man.”

It wasn’t long after that one of my brothers at church asked me to be a part of the leadership team for the men’s group. We had about 100+ men showing up on a Sunday morning worshiping , learning and encouraging each other in the Lord. It was an honor to speak life into this group of guys who were showing up for a cup of coffee, a doughnut and some encouragement. Now, I was given the opportunity to help lead them. Holy smokes!

man

What I learned in that little moment of personal revelation is that God thinks more of us than we often think of ourselves. He believes in us more than we believe in us. We see our own problems, He sees potential. We think the situation is critical, He says, “I’m building your character.” He call us to “do” beyond what we think we can do, and he does that for a couple of reasons. First, the task is often times much bigger than us so, we are forced to n to listen to Him. We need to be close to Him, talking to Him so we can navigate with Him through our circumstances and situations. Second, the task is often bigger than us, bigger than our own talents, skills or capabilities. They are divinely designed, so that any success or fruit that comes from it is obviously attributed to His working in and through us. He gets the glory.

I’m finding that I’m at a new crossroads in my heart and in my walk with God. I’m teetering on 55 years here on earth, reflecting and looking ahead.  I feel as though I’ve been floundering a bit. (Even my last blog was over eight months ago!) I want to finish strong, this race that is set before me, and I don’t think it was a coincidence that I found that paper with those words, “Be that man” written upon it. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that today marks the day 31 years ago that my wife an I gave our hearts to Christ in our living room in Tempe, Az. He’s awakening me, again. He’s calling me to move, He’s reminding me to be that man. How about you?

Remembering Dad.

FullSizeRender  Nearly a single day doesn’t go by without thinking of my dad. Each morning, as part of my routine, I put on this bracelet. It was the only spontaneous gift I ever remember my dad ever giving to me. One day back in the late 70’s, I showed up at this car dealership to meet him for lunch. Dad was sporting his usual business suit attire. His 6’2″  frame always looked good in a suit, regardless if it was all black, if he had some flashy shirt/tie combo or if he decided to wear his fire engine red slacks that day, some how he always pulled it off. Anyway, I noticed his bracelet dangling off his wrist and I told him, “That is a rad bracelet dad.” He said, ” you like that son?”, and he took it off and put it on my wrist. I was pretty stoked. I misplaced it for many years and when I found it, I started wearing it everyday. It keeps me connected to him.

Dad was a hard worker. He was driven to be successful. He had something to prove to his own father, I believe. In fact, I think most men want to make their dads proud; proud in their work, with their families as husbands and fathers.  For my sister, brother and myself, I’d say we had a pretty normal upbringing as a white-collar family. Dad managed a Sav-On Drug store and mom was “stay at home” taking care of us kids and managing the family. We found our recreation and escape at the Colorado river with the boats, dune buggies, dirt bikes and all. I didn’t realize until later in life how much my dad needed those weekend river trips to download and to escape the turmoil that was going on inside of him.

I think it was somewhere in 74′ my mom sat me down on the couch and told me that they were going to be separating. Like all the other “river-rat” families that we hung out with, whose marriages fell like dominoes and their families broke up, ours would now follow. Dad would be leaving us. Twelve years old and I cried like a baby. Before I knew it, he was out of the house and living in a small apartment. The kitchen didn’t even have a stove. He had a single burner hot plate. I remember him joking about it, but I know that on the inside, it was killing him that he had put us all in this situation. Dad had an addiction that destroyed his family. And though you would never know it, the pornography had taken it’s toll on his marriage, and cost him his family.

Dad didn’t handle the divorce well. Who does really; eighteen years of marriage down the toilet because of a sexual addition. He took some Valium one night an did a little “bodywork” on his ’69 Cadillac with a sledgehammer. Then he came back and begged my mom to take him back. She declined. The pattern had been established. It was over for them both, and us kids. I was sad and angry. This wasn’t supposed to happen to our family. We laughed together, ate dinners together and played together on the weekends. Even a brief stint in the Mormon church couldn’t keep us together. Dad seemed to spiral after that. He remarried a “river-rat” lady whom he thought would bring some satisfaction to his addiction. Their relationship seemed to be all sexual. (Her string bikinis could not contain her assets.) Theirs became a very toxic relationship. Sex became her weapon and she wielded it against him often. After twenty plus years of a dysfunctional marriage, dad couldn’t go home to her anymore. His addiction had blinded him, gripped him, and was now it was preparing to destroy him.

