Some years ago, there was a movie entitled The Dirty Dozen. As I was remembering this World War II movie. . .I started thinking about all the dirty tricks of the devil.
I probably could have thought of a dozen dirty D’s. . .tricks of the devil. . .but I stopped after thinking of seven.
Who deceives you?
Genesis 3:13 says:
“Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
2 Corinthians 4:4 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers' minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God.”
The real tragedy is that most folks who’re being deceived don’t realize they’re being deceived.
Jeremiah 9:6 in the New International Version says:
“You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me," declares the LORD.”
Deception puts you in association with bad company
1 Corinthians 6:9 in Amplified Bible says:
“Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality.”
There is however, one fact for sure. . .deception betrays those who live in it.
James 1:22 in the Amplified Bible says:
“But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].”
Those the enemy deceived who fell into sin or lived there. . .will suffer an eternity in hell.
But so will the devil.
Revelation 20:10 says:
“Then the devil who had led them astray [deceiving and seducing them] was hurled into the fiery lake of burning brimstone, where the beast and false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever (through the ages of the ages).”
The best way to avoid deception is to stay in the Word although that alone is not enough. I know some mighty men and women of God filled with the Holy Ghost and fire who have fallen into sin through deception of the enemy.
Stress on the job. . .overwork. . .family struggles (with spouse or children). . .business or personal money problems. . are open doors for a sneak deceptive attack by the enemy.
Be wise to his cunning wiles.
Mark 4:19 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.”
What becomes fruitless?
God’s Word working within us.
What is a distraction of this age?
In my opinion, it’s anything that separates us from what should be our first love, the Word of God and our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
The enemy wants us to lose focus of our Christian lifestyle.
Let’s go a little further. Mark 4:19 also warns us about “…the pleasure and delight and false glamour…the craving and passionate desire for other things…”
I find “false glamour” to be an interesting phrase.
Have you ever seen advertisers use anyone ugly in television commercials?
Have you ever wondered why?
Advertising executives know they’re selling an illusion of what you think your life would be like if you buy their product.
The advertisers desire is to paint a pleasing picture in your mind. . .one beyond a reality that you’re currently experiencing. . .and they know that ugly won’t do it.
They want you to believe that somehow this or that product or car or whatever will magically draw the right spouse or job or lifestyle in.
What is the consequence of yielding to the allure of the advertisers?
The last few words of Mark 4:19 gives us a real warning when it says: “. . . the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.”
Our desire. . .our lust for things. . .will choke and suffocate the Word. Pay particular attention to the scripture when it says that the Word will become “fruitless.”
Sadly, that means that the Word of God is not first in your life. . .that the promises of the Word. . .the benefits of Sonship that He promised you. . .will not be reproducing fruit in your life.
In fact, you could experience crop failure in epic proportions.
The lost people of this world are searching for what is missing in their lives . . . Jesus! They look to the world because they know no other place to go. But as Christians we not only have the answer for self-fulfillment, it is our duty to share it with others and rescue them from this demonic deception and not fall into it ourselves.
God has made amazing promises to us in His Word . . . but if we let fleshly desire for other things and people take precedence over Him. . .then we’re going to live an unfulfilled and disappointing life and be no better off than those who have no God.
The Message Bible translation of Mark 4:18-19 sums it up pretty good when it says:
“The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it.”
Being consumed by the things you want to get. . .the things you want to do and the people you want to spend time with. . .other than God . . . means you’re committing mental suicide by choking the very life out of yourself and your dreams.
We are bombarded daily with the ‘things of this world’ through billboards, TV, radio, social media and people we communicate with . . .therefore, we need to guard our hearts against misplaced spiritual priorities that permit financial and personal stress to take root in your life.
As the verse says: “The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it.”
Now that’s the deception of distraction.
Daniel 10:12 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Then he said to me, Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind and heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come as a consequence of [and in response to] your words.”
First, fear not.
Second, from the first day.
Third, purpose in your mind.
1 Thessalonians 2:4 in the New Living Translation says:
“For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.”
Fourth, purposed in your heart.
1 Timothy 1:5 in the New Living Translation says:
“The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.”
Fifth, humble yourself. . .and receive the rewards
Proverbs 22:4 says:
“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.”
Sixth, your words were heard.
Psalm 145:19 says:
“He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.”
The words that you speak to Him are not only heard but acted on.
Psalm 86:5 says:
“In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.”
Seventh, I have come as a consequence.
The last part of Daniel 10:12 in the Amplified Bible says:
“. . . I have come as a consequence of [and in response to] your words.”
Your words have consequences . . . you decide whether they are good or evil.
Proverbs 18:20 in the Good News Translation says:
“You will have to live with the consequences of everything you say.”
Have you ever done something significant for someone who failed to acknowledge what you’d done or even show their appreciation?
Joseph may have been in prison, but he helped Pharaoh’s butler out of a tight spot and in Genesis 40:14 Joseph ask him to reciprocate the favor:
“But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house.”
Genesis 40:23 in the Amplified Bible says:
“But [even after all that] the chief butler gave no thought to Joseph, but forgot [all about] him.”
Joseph’s interpretation of the dreams of the butler and the baker. . .blessed them at the moment. It brought comfort. . .even though it was temporary for the baker.
However, the butler had given his word. . .to remember Joseph but he forgot.
No doubt, Joseph must have been disappointed. . .but there is no scriptural reference that he ever murmured or complained. . .he just remained faithful to His source.
Obviously, the enemy was hoping for a far different reaction to Joseph’s disappointment.
If you’ve ever been disappointed. . .we need to remember and follow the actions of Joseph and never allow the enemy to ‘get your goat’ . . .as the saying goes.
