Light in the Darkness
While I was in prayer this morning, the Lord downloaded what I am about to share with you. I was praying over my children, thinking about each one of them and how they have gone through their own trials of life, and the prayers I have brought before the Lord in the past on their behalf. They are all ages 50 years and older, and through the years, I realized that God is answering everyone of my prayers that I have had for them - not necessarily in my timing, and certainly not in ways that I would have thought, but that is the beauty of the Lord. He always does the unexpected.
Then the Lord reminded me of a verse that I am sure we are all familiar with - John 10:10 where Jesus had told His disciples that "the thief comes to rob, kill and destroy, but I", Jesus said, "have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly."
Then, thoughts of my children were put aside momentarily as the Lord took me on a journey of the plans and purposes of the enemy, when Jesus told us that Satan sets out to rob, kill and destroy people, whereas Jesus, in His plans and purposes for each one of us brings all things together for His to give life and give it more abundantly.
We live in a fallen world of darkness - all brought on by the enemy - Satan and his hosts of wickedness, just as Ephesians 6:12 tells us - principalities, powers, rulers of darkess and spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places rules over people's lives.
Each of Satan's demonic hosts have ranks of authority with assignments against us individually, within families, states and nations to bring about Satan's plans and purposes in our lives. Satan has worked strategically a little at a time to rob mankind of the blessings that God wants to bestow upon people. Little by little his destruction takes place - spiritually, emotionally, and physically to where it is not noticed for a long while until one day you look back and see that his destruction was aimed at killing you - bit by bit until you face that stark realization that it is too late and time for you is no more. Death takes places, which only leads to the consequences of all the choices you have made - sending you to your eternal death forever.
It starts out by Satan and his demonic hosts working through the deeds of our flesh - anger, unforgiveness, hatred, jealousy - things that give temporary satisfaction that we know are not good for us - all the things that Galatians, chapter 5 tells us.
Tragedy hits - as it hits everyone - Christians and unbelievers alike. How we respond to those tragedies is a matter of the spiritual maturity we have built up in us with our faith. The world falls apart and things only get worse. Christians, depending where they are at in their faith and spiritual maturity will respond in a variety of ways. Some will use it as a part of life as the Lord helps them through whatever tragedy they are going through, and then some - especially the more carnal ones - will act just like the world of unbelievers, and then that tragedy only builds upon past tragedies, and life slowly gets darker and darker....until one day...
Satan is not stupid, but I think sometimes mankind can be REALLY stupid. They knowingly do things, thinking that God will forgive them - it isn't that bad - even for Christians. You see, Satan does not want you to give your heart over to Jesus, and certainly not your life over to Him. But if you do, which is wonderful, Satan will then work on you for you to be as fleshly as you think you can get away with, thinking all is still okay. Remember, Satan has a plan and purpose for your life - and the end result is for you to eventually turn your back on the Lord, as Satan slowly kills you - until you die - to only go to hell to eventually spend eternity with Satan in the Eternal Lake of Fire.
Those who "practice" these deeds of the flesh will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
That is the danger of leading a carnal Christian life.
Does that sound bold and brazen of me? Well, yes, but it is still the Gospel truth. You see, there has been a war between Satan and God almost from the beginning. It began in heaven where, as Jesus tells us in Luke 10:18, He saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning. He wanted to over thrown God on His throne and rule the world. Even after he was thrown out of heaven, he went after God's beautiful creation upon the earth. That is what the fall in Genesis is all about. Satan was able to reach Adam and Eve through his cunningness and lies and they both bought it - hook, line, and sinker, which brought death to them and all of their offsprings. Ah...but God told Satan in Genesis 3:15 that a day would come when his time will be up and the seed of a woman would overthrow him. So then, for the next 4000 years Satan tried to stop that seed of a woman from coming forth, beguiling man to follow after him instead. But God has always been there to bring mankind back to Himself.
The Law of Moses pointed to righteousness and the forthcoming Messiah, but when He did come, His own people rejected Him by crucifying Him on the cross. Remember, this is a war! Satan thought he had won - but alas, God rose Jesus from the dead. Jesus is alive and anyone who believes in Him will also be alive forever. Death will have no sting over him.
But Satan wasn't done with that war. He continues to deceive as many people as he can, and for those who do come to Christ - he deceives and tempts them as well.
Whatever feels good at the time - capitalizing on those fleshly pleasures - anything tempting that will keep them away from growing and maturing in the things of the Lord. Little by little, Satan keeps chipping away at mankind until evil has its way. After all, this is a war and Satan is doing only what he has chosen to do - rob, kill and destroy as many of mankind as he can. He still thinks he will one day take over the throne of God to rule the whole world forever.
But Jesus said "I have come to give life and give it more abundantly." You see, God has always had a plan and purpose for His beautiful creation. When He told Satan way back in the Garden of Eden that a day would come when the seed of a woman would crush him, He meant it. That seed came forth with God's Son - Jesus the Christ. The promise that God made in John 3:16 is that whosoever believes in His Son, will not perish, but have everlasting life with God - that is real! As long as you believe in Jesus with your heart -where you truly mean it, heaven with Jesus will be your eternal home. Again, as long as you believe. But God doesn't end there. He has a plan and purpose for each one of our lives.
God knew us - He knew you and me before we were born - He placed you in your mother's womb - the mother He chose for you. And then He set you apart from others - because God has a plan and purpose for your life - first of all to be a part of His family, then set you apart for righteousness and holiness to fulfill His plans and purposes in your life.