Flash forward to December ’98. Our family had just spent Christmas with dad and his wife. He didn’t seem to be himself. Dad could fill room with his personality and his laugh. He loved his kids. He loved his grandkids, but that Christmas he was very somber. I didn’t know it at the time, but dad was severely depressed. He was not doing well in the car business. The young up and coming salesman were beating up the sixty-two year old veteran of the automobile industry and he was tired, tired of the fight to make a buck, tired of his broken second marriage and exhausted from his addiciton.

I drove up the driveway on January 3rd, 1999 and something kinda settled on me as I got out of the car. Looking back, I believe it was the Lord preparing me for what I was about to hear. I walked in the door of my house and my wife was waiting for me, but not with the usual smile and a kiss. I could hear my twelve year old son crying in the back bedroom. Michelle told me to sit down. She just got off the phone with my stepmom; dad had died yesterday. I dropped my head and began to cry. I asked her after a moment, “How did it happen?” “He took his own life.” My knees gave out and I dropped to the floor and cried so hard I could not contain myself. I was angry and sad at the same time. I could here the rest of my kids crying, scared of seeing daddy like this. My mind flashed back to that morning in ’74 when mom told me dad was leaving us, and now he had left us again.

Theres so much more to the story that this blog won’t allow for, and a lot has happened in the last seventeen years since dad’s death. But I will tell you this, I forgive my dad for leaving us, both times. Because of my trust in Christ, because of my hope in God’s redemptive work though the cross of Christ I am able to keep living. I’m able to keep the pursuit of being a godly husband, of being a father to my kids and to keep pointing them back to Christ. I’m able to process my sadness when I miss him so deeply. His mistakes are a lesson to me on what not to do, and how not to live. I thank God for my dad. There are so many life events that he has missed out upon; watching all his kids become God fearing adults, his grandkids growing up and learning to chase after the heart of God, and missing the joy of his great grands.

It is my hope for you fathers reading this that your Father’s day was blessed. But more importantly, I hope that you have found your purpose, your healing and your salvation in Christ. There is a great worship album that I have been soaking upon, “here as in Heaven by elevation Worship. Here’s  one of the life-giving songs for you to soak upon: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rYQ5yXCc_CA

I can tell you that whatever good you may see in me, any success that I may have in my family, is only because I have had to spend many a moment over the last 30 plus years at the altar of Jesus. In Him, I have found healing to my broken heart. In Him, I have found the strength to take on a new day when my heart is just not in it. In Him I have found courage to face my fears: fears of failing as a husband, a father,  a man after His heart, that He won’t forgive me of my repeated sins. My dads errors, his failings have pushed me closer to the cross.  I fail daily. In my heart and my mind I fall short of Him and His will for me…but I also swim in the ocean of His grace and forgiveness.

The word of God is filled with a history of broken men who have been used to accomplish His purpose, and His purpose continues today. Are you men, part of His purpose, or are you hamstrung by some sin that the enemy has convinced you to live with? My God tells us to throw it aside and run! “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews‬ ‭12.

I love my dad. I hope and pray that somehow, he found Jesus before he took his last breath in that lonely hotel room. I trust my sovereign Father in heaven to make that call. For you and me, who are still breathing, we need to keep running. Run my brothers. Run to Jesus. Run to your victory. Run to your healing. Run to your Savior and settle for nothing less, than all of Him. Peace friends.

 

A New Genderation.

truth

Today, if you being a man, identify more as a woman, or visa versa, you can now use any restroom that’s available to you. If you really desire to live to the fullness of your new found identity, you can have a procedure done known as gender reassignment surgery. We’ve all watched Chastity become Chaz and Bruce become Caitlyn, all the while they are embraced with open arms by the surrounding culture.  They are tossed a badge of “bravery” and labeled a  “hero.”  Target Corporation has now taken a public stand while embracing the transgender community and their use of any bathroom of their choice. In fact, even after a million plus petition signing/boycott campaign, Target came out with a second statement basically saying that they will “continue to stand for equality of all their customers.” And now Barry Soetoro (POTUS Obama changed his name when he converted to Islam) has decide to make law again and force all public schools to allow transgender kids to select any bathroom/locker room they chose while at school. The real question is how do you as and I, as God fearing people, respond to this push against all that is holy?

