Satan Says I’m Not Good Enough :: By John Lysaught

Satan tries to get into our minds to accuse us and move us away from Christ.  One of his means is to make us feel beyond guilty for something we have done or to try to tell us we aren’t good enough for salvation.  He twists things around to turn us on ourselves and others against us so we won’t seek forgiveness for a sin.  He tries to put thoughts in our mind as well, to take our hope away and to sway us to believe we aren’t good enough for Jesus and that He can’t love us. 

Satan tempts us and tries us so we will turn from Christ, or for those not saved, to not come to the altar of salvation.  This is a daily occurrence and it gets tiring to fight.  But we must fight.  We need to put on the armor of God to combat Satan and his fellow fallen angels who want nothing more than to destroy us.  We can succeed because we are good enough! 

What gets me the most is the question of why I would want God in my life, or why I believe in Christ if bad things happen to me, as some people ask.  Or, as Satan uses others, they tell me I must not be saved because I still have troubles and tribulations, and it means I’m not good enough for Him.  Jesus told us in John 16:33 that we will face troubles in this world.  This doesn’t mean we won’t have Him with us.  The verse doesn’t say that.  It’s hard to remember in the middle of tribulations, though. 

It’s in these moments that Satan will try to turn our thoughts against ourselves.  When we hear nothing but silence from our prayers, Satan will in turn capitalize on this to have us think we are abandoned by God or He doesn’t care.  We know it isn’t true, but Satan berates us over and over until we either shut him up or give in.  

We all get attacked by Satan, but the more we grow and live in Jesus, the easier it is to repel the efforts of Satan.  If you are weak in Jesus, Satan has the advantage.  If you are strong in Jesus, Satan will be easily defeated.  He constantly looks for cracks in our armor to take advantage of them.  Yet, even if this occurs, the strength we have in Christ will chase Satan away from us, and we’ll grow and learn from his attacks against us.  We can either gain strength and wisdom or we can feel defeated and step back in our relationship with Christ. 

In the mix of Satan’s work against us, we need to remember that God is always with us and is for us.  God does not want us to fail, and He is our strength when we are feeling weak or defeated. We just need to ask.  With His power and strength to help us, we can overcome.  Unfortunately, we sometimes rely on ourselves or the world for our answers and strengths.  Of course, God will bring people into our lives to help us, but we must use discernment to determine if their intentions are out of love or if they are a trickster working for Satan.  

When we rely on self or the world, we usually fail.  Without the backing or foundation of God, failure can be expected as the outcome.  Satan will use this to his advantage to have us release our hand from God’s grip by making us think we are not good enough for God’s help.  

The Holy Spirit is with us to aid and guide us through our battles with Satan and to lead us through to trust in God’s power and strength each day.  When Satan says we aren’t good enough, the Holy Spirit is there to step in to let us know we are good enough.  The Holy Spirit is our guide in this life to help us get through each day to help us stay on track and focused on God.   

The issue we have with the Holy Spirit is that we don’t tend to listen to or hear Him in our lives.  We have mixed the voice of the Holy Spirit with the other background noises in our head to such an extent that His voice is drowned out by everything else; and that can lead to a sense of abandonment by God.  What we need to do is to be attuned to His voice in our lives.  The Holy Spirit’s small voice needs to be focused to become the overwhelming roar in our lives.   

The Holy Spirit is with us to assure us of our standing with Christ and to let us know that, yes, we are good enough and loved by God.  The Holy Spirit guides us to fight the evil thoughts and temptations that arise in our lives to make us think otherwise.  He is the voice of reason when we find ourselves in tight situations, and He will lead us to decisions based on God’s Word.  We can listen to the Holy Spirit or ignore Him; that is up to us. 

When we don’t listen to the Holy Spirit, things go awry.  He’s with us to point us in the right direction — to move us forward — and it’s when we don’t listen that we become stagnant or move backwards in our relationship with God. The Holy Spirit will urge us forward, but again, it is up to us to listen or ignore Him. 

When we do heed the wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit, things tend to go pretty well and work out for us; and we are assured we are good enough.  When we are not in tune with Him, His voice is a whisper that we may not be able to discern as His voice, and we may feel defeated.  When we are in tune with the Holy Spirit, his voice overwhelms our senses, making it very clear who is speaking.  And the times when we hear silence?  These are the times to remain in steadfast hope and practice what we know to be true and what we have learned from the Holy Spirit in times before. 

Satan will try to mess us up, no doubt.  He will try to snare us and ruin us.  He will try his best to convince us that we are not good enough for God.  He will try to talk over the Holy Spirit and will try to blind us from the truth.  Jesus already conquered Satan, though.  Knowing this we can live assured that we are good enough to be His children.  This is reinforced through prayer, study of the Word, and being tuned into the Holy Spirit. 

 God bless and stay strong in the Lord! 

johnflysaught@gmail.com  

 

It’s a Heart Thing :: By John Lysaught

It’s hard to deal with people sometimes. Let’s be honest; they can really get to us and stir up emotions of anger and discontent. People talk to us with disparaging words to hurt us or to make us angry. It seems to be a societal norm to do this, Christians and non-Christians alike. We live in a society that makes this seem normal, even if it means hurting others with words.

Yes, I’ve seen and you have seen other believers do this. They forget the first will be last and last will be first. They have no problem hurting and destroying others to get to the top, get ahead in life, or to just make themselves feel better about themselves by putting others down. They have forgotten that Jesus taught and lived otherwise. They put themselves first before others when it should be the opposite.

It’s a heart thing concerning how we treat others. Jesus wants our hearts, and if our hearts are blackened or sour, is there really a relationship with Christ? Is there really the love of Jesus in us? I don’t think so. Sure, at church, people act the role; but what about outside the walls of the sanctuary. I’m a greeter at church and an usher, and even at church there are people with sour looks on their faces. When I greet them, they don’t even acknowledge me; they just walk into the sanctuary. And when they leave, they are the ones who rush out the door to the safety of their cars, to go on with their day.

My daughter is a waitress, and she tells me that Sundays are her worse days. She tells of people coming from church (in their Sunday best) who are usually rude, complain a lot, and are the worst at giving tips. What does this say about us as lovers of Jesus? The condition of our hearts is reflected in our outward demeanor towards others. It’s these Christians that make the rest of us look bad and portray us as hypocrites in the eyes of nonbelievers.

1 Timothy 1:5, KJV says, “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.” Do we really live this way? Do we have pure hearts to show others the love of Jesus? How can people proclaim their love for Christ when they can’t even show the love of Jesus to others? They are double-minded people, who speak out of both sides of their mouths. They want to portray themselves as lovers of Jesus to man, though they really don’t have Him in their hearts. I wonder if they even realize this? It begs the question as to whether they have really accepted Christ into their hearts.

I’m not saying us Christians are perfect, but sourness out of our hearts, and then our mouths, should be very few and far between. We all slip up, but when we do speak evil to others, we are quick to be convicted and immediately rectify ourselves by apologizing and by learning from our mistakes. Those who don’t do this are in a wrong place with their hearts, and need to really find and be changed by Jesus.

Romans 2:5 states, “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” This is a pretty clear-cut statement. Bad hearts translate into wrath. It makes me wonder why some Christians have such hard hearts? Or should we even call them Christians? I don’t know. Personally, I believe the heart equates the faith one has.

Hard hearts lead to destruction and open the door for Satan to occupy and use them for evil. They profess themselves as Christians, and yet, they spew forth hate and display evil tendencies towards others. This can be seen by such things as arrogance, judgment of others, and uncaring attitudes.

Do you ever see how some people at church show arrogance, because they own the newest and more expensive car? Or they avoid people who aren’t dressed as they are or who look a bit disheveled? I see it every Sunday as I observe people while serving as a greeter. It is sad. Instead of going out of their way to show love and concern for those who look downtrodden, they avoid them. They talk amongst others who are more like themselves about so and so looking this way or that way. What a shame! Don’t get me wrong; there are more that do the opposite, but it’s the ones who show discontent that are stuck in our minds.

As followers of Jesus, we need to have a heart for people regardless of what they look like or how they talk or act. Jesus showed love and concern for all people. He didn’t gravitate to the wealthy or healthy; he sought after those who were broken and poor. We need to emulate this in how we interact with others, with a true and pure heart. If we don’t have a pure heart, our actions are for nil, and people can see right through it. More so, God knows. Having a pure heart for others is not something to be forced, if we are in Christ, but will be a natural extension of ourselves, showing the love of Christ in us.

1 Samuel, 16:7 says, “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

God looks at our hearts, not what we have, how nice our hair looks, how big our house is, or what we wear. No, He looks at our hearts. Our hearts show what we truly have inside of us, and our standing with Him. There is no gray area for what the heart reflects. There is either a pure heart or an evil heart. One cannot say they have a good heart most of the time. It is either all of the time, or it is fake.

People can try and pretend to others on the outside that they have a pure heart, but their true selves will show through eventually and will be on display for all to see. They will reap what they sow; and if it is a sour heart, their lives will mirror it; maybe not today or tomorrow, but God has a way of revealing the true nature of a person.

When we become a child of God through accepting Christ in our lives, our hearts will change. If hearts don’t change, one must question the honesty of a proclamation of conversion. At the acceptance of Christ, with the change of our hearts, and as we grow in Christ, so too will our hearts for others grow. Our pure hearts will be a motivator for the good works Christ desires for us to do. Our pure hearts will give us emotions for the well-being of others. Our hearts will drive us to help others.

Matthew 5:8 says “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Pretty clear statement. Flip this upside down – Those without a pure heart will not see God. Makes sense. Having a pure heart is key to walking with and being with Christ. Christ’s pure heart saved us all from damnation once we accepted Him in our hearts and lives. There is no wiggle room on this. Matthew 5:8 makes this clear: If you don’t have a pure heart, you won’t have God.

Luke 10:27 says to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength. Since God is the purest of pure, we cannot love Him with anything other than a loving heart. Jesus charges us to love with our heart. How can we love without a loving heart? We can’t. We may have empathy or sympathy, but these cannot be confused with having a loving heart. I may feel bad and sympathize with someone who is facing a hardship that I also endured, but if I don’t help them out of love, what kind of heart do I have?

Love is a blanket of comfort to those facing hardships. Those who have a loving heart will wrap others in a blanket of love.

If our hearts are closed and not filled with love, what good are we to God? Not good at all. No works or deeds will replace the need of love in the heart. Think about where your heart is, where it was, and where you want it to go. Your heart is capable of endless love for Jesus and for others. If you have a sour or hard heart because of a situation or a hurt, or you are just plain grumpy, it’s time to open your heart to love. Love grows into forgiveness, gives hope to others, and draws you nearer to Christ.

Johnflysaught@gmail.com