God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that His thoughts toward us is of peace, not of evil, and His purpose is to give us a future and a hope.
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
While Satan thinks he has a plan and purpose for your life, using all the weapons at his disposal, which is destruction and death, God's plan and purpose is brings life - eternal life with the Lord in heaven as you walk out God's plan for your life forevermore. We literally will never face the 2nd death - we will live abundantly in peace and joy now and forevermore with the Lord.
Then God gives us weapons so that we can lead a righteous life, following the plans and purposes that God has given each one of us. While Satan has his weapons, so does God.
Jesus gave us this promise that even though Satan purposes to use his plans and purposes to destroy us, Jesus works His plans and purpose in our life to give us life - abundant life. Life that has meaning and purpose.
We read in Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
When we are called according to God's purpose, our life takes on a deeper meaning. As we follow in the ways of the Lord, our lives affect other people around us to help them also find God's plan and purpose for their lives as well. So then, how do we learn to follow God's ways instead of Satan's schemes against us?
Let's go back now to what I was saying in the beginning about our children! One thing the Lord taught me several years ago regarding them. You know how we have over their lifetime continuously pray protection for our children? The fear that the enemy will steal our children and they will go down the path of Satan plagues every Christian parent. You, as parents, know what I mean. The Lord showed me sometime back that He loves my children even more than I do. He wants them to prosper in all their ways even more than I do, and even more ,so God wants them to fulfill the plans and purposes He has for their lives. He doesn't want anything bad happening to them even more than we do.
Well, if that is the case, which it is, then my responsibility is to trust God for them as we live our lives according to the will and purpose of God for us. We continue to minister truth to them, and then pray for them - trusting God to take care of them. That takes the fear out of the equation. Yes, I pray everyday for my kids, grand and great-grand children and all of the spouses. But I no longer do it out of fear. You see, I know God has a call and a purpose for their life as well as mine. So my prayers are that each of them fulfills that call of God on their life and then I pray against Satan's schemes that he has for them. Remember, this is a war between Satan and God for us and our kids.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
As Christian parents, that then puts a responsibility on us, on ourselves, so that, first of all, I have to look inward to make sure I am not walking in carnality in my own life, and secondly, am I fulfilling the call of God on my life? You see, my life has a direct reflection on my childsren's lives. God's promise to us is that all things work out for our good - to those who love God - and I know that I love God - and I am sure you love Him as well. Good also comes to those who love God AND are called according to His purpose. We've all been called by God with a plan and purpose. We are each called by God to make a difference in this world. I know for me - I purpose to do my best according to what God has called me to do as I intentionally purpose to keep growing and maturing in the Lord. Each day is a new exciting journey as God directs me each step of the way. Oh yes, I do sin from time to time, - not intentionally, but that's where repentance comes into play. Our goal is to truly claim this verse that says "all things work out for my good - and my good - what pleases me, as a parent, beyond anything else is to see all of my children walking in the plans and purposes of the Lord as well. When God told me in Proverbs 22:6 to train up my children in the ways of the Lord, and when they are old they will not depart from Him, that was God's promise to me.
So what I say to you is - if any of your children are not walking right with the Lord, it's not too late. Let's begin with ourselves. Now I include myself here. How is our walk with the Lord? Are there areas that we know God is working in us to change? Again, we need to take a look at those carnal behaviors. They are luring and tempting.
Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 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.
- Are you struggling with fear, anger, unforgiveness, jealousy, or are you involved with things you KNOW is wrong, and your conscious keeps telling you - this is wrong?
- Well, that can change today.
You see, when you are walking out God's plan and purpose for your life then you can confidently go before the Lord on your children's behalf, knowing God loves them just as much as you do, and that He wants them all to walk out the call of God on their lives, just as He wants you to walk out the call of God on your life. But He wants you to lead the way.
I have no idea who all is reading this article. Maybe you are a seasoned believer in Jesus, maturing and walking out the call of God on your life, and for that, I praise the Lord. But then maybe, you know there are areas where you need to repent and change your ways. Again, speaking as a parent, you find yourself worrying about your kids, what they are up to, the friends they are hanging around with. Do they know the Lord? Well, let's turn that around - do you know the Lord? I mean, knowing the Lord personally and intimately?
Again, as parents, we are to lead the way in which our children should go and then we can trust Him as we pray! We need to put Jesus right in the middle of our lives, in the midst of our troubles, in the midst of our parenting, and the midst of our concerns over everything that is going on in their lives and our lives as well. Remember, God loves our kids even more than we do. He wants the very best for them, and whatever that is, and many times, we don't, we still need to pray and call God's plans and purposes into their lives - on our knees. That war between Satan and God - you and your kids are the target. Interceding for our children puts them in God's hands instead of allowing Satan to openly run over their lives.
So, can we give ourselves and our kids to the Lord right now? Let's stop right here and pray. Will you pray with me?
Dear Lord, as I have concerns for my children, I realize that my godly influence on their lives is vital for you to fulfill Your plans and purposes with each one of my children. I realize I have missed the mark in many areas of my life, and for that I repent of my sins before You. I'm asking that you turn things around to where You are in control of my life, and I placed my children in Your hands for You to work out Your plans and purposes in their life as well. But Lord, change me first Lord. I too want to walk in the plans and purposes for my life as well. In Jesus' name, Amen.
I found this on Facebook this morning. It's a good way to end this video.
Keep pushing forward and keep the faith.
Pastor Joyce Erickson