First, we must look at truth. Truth is the dividing line. Not my truth, not your truth, or what today’s culture deems to be true, but the only One who has authority to speak truth because He is truth, God. Truth says that God created mankind. He created male and female, not male, female and figure- it-out-as-you-go. Truth says that God is not the author of confusion. Confusion is a tool of satan uses to move you away from God. Truth never changes, it is the same yesterday, today and forever. Little boys growing up liking the color pink doesn’t mean they have a gender identity issue. Little girls who want to play army men and have cut their hair short doesn’t mean that they were born with the wrong anatomy. (I would encourage you to read a fellow bloggers page here regarding a male identifying girl who didn’t transition) Growing up in today’s world is hard enough without having your own parents or some other adult speaking into your ear that, “maybe your just not like other children.” Truth says that homosexuality is sin. Period. Those who practice it, are in danger of being separated from their creator. “…or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Cor. 6.

Second, in this instance we have to ask the question, is homosexuality different than other sins? On one hand, it’s not. Sin is sin. It’s definitely highlighted by God in the passage above and several others. In fact God wiped out a lot of people because of their progressive behavior years ago in a town called Sodom & Gomorra. On the other hand, homosexuality has been catapulted into the forefront of our culture, and it garners attention all over the world, though less than 4% of the U.S. population practice the lifestyle. So whats the big deal anyway? Why can’t we just get over all this gender bending, LGBT, IGYLO, GATE, GRIN, GLISA “stealing the rainbow” crap? Because God isn’t ok with it. Jonathan Parnell wrote in his article, Why homosexuality is different than other sins,homosexuality is celebrated by our larger society with pioneering excitement. It’s seen as a good thing, as the new hallmark of progress.” He goes on to say, ” We are against any sin that restrains people from everlasting joy in God, and homosexual practice just gets all the press because, at this cultural moment, it’s the main sin that is so freshly endorsed in our context by the powers that be.” 

The push for gender identification is a giant illusion and it’s a tool being used by the enemy to do several things: to degrade marriage being between one man and one woman being the standard, to get the church arguing against each other and to push God further and further away from any kind of influence in our modern world. Many Christians just throw up their hands and say, “What will be will be. God will take care of it.” That’s partially true. He will take care of it. But if you’re a follower of Christ, then He has gifted you…gifted you for His purpose, to be an influence in your culture and to bring Hm glory. By not standing up and speaking truth in love over our sinful culture, then you’re just laying down and giving the enemy more ground. In your quest for being accepted and “non judgmental”, you’ve become irrelevant. So what if someones offended! When has offending someone become a criminal act anyway? I can’t remember a more desperate time that the church needs to be the church. With POTUS’s new mandate for gender bending in the public schools, he’s just declared war on your kids and your home. Its time to speak truth. Tell them “Look, you’re loved, but you’re wrong.”

Some people are born with a bent toward homosexuality, some are bent toward alcohol abuse, some have a bent toward lying, some are born deformed or with special needs of some kind. Fill in your blank. It’s not because God is playing some kind of joke on those people and their families. If God created you, and you’re given breath to live, what ever your situation, circumstance or bent is, He desires to shine through you. It’s His desire to use the frailty and brokenness in mankind, and to empower them to achieve their best in Him, to live above the expectation and limitations of your circumstance. He will reveal Himself to you, empowered you to NOT GIVE INTO YOUR WEAKNESS, BUT TO OVERCOME IT! That is the point! That is the story, and yet that is what’s being perverted into a progressive shift of acceptance of modern-day sinful choices. In no way am I saying that the battle isn’t real for so many. Our family has been directly effected by many of those situations and others. Some have succumbed to them to the point of taking their own lives; some have overcome them while giving glory to God. If God has allowed it, it’s only to show the world that He is good, and with Him, sin, sinful choices and brokenness can be overcome.

Third, we have to remember that we’re all sinners. we’re all battling something in this broken world. But we’re also loved, while in the midst of our sin. He gave up His life to redeem you and your sinfulness, to give you a future and hope…to be an overcomer. That’s the message and the church better start speaking it and living that message out loud. Just because medical advancements or society says we can do something, doesn’t mean we should. “All things may be lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful…and I will not be dominated by anything.” (1 Cor. 6:12)  God will be glorified, and He’s called you, follower of Christ to show them the truth. Yes, they are loved, but they are also wrong, and there is hope. Peace friends.

 

Has He really risen?

