Thursday, April 4, 2013

Oppressed By The Devil

by Donna L. Watkins

Many years ago we were in a church that sang a song saying, "Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow." I've been thinking a lot lately about what God gave us by sending Jesus to the Cross. There's so much more than we ever realize and it's overwhelming to consider what we have missed by thinking His death was to only provide us with a ticket to Heaven. Even then, many people who are saved believe it's their works that make God pleased with them.

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This would be called self-righteousness, because if we think we can add anything to the work of Christ, then we have debased the entire plan of redemption. Sadly many good works are being done by people who were called to do and be something else. God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives and unless we're walking in His plan, we're not in the will of God, so good works don't give us any gold stars for our crown. 

I've been seeking to know more about the Father's plan and purpose for my life. Being so independent and quick-thinking, I've come up with plenty of ideas for my life and followed my own path asking God to bless it as I went on my way.  I loved tasks and projects, so filling my life in days past was an easy thing.  Now I realize that if I'm not walking in God's will each day, my life is truly worthless compared to the desire I've had to be in God's will.  I've got everything I do in question before the Father, even this blog.  Doing spiritual things doesn't necessarily mean they are ordained by God.

For so long a chunk of my life has been to manage the diseases of my body.  I accommodated the devil with each added disease or infirmity he placed upon me, rearing my head up and setting my chin with determination that disease would not get the best of me. My goal was to live each day with joy and peace regardless of my health. That seemed to be a mission in and of itself. I've sure realized that was not God's plan for my life since

God does not put sickness on us. Jesus came to show us the Father and Jesus never made anybody sick. "He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil" (Acts 10:38). Notice it says healing was for those oppressed by the devil? You can be sure that the devil is not involved in doing God's will. He has been opposed to it since the day he rebelled in heaven and took a third of the angels with him.

Why is it so hard to receive all that God has provided through Christ? It's what we believe in our heart. Jesus told His disciples that "Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he says" (Mark 11:23). We can learn so much knowledge, but it's just a boat load of facts and information. What we believe is actually what moves us and molds us. Since most churches are not teaching the actual Bible we are not taught what the words "salvation" or "saved" actually mean. The Greek word is "sozo" and it includes emotional and physical healing and a whole lot more. [Read: What Part Of You Rules Your Life?]

If we have seen salvation as simply being the forgiveness of sins and a ticket to heaven, we don't expect any more. Even when we find out the Truth, we have believed something different for so long, it takes time to fill in the ruts of our memory/belief system before we can actually apply the new teaching. This is what Paul called "renewing the mind." Our thinking controls our body. Consider this segment by Dr. Caroline Leaf:
" ... research shows that DNA actually changes shape according to our thoughts. As you think those negative thoughts about the week ahead that hasn’t happened yet, or that person who hasn’t actually said or done anything yet, (even in the absence of the concrete stimulus) the toxic thinking has changed your brain wiring in a negative direction and thrown your mind and body into stress. According to Dr Herbert Benson, MD, and president of Harvard Medical School’s Mind-Body Institute, toxic thoughts lead to stress, which affects our body’s natural healing capacities. Toxic thinking literally ‘wears down’ the brain and the rest of the body." [Read: 75-98% of Mental & Physical Illnesses Come From Thought Life]
See why it's so important not to let the devil have his way with your thoughts, words and actions? It literally destroys us! Jesus countered the lies of the devil with the Word of God. We could do no better. That's why the devil has attacked the Bible so heavily. The current contemporary churches display Scriptures on the overhead screen so you won't even find many people in church these days with their Bible. Of course there have always been many people who carried their Bible to church but never opened it at home.

The Word of God is FOR us! God gave it to us through inspiration of the Holy Spirit and it is the only way to win the battle in our minds. Consider Hebrews 4:12: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." How powerful is that!? No support group can do that for you. If you don't know where to begin, I suggest this video series from a conference by Andrew Wommack: Changing The Way We Think (The Importance of the Word).

We do not have to stay oppressed by the devil. God has given us everything we need to succeed.
"According as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature ..." (2 Peter 1:3-4)
Don't leave the gift on the table. You've unwrapped it with salvation and have taken the wrapping paper, but have you left most of the gift behind? Determine today that you will stop allowing the devil to steal from you. You are a child of the Almighty God. You have been placed in Christ and all that is true of Him is true of you. We posses it because it is in Him and God has placed us in Him to receive it all. It's our choice. Free will came with a great price tag.

I encourage you to watch the series, Changing The Way We Think. It can really put you on the path to change.

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