I’m sure we’ve all been disappointment by a friend, relative or close family member over the choices they’ve made.
The enemy likes to maximize the disappointment and heartache that sometimes accompanies it. . .but do not give him that satisfaction.
Release your disappointment through the Word. Seven verses will help you overcome disappointment. . .when the enemy tries to use it as a weapon against you.
First, the Lord will save you from disappointment.
Psalm 34:18 in the Easy-To-Read Version says:
“The Lord is close to those who have suffered disappointment. He saves those who are discouraged.”
Second, God will turn your disappointment into hope.
Psalm 119:116 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“Help me God, as you promised, so that I may live. Do not turn my hope into disappointment.”
Third, disappointment when properly faced will strengthen your character, faith, confidence and patience.
Romans 5:3-4 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
4 And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.”
Fourth, disappointments won’t last but His blessings will. . .forever and ever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 in The Living Bible says:
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our inner strength in the Lord is growing every day. These troubles and sufferings of ours are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessing upon us forever and ever!”
Fifth, every disappointment will be used to fulfill His divine purpose for your life.
Romans 8:29 says:
“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.”
Sixth, dealing with disappointment is a matter of mental preparation.
1 Peter 1:13 in the New International Version says:
“Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed."
Seventh, forget the disappointment of the past. . .as God wants to do a new thing in your life.
Isaiah 43:18-19 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
While some believers will not experience or accept disappointment, they will from time to time be subjected to discouragement.
Discouragement is a temporary feeling that occurs when somebody is not doing what they promised you they would do…or things are not going the way you thought they would or ought to go.
The key word is “temporary” and even though you may know it’s temporary…the discouragement if not probably dealt with…can lead to depression and other bad “d” words.
Sometimes, the enemy will try to make you think discouragement is a sin. . .it’s not.
Here are seven ways to overcome discouragement.
First, get your attitude right.
Philippians 2:5 in the New Living Translation says:
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
Ephesians 4:23 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude].”
When we want His attitude. . . we are more likely to activate the Word of God in a situation instead of falling for the devil’s deception of discouragement.
Second, it’s not all about you.
This is particularly true if your discouragement is based on why someone didn’t do for you what they said they would do or if they didn’t speak to you.
Get your pride out of the way. Consider these two scriptures.
Proverbs 11:2 in the Message Bible says:
“The stuck-up fall flat on their faces, but down-to-earth people stand firm.”
There is one eventual consequence for people who are bound by their own pride.
Proverbs 16:18 says:
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
Third, think happy thoughts.
It’s a choice. Proverbs 23:7 says:
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. . .”
Philippians 4:8 in The Living Bible says:
“And now, brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.”
Fourth, stop entertaining your disappointment.
It’s over. . .it’s done with. . .let it go. The more you think about your disappointment the bigger stronghold those thoughts are going to become. It’s easier to pull out an acorn now than an oak tree once it’s gotten rooted.
Consider the words of Ephesians 4:26 which says:
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon yourwrath:”
Or try Philippians 4:8 which says:
“…whatsoeverthingsare true, whatsoeverthingsare honest, whatsoeverthingsare just, whatsoeverthingsare pure, whatsoeverthings are lovely, whatsoeverthingsare of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,thinkonthesethings.”
Fifth, focus on the future.
Hebrews 12:3 in the Message Bible says:
“…Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.”
Sixth, hang out with winners, overcomers and conquerors
Proverbs 13:20 in the New Living Translation says:
“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”
Seventh, let God be God.
Jeremiah 32:17 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Alas, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too hard or too wonderful for You”
One of the enemy’s favorite tactics is to use depression against believers who love God with all their hearts. People who truly love God wants God’s ways to prevail. Unfortunately, many times they don’t. As long as we live in a sin-filled world, we will be butting heads with sinful things daily.
We may not win every skirmish but there are ways to overcome this weapon against us.
If you find you just can’t get above the issue yourself, seek spiritual counseling at your church.
However, if you’re battling depression from a chemical imbalance or a physical attack, meet with a medical professional.
Regardless, these 7 things are true.
First, God knows what you’re going through.
Psalm 56:8 in the New Living Translation says:
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
Second, He loves and cares how you feel.
Psalm 103:13 in the Amplified Bible says:
“As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe].”
Third, when you turn to Him when times are tough. . .He turns to you.
2 Kings 20:5 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Turn back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of My people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your [forefather]: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord.”
Fourth, when battling depression. . .He comforts when nobody else can.
1 Corinthians 1:3-4 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement),
“Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God.”
Fifth, God gives you a promise.
Psalm 55:22 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it] and He will sustain you; He will never allow the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail).”
Sixth, change your viewpoint.
Colossians 3:2 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.”
Seventh, everything is possible for you.
Mark 9:23 says:
“And Jesus said, [You say to Me], If You can do anything? [Why,] all things can be (are possible) to him who believes!”
Psalm 97:10 says:
“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”
I vividly remember reading Psalm 97:10 one morning several years ago when the Lord gave me a very clear word.
DEBT IS EVIL
I was directed to study the word evil.
Consider the definition of the word evil as found in Strong’s Concordance (H7451). It means “bad, unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery).”
Debt is bad.
Debt is unpleasant.
Debt definitely gives pain.
Debt positively brings unhappiness.
Misery is debt’s closest friend.
Who is responsible for all the bad, unpleasant, painful, unhappy things and misery in the earth?
The enemy. . .and he wants to use all of it against you.
Now as I close this teaching. . .I want you to focus on the last part of Psalm 97:10 which says:
“. . .he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”
Make no mistake your Heavenly Father wants to protect you from these seven weapons of the enemy: deception, distractions, delays, disappointment, discouragement, depression and debt.
And He will if we just trust and let Him.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS