Ladies, Gents, Homeboys and Homegirls, Whatsuuuup?
We are almost finished with this book!! How have you guys liked the chapter reviews so far? Has it helped you all? If you guys have any suggestions about books for me to review next let me know, otherwise, I’ll pick a book from the stack I’ve been meaning to tackle. I have a couple of relationship books, some financial management books as well as some spiritual based books. Even if you guys don’t have a book title in mind, you can still suggest topics and I’ll get on it. I’m also interested in picking up some blogging books as I know a lot of you guys already blog and it might help all of us out.
By the way, if you guys are interested in getting the book for yourself, I highly recommend it. If you like, you can use my Amazon affiliate code and save 20% by clicking the book below.
Anyway, on to this chapter…
So this chapter begins with Lysa talking about her trip to Africa detailing the time she slept in a tent, a tent that had signs around it reminding folk to make sure they didn’t leave out at night or leave food in their tents. Sure enough, in the middle of the night her tent was brushed by lions looking for food. As her husband was sound asleep (due to a sleeping pill), she felt the tent shift and the creature roar. Clearly, she’s braver than I cause I think I would’ve had a heart attack.
We have a very real enemy and the Bible states that he’s coming to steal, kill and destroy. This is a progression. Let’s look at these definitions to better understand what his goal is so that we can remain diligent.
So in essence we can say that the enemy’s mission statement is to take something not belonging to him, cause it to fail and then to put an end to the existence of it. Wow, he has a clearly defined mission statement but do we? Studies show those who have a clearly defined mission statement are reminded of goals as it serves as the “North Star” avoiding distractions and keeping clear direction of the intended destination. If we are wandering and we are the enemy’s prey, it’s easy to attack us but if we have clear direction and stay focused we won’t be vulnerable. Think about the animal kingdom. The lion attacks the prey that either gets scared and runs off from the herd or the old or weak one who can’t keep up with the herd. Either way, there’s protection in the masses; those who are on the same accord at least. The mission statement does that. If you have never heard it before, create a mission statement for your life. I know you would typically hear this and think about a corporation but just as you can design a corporation, you have the responsibility to design your life as well.
The devil is vicious but not victorious…powerful but also predictable- Lysa TerKeurst pg. 149-150
It’s important that we remember that he not coming to just tempt us or cause us to fall off a little, he’s coming to destroy us. I’m finding that in my own journey that success is found in what we do daily because whatever we do daily, if done long enough, will turn into habits and habits shape us. If the enemy can distract you long enough to stop doing or focusing on one positive habit, just one, and replace it with a negative act it has devastating effects as it compounds. So, In 1 Peter 5:8, to be vigilant is to stay focused and to take careful watch that we aren’t ensnared by the three ways the word says he will come in 1 John 2:16.
For all that is in the world—the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father, but are from the world. (1 John 2:16 AMP)
- Lust and Sensual Craving of Flesh-we fall prey to this when we crave attention or a desire and look to man to fulfill emptiness with physical pleasures which are temporary that drive us to continue chase destructive behaviors and thoughts that never sustain.
- Longing of the Eyes-“The Grass is Greener” Effect. When our eyes see something that is new, shiny, exciting or sexy that others have and we become super focused on having those things for ourselves. This opens the door for rationalization and justification of actions or thoughts as they lure us to obtain what isn’t ours outside the will of God; whether it be person, place, thing or position.
- Boastful Pride of Life-Arrogance; Excessive self satisfaction in our possessions, abilities or achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.
The Devil wants me to fill my emptiness with an unhealthy dependence on the acceptance of others. Because then he can get me focused on the shallow opinions of others I get completely distracted from deepening my relationship with Christ. And the process is my masked boasting pulling other into the crazy comparison traps that lures them away from Christ as well. (TerKeurst, pg. 152)
The process is so savage when you really think about it because it’s a cycle that is so far reaching especially because the popularity of social media. It reminds me of the saying “Everything that glitters isn’t gold.” The most interesting thing about it though is that it does glitter, not necessarily the possibility that it could be gold. As a girly girl, at times, I understand the enchantment of glitter, the way the light hits it, it’s so beautiful. It’s the glitter that messes you up though. You could’ve been walking in a whole other path but when the glimmer hits your eye, you’re already mesmerized, you wanna inspect it further, but by then it’s too late. Your attention is caught and there’s nothing you can do about it, you’re already sucked in and by default you’ve neglected what was on the path you were on.
Speaking of glitter and social media, this season can be especially brutal for some as it’s prom season. I don’t know about you’re experience but things have become so elaborate for prom. I legit thought I was doing big things when I showed up with my flip (it was a cute hairstyle back then) and my BCBG dress and purse but these kids literally have red carpets rolled out for them. It’s easy to to understand that the girl who doesn’t have that might feel inferior but they are falling into the “Longing of the Eyes” category. The thing is when we find ourselves tempted and falling into these areas we must “flight the lion.”
So how do we fight this so called “lion”? The first thing we must do is recognize when one of those three are going on. Discernment is huge. The second thing we must do is follow the instruction of the Word.