  Seriously, you have to ask the question. But not in the way that you think. I’m not suggesting some heretical view that Jesus didn’t actually rise from the dead. On the contrary. He did, and they’ve been digging in the dirt for years trying to find a body to claim that it belongs to Jesus. That’s the great news, that they never will. 
No, this question is personal and it’s directed to you: Has Jesus risen, that is, within your own heart? There are life changing consequences no matter which way you answer. It’s the question everyone must answer at some time in their life. Yes, everyone. Simply avoiding it doesn’t make it go away, nor does it make it any less important. In fact, the longer its avoided, often the more difficult it becomes to respond in the affirmative. Time is of the essence like never before.

There are lots of reasons as to why it’s avoided. We can be very creative with coming up with excuses. Relax. You’re not gonna stump Him. He’s heard ’em all. You may have been hurt. That hurt has calloused your heart. You blame God for it. That’s ok. He can make your heart whole. You may think it’s foolishness to believe some ancient story. That’s ok. He can illuminate your ignorance. You may be afraid of the unknown. At least your life as you know it is predictable. That’s ok. He can restore your hope. Maybe your just stubborn. That’s ok too. He’s very good with exposing pride and washing it with His grace.

So, take a deep breath. No really. Take a couple of slow, deep breaths. Now listen: Nowhere, nor in anyone else will you find real, deep and lasting love. Nowhere, nor in anyone else will you find a greater understanding of life and it’s purpose, and nowhere nor in anyone else with you find freedom; freedom from yourself, from the expectations of others and real freedom from anything and everything that robs you from your sleep.

Jesus. He’s not a curse word. He is your only real hope for today and for your every tomorrow. There is no other name under heaven by which you can, and must be saved. Yes, even you. Jesus. He’s your lover and He’s your friend, and yet He’s the King of kings. You can know Him intimately, and yet never completely. Jesus. His love and the freedom He offers for your soul, is absolutely free; yet it cost Him his life. Jesus. He’s right here, right now, and He beckons your answer. Peace friends. 

Losing Daylight…

red sky

What a circus. The 2016 presidential campaign will probably go down as one of the ugliest campaigns in U.S. history. As you look at the candidates, you get to choose from the following: an over-the-edge, self-admitted communist, a far-left-leaning socialist criminal, a billionaire bully, and a couple of well-polished and well-financed mainstream politicians. No wonder the American people are pissed off!

It’s obvious that Trump is moving large crowds of people to turnout at the caucuses and to show up at his rallies. He’s hit a nerve with “The People” and they are rallying behind him. Let me just say, that I don’t like how he presents himself. I don’t like how he talks to people. I don’t think he will make a great president. On the other hand, I don’t think he would do any worse that Barry Sotero, aka Obummer.

Trump has exposed the corruption of the political process by simply being Trump. By being himself, he displays for the American People what it looks like when a candidate isn’t being bought-off by other millionaires and lobbyists. Its just too bad that he’s so mean in the process, and may I say, a bit ignorant. Ignorance can be overcome once your in the Whitehouse because once your in, you can then surround yourself with a lot smarter people than your self. Even though it’s the bullying side of him that has helped him make his millions, thats the scary part of his personality that most likely will stick around.

This week Mitt Romney has come out as an effort by the Republican Party to warn the American people of the dire consequences of electing Trump. The Republicans prop up Romney as this beacon of integrity, while in the process, he exposes himself as a blatant hypocrite. Romney stated in his speech, “Here’s what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the American public for suckers.” How ironic since just a few years ago (2012) when Trump endorsed Romney for President, Romney stated while standing next to Trump, “…having the endorsement of Donald Trump is a delight. He has shown extraordinary capability of how an economy works. He knows how to create jobs…he’s one of the few that have stood up against China…” (You can watch it or yourselves here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmwzGMmGcJw) From extraordinary capeabilities to being a fraud. This is exactly why the American people are pissed off at politicians; they talk out of both sides of their mouth. At the very least, with The Donald, what you see is what you get.

One of the most disheartening aspects of this race is what some of the polls are reporting; that a lot of evangelicals (37%) are supporting Trump. A recent poll from Politico  stated that, “Among white evangelical Republican voters nationally, Trump earned the support of 37 percent, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whose father is a pastor and has played a key role in recruiting faith leaders to support his son, is at 20 percent.” A recent op/ed appeared in the LA times which read, “America’s evangelicals have become secular, more interested in the pursuit of wealth and political influence than fidelity to the teachings of Jesus.” The point is, that if the polls are true and if a lot of evangelicals are in fact flocking to Trump, then it is an indictment against the current state of the church in America. We’re selling out because were too short sighted. We’ve lost our focus. We’ve forgotten who our real King is.

Back in the early days of Israel, only a couple of hundred years after being redeemed from the Egyptians through the Red-Sea-Exodus, the people of Israel became very restless. They fell back into their old ways and began grumbling against God. They became complacent and intermingled within their surrounding culture. They married pagan women, had babies and served foreign gods. They walked away from their redeemer. They were so immersed within their surrounding, to the point of being overtaken, that they failed to recognize their compromise and how far they had fallen from God. They lost their way. God, in His mercy raised up Judges who called out His people to repent, and thus began their cycle of sin, repentance, regression…repeat. After nearly 450 ears of repeating this cycle, they had grown tired of not operating like the other nations and cried out o God for a king to rule over them. 1 Samuel 8 says, ” But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know that the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.” They had no clue why they were asking for, and neither do the people today when rallying behind Mr. Trump.

The Republican establishment is freaking out. The Democrats are wringing their hands. The people today are crying out for a change. Evangelicals and the non-religious are fed up Americans hoping that maybe it will be someone outside the establishment that will shake things up….and we find that they’re settling for…Mr. Personality. They’re crying out for the wrong leader, and they just might get him. If Trump wins the nomination and ends up beating-the-snot out of Hillary, what in the world will the U.S. look like under his leadership? If Hillary wins, you can expect more of Obama’s socialistic and progressive take over of the US Constitution. If Bernie wins, you can kiss the U.S. as we know it a big good-bye. God help us.

The Circus is purely for entertainment. It is only an escape from reality. Real hope, real change, real deliverance only comes when the people realize their own broken desperation and their utter need for help; and that kind of help aint coming from anyone on this planet. Now is the time, more than ever before, for the Church, God’s people in this beautiful country of ours to repent, to wake up from their slumber, and start being the Body of Christ. Time is getting short, and we’re losing daylight. May the reckoning on the horizon, bring revival. Peace friends.

 

 

 

WARFARE

crushserpent

Spiritual Warfare is real. It started in the beginning, in the garden, (Gen. 3:1) as an all out war against mankind and has continued throughout history. The goal: to infiltrate every person on this planet. Evil presents itself in many forms: greed, lust, desire for power, murder, rape, lying, cheating, stealing, addictions. Satan, aka Lucifer, is the source of all evil and he doesn’t care if your rich or poor, black, brown or white, he is alive and well, he hates you and he wants to destroy you (1 Peter 5:8). He will seek a way to gain access into your life. He will hunt you down looking to expose your weaknesses. He will try to convince you that he is your friend with one arm around your shoulder, while the other one holds a gun to your head Gen. 3:4,5). He will use you for his purposes and he won’t give it a second thought about crushing you and your loved ones as well (Gen. 19:8). He will lie to you (John 8:44). He wants to sift you. He will deceive you into thinking that you are strong, that you can do anything that want to do without any accountability to anyone but yourself (Gen. 3) As soon as you think you’re strong, he will pull the rug out from under you, sneering at you as you fall, stomping on you while you’re down. And you try to get up, he’ll kick you again, telling you that there ain’t no use in tryin’ again because your life is meaningless. He’s a relentless accuser (Zech.3:1) and wont give up until you deny Christ and breathe your last breath, (Matt. 27:5) knowing that you will join him in hell, forever separated from love, joy, peace, hope…God.

If you’re doing life apart from God, then you are susceptible to his puppetry. You may think you’re free to do what you please maybe because of your money, influence, or maybe you’ve learned to manipulate people to get what you want. Or, because of some kind of evil that was done unto you, you have purposed in your heart to be accountable to no one. Please understand friend, you may think you’re free because you don’t follow God. Though you may not be an outright Satan worshipper, his strings are still attached and he will yank them when you’re most vulnerable. You may be thinking, “Yeah, whatever Bob. I’m doin’ just fine without needing any help from your God.” That’s exactly my point. He’s got you right where he wants you. Do not be unwise.

There is another way. Many are doing their best to walk with God in this life, who know that there is hope beyond this world, that God’s amazing love and grace fills their lives everyday. Yet the follower of Christ can also be harassed by the enemy. In fact, Satan generally will attack you harder after you have made some kind of declaration to follow God. Or if you take it a step further and decide to get involved in advancing the Kingdom of Heaven, then you can be certain he will come at you. Hey, if he came after Jesus thinking he had a shot at keeping Him from the cross, don’t think for a minute that he can’t and won’t come after you! (Gen. 3:15, Matt. 2:16, Mark 6:27,28, Luke 4:3-12, John 18, John 19)

So how do you combat such an evil enemy?

1. Understand that you’re in a war. Before you made some conscious effort to start living for God and not yourself, you were not a threat. You belonged to the enemy and you were directed by your own desires. (Josh. 24:15, James 4:4, 1Peter 4:3, Rom. 1) Yet now, as you seek to honor God and do His will over you own, you now battle against your own flesh, the direction and sway of the world, and against the influence of the Enemy. You crossed over to enemy territory when you chose God.

2. You must prepare for war and be ready to battle. If you wouldn’t stand on the front lines in a war without a weapon, or with a weapon that you didn’t know how to use, why would you choose to wake up each day and not prepare your heart and mind for the battle that lies in front of you? The word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. (Heb. 4:12) Its alive, active and its truth is your weapon against every lie that comes at you every day. Understand where you’re weak, and find your weapon of truth in His word. (Matt. 4, Luke 4)

3. You must learn to recognize the attack and know its source. Most arguments in a marriage boil down to selfishness. Often, one of the two usually won’t budge or forgive, breaking the bondage of anger. I can tell you that 100% of the time, when there is a division in the marriage, its source is from the pit of hell and its main occupant. If Satan can divide the marriage, he can break the family. Break the family and you seriously disrupt Gods will and harm His name. Repeat that process enough times, and it become the norm and God becomes insignificant. Satan is not a respecter of people. He comes after anyone and everyone. He pursues you like a roaring lion. (Job 1:6-8, 1Peter 5:8) When you are about to make a decision to lie, cheat, steal, deceive, do harm to yourself or someone else and you get the feeling in your gut and there’s that ever so slight pause…that’s the moment he whispers in your ear, “its OK…just do it!” Understand, that ain’t God talkin’.

4. Your gonna take some hits. Jesus tells us that the world isn’t going to treat us with kindness. (Luke 10:19, John 16:33, 1 John 2:13) We may get knocked down, but we have a great advocate, and He will lift us up and enable us to overcome anything…yes anything. (1 Cor. 4:8-10, Hebrews 11)

5. Remember who you are. I almost think that this is the most crucial to remember. If you are not walking with God, if He has not taken up residence within your heart, than that door is wide open for Satan to take residence there, or for one of his oppressors. You are so vulnerable to his influence and you have nothing to fight him off with except your worldly knowledge. The evil one has been around a long time, you’re not gonna fool him on your own.

For the follower of Christ, this is truth to stand upon: You are an heir unto God, you have ben chosen by Him. He is your advocate. He is your intercessor. He is your King, the King of all kings. Your life is hidden in Christ. Your weapons are not of this world, but are mighty for pulling down strongholds. You have the promise that He is with you everyday, always, until your last breath…and then you’re ushered into His presence. The words of God, His promises, The truth is sharper than any sword and can pierce down to the bone marrow. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in this world. You overcome everything in Him, through Him, because of Him. You have been made priests and kings in the kingdom of heaven. What He has started in you, He will complete it. You are not alone. You have been sealed with His Spirit and where there is Light, no darkness can dwell. Your soul is safe in him. I can lay out the references for all of these but it is my hope that you will grab a bible and look them up and own them for your soul.

Don’t think that just because things are ok today and that you’ve gotten this far without God on your side, you can make it the rest of the way. Satan is very patient. He will wait an entire human lifetime if that’s what it take to snag you. My father spent nearly twenty years indulging in pornography until it finally broke his family. He lost his marriage, his kids, his career, and eventually was incarcerated. He got a second chance after getting out of prison and created a thriving career in sales, eventually bringing home a six figure income. But for the next twenty-plus years, that old nemesis crept back into his life and with the porn, he brought an intense load of guilt and shame along with him. That unbearable cycle slowly ate away at my fathers soul. Satan’s goal is to get you to give up. He will tempt you, cause you to fall, shame you, and then tempt you again. He wants to lead you to the brink of utter despair and hopelessness. That hopelessness met my father in a lonely hotel room at the age of 62. He laid down on that hotel bed and put a Smith & Wesson revolver to his head and checked himself out.

It may not be porn for you, you may not have an addiction at all. But I guarantee you that evil beckons at your door. You may be doing great today and life may be pretty good for you. I hope it is. But I hope more that you’re enjoying this life walking with the One who loves you deeply, the one who can set you soul and your mind free. I pray that your life is covered by the blood of Jesus. That you are walking in the light of His presence and not wandering in the darkness. Stand firm my friends & remember who you are.

Peace.