I'm hopping mad at the devil, and yes he does exist. I'm mad at him because he thinks he has the beautiful, loving, well-meaning children of God fooled on a whole bunch of fronts. I know what he's trying to do. He's got plans for evil, not for good. I'm calling him out on at least one of his especially humongous, nasty schemes.1 It's stuff the devil won't tell you because he's a liar!
Here's the deal: "Evil one, because I have Jesus, I win. Not you. You have no power over my life and the lives of God's children. So stop your lying, thieving and killing plans and go somewhere else. Take your hands off me and God's people in Jesus' name."
One big lie he always likes to bring up is the past. He loves to harass God's people with what they've done. Now, I remember my past and it wasn't pretty, literally. Weighing 430 pounds is never pretty.
The feeling of shame, which I believe is really a harassing spirit, liked to follow me around and get me to the place where I ate more to try to cover up those overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame.
Today, memories of my past fuel me to never want to go back there again. I keep my before picture embedded in my mind. It feels like eons ago, but I never want to forget that feeling of despair, pain and trying to hide from everyone and every situation.
Everything has changed since then. I love my life. I love my husband. I love my children. I especially love those I coach. "In the name of Jesus, evil one, you take your hands off those God has entrusted to my care. You have no rights in their lives."
The present reality for many of God's children is that the evil one still has the wool pulled over their eyes. He's frantically trying to perpetuate his lies that sweet and starchy foods are the be-all, end-all for every problem.
Friends, that's a lie from the very pit of hell! Oh, he has many of these lies, but today I'm calling him out on this one really big lie. Food used beyond the necessary element to fuel our bodies, is not pleasure. It's bondage. And the more we think it is our friend and helper, the deeper into bondage we go.
God wants us free to follow Him, to live connected to Him. However, when we willfully rely on a substance or a desire to give us comfort, protection, pleasure and alleviate pain and sadness, we have bought into a lie and started the process for a stronghold of evil to take over our lives.
The apostle Paul tells us, "For freedom Christ freed us. Stand fast therefore and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage."2
Failure is a great teacher. It teaches me not to do that again. It teaches me to move forward, not stop or turn back. My past is important. It fuels me to do the right thing today.
The evil one's greatest torment is our future. God talks about our future all the time, this great destiny He has in store for us. He's always reminding the evil one of his future and believe me, it's not pretty, but yours is and can be beautiful.
" The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet were. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever."3
See, the evil one cannot take us out of God's hands4 once we are there, but he can tempt us and make us ineffective for the kingdom of God. If we buy into his lies and this one humongous scheme, he will try to steal, kill and destroy all of our futures.
Jesus said, "The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."5
When we walk completely with the Lord, follow His plans for us and reject the tempting schemes of the evil one, the beauty of our future is that we have one that is out of this world, literally.
What God has in store for us is summed up in this following passage. I want you to read it aloud to yourself and insert your name where it says "you" and "your." Sincerely, do it or retype it and put your name in there. I dare you.
God's Plan for You!
"May you, having been deeply rooted and securely grounded in love, be fully capable of comprehending with all God's people, the width and length and height and depth of God's love, fully experiencing that amazing, endless love; and that you may come to know practically, through personal experience, the love of Christ which far surpasses mere knowledge without experience.
"And may you be filled up throughout your being to all the fullness of God so that you may have the richest experience of God's presence in your life, completely filled and flooded with God Himself. Now to Him who is able to carry out His purpose and do super abundantly more than all that you dare ask or think, infinitely beyond your greatest prayers, hopes or dreams, according to His power that is at work within you, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen."6
This, my friend, is your future when you reject what the evil one is telling you is good and follow wholeheartedly everything God has for you.
No need to be afraid of the evil one, just remind him of his future in contrast to yours! He'll tuck his head between his tail and leave.
1 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
3 Revelation 20:10
5 John 10:10
6Ephesians 3:17-21 (with personal paraphrase)
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction and Sweet Freedom. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page or Twitter.
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