The Enemy Won’t Win :: By Nathele Graham

We all have times when it seems the Lord is far from us. Troubles begin to pile up, and we look around us at people who have no love for God but who seem to prosper. When I’m in a less-than-Christian state of mind, I can really resent that fact. In those times I feel as if I’m on my own…that God has forgotten me. That erroneous frame of mind doesn’t last long, and I ask Jesus to forgive me. Then I turn my focus to the blessings God gives.

This sort of attitude isn’t new, nor is it unique to the times in which we live.

“[To the chief Musician, a Psalm of David.] How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?” (Psalm 13:1). 

Even King David had the same feelings. We can learn so much from David. He honestly opened his heart before the Lord. It’s not a bad thing to tell God what bothers you; He already knows. When you recognize what it is that’s coming between you and your walk with the Lord, then He can help you through it. Tell Him what’s on your heart, then listen to His reply.

When we get into one of those moods, we need to be careful where we take counsel. God is never far from us. When we’re offended by others, we can be blinded by our own feelings. My hurt, my anger, my bad attitude all get in the way of allowing God’s love to flow through me. At those times we tend to turn to other people who may have the same resentment towards others.

“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD” (Jeremiah 17:5).

Notice that this verse tells us that it isn’t God who has departed, but it’s man’s heart that has turned away from God. When seeking counsel from another person, be sure that he or she is a Christian who honors God. Satan can use friends to pull us away from God. Trust Scripture to lead you into a closer walk with God.

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is” (Jeremiah 17:7). 

Likewise, don’t trust your own heart in times when you’re questioning God and feeling alone.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).

When you’re in a bad state of mind that keeps you separate from God, take a look at your own life and see what’s causing you to feel separated from God. It could be that the resentment you feel towards someone, even towards an enemy, may be the thing that’s causing your trouble. David realized that he was looking to his own logic rather than drawing close to God.

“How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:2).

Instead of having a pity party or taking counsel from fallible humans, search Scripture and pray for the counsel of the infallible God of all creation. It’s easy to get distracted from God’s ways when we begin following our own counsel.

David faced many enemies in many forms during his lifetime. In his younger days when protecting his sheep, he fought with a lion and a bear. These fights prepared him to fearlessly face the giant Goliath and prevail. Then David faced a new enemy, which was the government lead by King Saul. The king loved to listen to the soothing sound of David’s music, but would suddenly turn on David and try to kill him. David became king after Saul’s death, and the look of his enemies changed. He faced enemy armies and also the lust of his flesh. Even though the situation changed, the same evil influence was at work.

That evil has always been working against mankind, from the Garden of Eden to today’s wickedness. Satan is the enemy of all people and can come between us and God.

We cannot fight Satan on our own, but we fall prey to him when we stray from God. David knew that God could never be close to him if he didn’t seek God’s will. The enemy could only prevail if David turned away from God; and this truth changed David’s outlook.

“Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation” (Psalm 13:3-5). 

Instead of seeking revenge, David began seeking God.

The enemy can manifest in many forms. As we watch the political circus, we see the enemy at work, and it’s a very similar situation that the Northern Kingdom of Israel faced when Ahab and Jezebel were in power. Those two were very liberal in their beliefs, especially Jezebel, and were evil to the core. They embraced child sacrifice and worshipped pagan idols. America, and indeed the entire world, has been in the grips of the same liberal satanic ways for many years. It’s the same liberal lunacy that embraces abortion, homosexuality, and other ungodly ideas; and it’s important to understand who the real enemy is.

Satan is the enemy of all mankind and is behind the evil in the world. From that irritating person at work to the world leaders who spew evil, it’s Satan who’s behind the evil as he seeks the destruction of all humanity. Christians must look to Scripture and be led by the Holy Spirit in order to fight the evil. It’s a spiritual battle, and it rages in the unseen realms but manifests in the hearts of men.

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11-12).

Many Christians read those words and agree, but don’t truly understand that the battle is real. The battle is spiritual. If we don’t stand firm on our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we will lose the battle in which we are thrown. Don’t get me wrong. Satan has already lost the war. He lost at the cross, but there are still battles raging. Unless Christians start taking God’s word seriously, the darkness of Satan’s evil will grow stronger.

Brothers and sisters, you must put on your spiritual armor and not allow the influence of Satan’s evil to take you down.

Jesus Christ paid the price of your salvation when He shed His blood on the cross. The same spiritual battle happens in America, Great Britain, France, Iran, Greece, China…it knows no national boundaries. Wherever you live, remember that you’re just passing through this life. You had no choice as to where you were born, but you do have a choice as to where you will spend eternity. Unless you ask Jesus to forgive your sin and accept Him as your Saviour, you’ll spend eternity in the lake of fire with Satan and all who oppose God.

Allow Christ to rule in your heart. When you begin to look at people from God’s prescriptive, you begin to change your own perspective. The Ahabs and Jezebels who are all around us become human beings who desperately need to bow their hearts before Jesus Christ before they step into eternity. Satan’s influence is strong against Christians, but we can either give in and be crushed by his evil, or we can resist.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded” (James 4:7-8).

If you allow Satan to rule in your heart, you’ll feel far from God. Don’t dwell on what the enemy has done to you, but dwell upon what God has done for you. No matter what hard knocks may come your way, as a Christian you can always rejoice in your salvation.

When Christ rules your life, you’ll see the people around you in a different light…not the light of darkness, but through the Light of the world and the love of Jesus. The person who causes you trouble is a sinner in need of salvation through Jesus. Politicians who promote wickedness need Jesus’ love rather than to continue along the path of destruction. Hollywood idols who have “sold their souls” to Satan in order to gain fame and riches can be saved from an eternity in Hell. We are all in the battle, and every Christian must fight. One of our strongest weapons is prayer.

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

Pray for fellow Christians. Let God strengthen your spirit and make you fit for battle. Part of fighting the battle is knowing the enemy and knowing how to fight. When someone causes you trouble, look at them as someone who needs to meet Jesus. As you look around your neighborhood or nation, you’ll see many people who are corrupt and controlled by Satan. They all need prayer. Even the worst sinner can find salvation in Jesus. Pay for the lost souls.

God made salvation simple for us. He stepped into His creation and showed us His love. He healed the blind and lame, he cast out demons, and He forgave sinners. For these “crimes” He was accused of blasphemy and arrested. He was mocked and horridly beaten before being forced to carry His cross to be crucified. As He hung on the cross looking at His enemies, what did He say?

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his garment, and cast lots” (Luke 23:34).

Jesus had pity for His enemies even though they went right on with their sin. Shouldn’t we, as His followers, have the same outlook? People offend us and cause all kinds of trouble; but if we see people in the same way as God sees them, then our perspective changes. We can pray for them, and our desire should be that they’ll come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

As Christians, we have much to pray about. Our hearts should be broken over the fallen world in which we live, but we also have much to rejoice over.

“I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me” (Psalm 13:6). 

The Lord greatly blessed David, and He continues His blessing on Christians. Sing to the Lord, Christians. Rejoice in your salvation. The enemy will try to take your joy away, but he won’t win if you keep Christ in your heart.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos” – God breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.

Draw Closer to the Light :: By Nathele Graham 

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

The world is in a mess. Everywhere we look we see doom and gloom. Chaos seems to rule, and liberal beliefs are infesting the hearts of men…and women. In the United States there were two tragic shooting incidents recently, and the nation has had our hearts broken. These tragedies are becoming all too frequent. Though we are horrified, this shouldn’t be a surprise to Christians because we are in the last days, and Scripture tells us that the hearts of humanity will grow colder. I’m not writing today about those shootings, but about the darkness that lives in the hearts of secular people. That darkness permeates our world and is trying to extinguish the Light of God. That darkness is from Satan.

People will often blame God when tragedy strikes. Whether that tragedy is a mass murder, an evil rape, or a single murder of any kind, the first reaction is to blame God. In many cases it’s our choice that puts us in a perilous situation. Not always, but quite often that’s the case. Did the young woman who cries rape choose to go to a frat party? The rape shouldn’t have happened, but if she wasn’t in the wrong place she wouldn’t have been put in danger. When a person chooses to pursue carnal lusts and worldly pleasures, they choose to follow Satan. Christians must learn to make choices based on Biblical truth and turn from the wickedness of the world.

“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19).

The god of this world is Satan. Many video games, TV shows, movies, and song lyrics glorify Satan and mock the one true God. It isn’t always easy to turn from the darkness because those things tempt us to sin. They often offer temporary pleasure, but that pleasure doesn’t last.

Christians make a mistake by keeping silent and playing the games, watching the shows, and listening to the music that promote evil. Those things control our hearts. How many hours do you spend studying Scripture, talking with God, or doing good works in His name? How many hours do you spend in secular activity?

Parents…take the iPhone away. Look into the vaccinations your children get and the mind-altering drugs they are prescribed to counteract the side effects of those vaccinations. Learn about the drug list that most, if not all, of the shooters were prescribed. Parents, put your foot down and don’t allow the secular music and movies to shape your child’s life. Parents, here’s the tough thing you can do: homeschool your children. Easy? Not really because most parents have given into the temptations of this world. You might have to give up some of your toys…multiple cars, big mortgage payment, or that spectacular vacation, but the soul of your child is more important than the secular teaching you allow them to be brainwashed with.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Lead by example. Most parents encourage secular sports or allow their kids to “hang out” with secular friends. Ask the parents of the young girl who was brutally stabbed by two “friends” who were obeying a demon what they would do differently. Give your children the courage to stand for Jesus rather than wanting to be accepted by secular friends. Teach your children to not be ashamed of following Christ, even if people mock them. Teach them what Jesus did for them on the cross and how He endured the mocking and rejection of many people around Him. He chose men to “hang out” with who were willing to draw closer to the Light of the World rather than follow the darkness of Satan.

Here’s another very real part of the mass murder tragedies, or any other death: How many of the victims knew Jesus?

That question won’t be addressed by the news media, but it could be the eternal tragedy of these deaths. The partiers in Dayton, the shoppers in El Paso, the crowd in Las Vegas, and even those sitting in the pews when a killer entered a congregation with a gun, have all stepped into eternity. If you’re a victim tomorrow, your choice today makes the eternal difference.

Jesus Himself sent Paul on a mission to spread the Gospel. “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me” (Acts 26:18).

That mission is given to every Christian. If we don’t put Christ first in our lives, live so others can see Him in us, and speak boldly for His truth, then the darkness will grow stronger and the power of Satan will infect everyone.

A person living in darkness and serving the god of this world can repent and turn their life over to Christ if a Christian will be a witness to him. Jesus will forgive every sin whether homosexuality, abortion, mass shootings, or telling lies. If you’ve led someone to a saving faith in Jesus, don’t walk away. That new babe in Christ must be guided in their walk. Teach them to follow Christ. Use Scripture, both the Old and New Testaments. Be firm about what Scripture discloses as sin and help them to turn away from darkness. Don’t let failures stumble them in their walk, but teach them to recognize their sin and confess to Jesus and seek His forgiveness.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).

We all need to examine our way of life so we can turn from the darkness and draw nearer to the Light of Jesus.

Everyone was dead in sin before accepting the free gift of salvation only found in Jesus. Prior to accepting Christ, you may have willingly participated in much sin and found temporary pleasure in it. True acceptance of Christ’s gift of salvation should change your mind about what things you find pleasure in.

“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of the light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8-10).

Christ saves us but then we have a responsibility to allow Him to change us. Darkness and Light cannot exist simultaneously, and we can’t continue in sin and claim to follow Him. Temptations will always come our way, and those stumbling blocks are satanic. Be careful about the things you see. The eye can allow darkness into your whole being, and even the strongest Christian can stumble.

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, the whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23).

It’s a sad comment on life today that Christians cannot be distinguished from non-Christians. Rather than putting Christ first, He is put on a back shelf. Because of our silence we have allowed Satan to take over our schools, our politics, and even our churches.

Jesus said “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46). 

No wonder Satan’s darkness is overshadowing the Light of God…Christians choose to abide in darkness rather than drawing closer to the Light.

We never know when our life will be taken. No matter how you die or when you die, you have a choice as to how you will live. You may be shopping at Wal-Mart when a demon possessed person pulls the trigger, and your life is over. Make your eternal choice now.

When you choose to accept Jesus Christ for salvation, you then need to draw closer to His Light. If you’ve accepted His free gift of salvation, no matter how you die, you will live eternally with Him. Don’t leave the choice of your eternal destination until it’s too late. Draw near to the Light of God today or forever dwell in darkness.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos”— God-breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.