So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you. (James 4:7-AMP)
You resist, by standing firm against the enemy after you have discerned that one of these are at work, you stand against it by filling your mind (because most of the battles are fought in the mind) and your mouth (because out of the heart the mouth speaks) with the word of God concerning that area. Go to the appendix if you need to but find the word and every time there’s temptation in that area apply the word like Neosporin to a cut. If you can’t seem to do that, find godly advice or get around praise and worship. Praise and worship are key because He inhabits the praises of His people and where He is the enemy can’t be. Also please keep in mind that we aren’t above our Master. Jesus was tempted to fall prey to these issues as well. Lysa does are great job by highlighting Jesus’ responses. They are great weapons for us as well.
1. Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:1-4, NIV)
Discernment: Lust and Sensual Craving of the Flesh (It’s goal is to increase our desire for something outside the will of God)
We were created by God. If I purchased a vacuum cleaner from Hoover, I wouldn’t go to Dirt Devil to fix it. Seems like common sense right? But we do it all the time with God. When we go to anyone but our Creator with a malfunction in our lives and try to fix it without His expertise, we set ourselves up for failure. Dirt Devil could possibly give me a workaround for the issue which most likely could create other issues. Why not go to the source? When we go without spiritual nourishment and take it in our hands, we typically attempt to fix it with the physical first because although we are a spirit living in a flesh suit, we usually only see these things from how they affect the physical realm without realizing that it’s a spiritual issue that just manifested physically; to get to the root of it you have to approach it from a spiritual perspective. Therefore, physical pleasures can’t fill us, they only numb, distract and separate us from the Lord. Draw close by drawing close to the promises found in the Word.
2. Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Matthew 4:5-7, NIV)
Discernment: Longing of the Eyes (It’s goal is to make us think compromise isn’t a big deal)
Always remember, what we behold, we become. So we must constantly inspect ourselves and ask what are we giving ourselves to in secret? A very popular thing these days is to attempt to discredit the church. I see it all the time on Facebook. People will go to church only on Easter Sunday and New Year’s and all throughout the year criticize the church because a Pastor drives a Bentley because they feel that the leader is too wealthy. But if God tells you to give 10% it’s a problem. Why? It’s about obedience to God, not to the Pastor.
We forfeit our relationship with God because we think another human is a crook. It’s not our business but it happens all the time. Don’t test God. Our obedience to Him is our responsibility and it’s about whether or not we trust Him to meet our needs. Secretly, we aren’t sure if we give to someone who already has it and we don’t have it that we should be able to keep it because he’ll be alright. The gag is, it’s not about the Pastor. Are we trusting or testing? When I give the tithe I’m only giving God back what’s His in the first place because He gave me the ability to get the 100%. The least I can do is give Him the 10% He asks for. It’s not my problem what happens to it after it leaves my hand. It is not based on if anyone else is committed but it is based off of my commitment. The point I’m making is this will cause us to compromise because we truly think we should be blessed financially but we see the “rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer” and think it’s a good enough excuse to disobey Almighty God and it’s not. Other examples of longing eyes would be pornography, sex outside of marriage, theft, compromising ethics, etc. We have to constantly check ourselves with this because these are typically things that are done in secret and we know what’s done in secret will come to light, eventually.
3. Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. (Matthew 4:8-11, NIV)
Discernment: Boastful Pride of Life (It’s goal is to minimize our ability to think through the consequences)
Here we have to be careful of our ambitions because the enemy can offer us the world and he will but what we must ask ourselves is, is it worth our worship? Whatever and whoever we worship is our master. We were created to worship, so naturally we worship whether we want to or not.
For me personally, the Lord is who I worship because He is the only person who has the blueprint, He laid down His life for me so that I could pick up my life in eternity, no one can ever say that they’ve done that for me. The Word says that I can love Him because He first loved me. Many people may claim to love me but no one has ever given their life for me.
This definition reminds me of the saying “…placing on a pedestal,” which refers to the act of exalting someone but this sets people up to not only fail but to disappoint you. No one deserves a pedestal but God, even the best human will need to get up to stretch or take a bathroom break, to place the pressure of perfection on anyone is unfair because no one is perfect. People will disappoint us, it’s our nature, the quicker we understand that the better we are for it. It’s not them, it’s the frailty of man. God, on the other hand, can handle your expectations, fears, doubts, bad days and still love you through it.
He is jealous for you. He is jealous for me. The fullness of His love and lavish acceptance is the only match for the rejection we will experience. And He absolutely doesn’t want us making other relationships the false gods of our worship. (TerKeurst, page 157)
As you remember these promises, in spite of the Tempter, just as Jesus did, know that the promises only work when you work them. They don’t kill the lion, they shut him down and send him back to hell. What you must remember is that he’s an Accuser (this is a legal term), so he’s gonna try you every chance he gets but you must always have a word for him in season and out of season.
I hope this ministered. I typically don’t go in like this but I thought it was needed. I want you guys to be led to read this book and I’m not attempting to redo her book but this subject needed to be explained in detail because it’s where a lot of us fall prey. We are clipped up by these tactics that we don’t even know is being used against us. The enemy is likened to a lion and lions smell blood, they smell fear and are quick to pounce on the weak. We are weak when we don’t know our adversary, so mediate on this for strength and victory.
Love you guys!