Satan comes to rob steal and destroy

Could You Be 'Taken' Captive?

Watching the movie “Taken” or seeing an Amber alert sign gives a chill to every caring parent. Every mother’s nightmare is that someone might take and harm her child.  To protect against that, I wanted my daughter to learn self-defense. So we took a class together where we learned the self-defense style used in the Bourne Identity movie—which means we now know how to protect ourselves with our hands, a pen, or even a rolled-up magazine (hopefully someday we’ll graduate to Jason Bourne status!) Our instructor taught us self-defense using the acrostic “Escape to Gain Safety” (to go for the Eyes, the Throat, the Groin and the Shin.

self-defense
self-defense

God as our loving Heavenly Father is also concerned for our safety so He has taught us how to avoid being taken captive by Satan, our adversary.

The first rule of safety that my daughter and I learned is: do all you can to ensure that you do not put yourself in a position of harm. Our instructor warned us to be aware of our surroundings at all times and to avoid the places and situations that most likely could lead to danger.

Similarly, God tells us to not be ignorant of the schemes of the enemy (2nd Corinthians 2:11) and to “Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring (in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.” 1st Peter 5:8 Amplified

We learned the best way to avoid danger is to flee from it. In several scriptures God also commands us to flee temptation that otherwise will lead to our harm.

“Flee from sexual immorality. “1 Corinthians 6:18

“Flee the evil desires of youth… “2 Timothy 2:22

“Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. “ 1st Corinthians 10:14

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.But you, man of God, flee from all this…” 1st Timothy 6:10-11

In addition, our instructor taught us specific moves to help us defend ourselves against an attack should one occur.  God also gives us specific instructions on how to counteract the attacks of Satan. His Word would support that ‘the best defense is a good offense.’

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7

“… be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. …take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;and take the helmet of salvationand the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance…” Ephesians 6:10-11, 13-18

After our self-defense course, my daughter and I both felt far better prepared and more confident regarding our ability to avoid and protect ourselves in the event of an attack from an adversary. How prepared are you to face your adversary Satan, whose desire is to “rob, steal, kill and destroy you” (John 10:10)?

Do you need to be more vigilant in learning about the devil’s schemes?  Do you need to be fleeing some area of temptation?  Or is there some aspect of ‘the armor of God” that you need to put on so you are able to withstand the devil when he attacks you?

Written by Julie Van Gorp

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Even Pests Declare God's Glory!

One of my favorite things to do each spring is to plant flowers. However, around this time of the year I look at what had been a beautiful flowerbed I’d labored to plant in May and now see a flowerbed ravished by deer and overgrown with weeds. And yet, looking over my yard reminds me that all of God’s creation “declares the glory of the Lord” (Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:19), so I also see a yard that reveals principles of God’s kingdom.

Although sometimes they can appear harmless and I even enjoy gazing upon them, the deer that descend upon my yard—like Satan’s attacks in my life— come to “rob, steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10).They usually come at night, just like Satan comes when I’m “not tuned” into him. He longs for me to be unaware of his tactics but the Word cautions me not to be ignorant of his schemes. (2nd Corinthians 2:11)

This year the deer have been so brazen to come nibbling on my plants even during the daytime. I assume that’s because I’ve not done anything to counteract their feasting on my plants and they’ve come to feel at home in my yard. Similarly, the more leeway I give to Satan the more I find he moves in and takes over more and more of my life. If I don’t do anything to stop the deer, they’ll keep coming back and keep devastating my yard. If I don’t do anything to ‘kick’ Satan out of my life— by confessing to God my sin and turning away from it— Satan also will not go away.He will seek to get more entrenched in my life— which always leads to destruction for me.

The deer go after the flower heads, or the fruit of the plants.Where does Satan want to attack me first?He desires to eat away at the fruit of my life by destroying my faith in God and His promises and obedience to His commands.

The weeds in my garden always make me think of my sin. Just as I need to pull weeds out by their roots or else they’ll come back with a vengeance, I need to daily confess my sin so it does not take root in my life and have a stranglehold on me.

As a child did you ever blow the “dead” tops of dandelions that were full of seeds? I sure did! I had to be taught by my parents that blowing them led to their rapid reproduction in our and our neighbor’s yards.Of course, I thought they were pretty and didn’t realize that even though they had a flower, they too were weeds. I’ve come to realize that often weeds can appear to the untrained eye to be flowers, and sometimes even flowers can look like weeds.Unless you are trained to know the difference, you can be fooled. Similarly, unless I’ve been trained by God’s Word, I too won’t be able to distinguish the difference between truth and Satan’s lies.

And yet, the intricate beauty and splendor of the flowers, trees, and shrubs that remain in my yard far outshine the destruction caused by the invasion of the deer and weeds. This reminds me that the glory of God always surpasses Satan’s ability to wreak havoc on God’s creation. God’s creation of even the pesky things like deer and weeds is also a blessing because they declare His glory by providing a lesson in kingdom living!

Are you aware or ignorant of Satan’s schemes to destroy your life? Are you allowing him to rob you of your faith, which is necessary to produce a fruitful life? Are you daily confessing your sin so it doesn’t take root and overtake your witness? Are you regularly in God’s Word so that you can recognize the lies of Satan?

Written by Julie Van Gorp

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?