True Love is for Losers

          Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!                                   Philippians 2: 5-8

With Valentine’s Day coming up, and thoughts of romance on people’s minds, I’d like to share some thoughts about true love excerpted from my book, BARRIERS (So, if prayers are so powerful, how come mine don’t get answered?)

In the popular movie “A Knight’s Tale,” the knight, William, has one desire – the love of the lady Jocelyn. Or at least he believes she is his one desire. He has trained long and hard for the impending tournament and is confident he can beat all the others and win her hand. But the lady seems unimpressed with his declaration of love, even annoyed with his boasting. Finally in desperation he cries, “What can I do to prove my love for you?” It is then that she drops the proverbial bomb.

“If you love me, fight poorly. Lose.”

William cannot believe she is serious, but she insists. In order to prove to her that he loves her, he is to go out and lose. He wrestles with the proposition, then in frustration he declares defiantly, “I will not lose!”

Lady Jocelyn looks him in the eye and declares with equal defiance, “Then you do not love me.”

At first it seems the  lady is a few bricks short of a castle, but as I thought about it, I concluded, She’s a genius!

Think about it. A knight could fight to win a tournament for many reasons – riches, ambition, pride, success, gloating privileges, all the glory that goes with being the victor. Winning the lady’s hand could just be an extra bonus. But Jocelyn doesn’t want to be a perk. She wants a man who will love her more than anything – more than wealth, popularity, admiration – more than himself and his own ego. Her request is brilliant. It also says something about her priorities when it comes to love. Most ladies of the day would be proud to be won by the best, most popular, most glorious knight, but she would rather have true love than the prestige of being the champion’s lady.

  [Spoiler Alert] The day of the tournament William rides out with much fanfare, amid the shouts of his many admirers, while Jocelyn sits in the gallery looking bored. But when it comes his turn to fight, much to the dismay of his squires, William allows himself to be struck without any resistance whatsoever. After numerous harsh blows, his bewildered squires cry, “Why are you doing this?”

“I don’t know!” he cries, as bewildered as they are.

But Jocelyn knows why, and suddenly she is interested in the tournament. Unable to sit, she jumps to her feet. But then, apparently weak in the knees, she leans against a pole for support. As she watches her knight passively receiving the beating of his life, she murmurs incredulously, “He loves me!”

So, what does this have to do with divine perspective?

EVERYTHING.

Christians, especially American Christians, seriously underestimate the differences between the ways of the world and the ways of the Kingdom of God.

From the day Jesus entered the world in the flesh, the way He did things was the direct opposite of what people expected of the Messiah. The King of the universe was born in a barn. He was raised in a humble home, hung out with the lowliest people. And how did He prove His love for us? Not by wiping out His enemies in a glorious show of power, but by allowing Himself to be beaten, mocked, spat on, stripped naked, and nailed to a cross to die a criminal’s death.

So, as I watched William taking a beating for the woman he loved, I had a sense of deja vu from another film, “The Passion of the Christ.” I remembered, as I had watched the portrayal of Jesus taking so much abuse without resistance,  having been acutely aware that He could have stopped it any time He chose to. He could so easily have been the conquering Hero, the glorious Victor. But He wasn’t – not yet.

And like Jocelyn, I was awestruck as I realized, He loves me!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, our Bridegroom, You laid down your life for Your bride. We love You, and we want to love You more – more than the world, more than other people’s opinions,  more than our very lives. Help us to be willing to look like losers, if that’s what it takes to follow You, to be identified with You. In Your precious  name, Amen.

 

What the —?!?

A merry heart does good, like medicine.    – Proverbs 17:22

Have you ever seen those sentences where every word is misspelled, but you can still read it? Apparently it’s because the spellings are so close to correct that your mind subconsciously fills in the blanks and rearranges the letters to make sense of it. I think I may have done that with my blog title. Maybe others have been reading it that way, too.

Either that or my readers have been snickering at me for the past year.

It came to my attention when a fellow blogger wanted to re-post my latest piece. I was delighted. Then he asked if I wanted the title of my blog to be “Seeking Divine Perspective” or “Perpsective.” Even then I didn’t see the error, I just thought he was shortening the title. When I finally saw the typo, I freaked.

It was late at night, and I had been traveling and was behind on my emails. I had planned to get through the 180+ emails as quickly as possible and get to bed, but now I was stressing out about this major embarrassment. (I know, I was blowing it way out of proportion, but I’m a retired, perfectionist English teacher, for heaven’s sake.) Being technologically challenged, I had to ask for help and didn’t know how long it would take Word Press to respond, and I wanted it fixed NOW. (Actually, I wanted it fixed last year.)

Meanwhile, I showed the blog to my husband Marty, and he didn’t see anything wrong with it at first, until I told him what word was wrong, and he took a closer look. I hoped it was one of those things people looked at and saw what it was supposed to say. Oh well, it’s been there for over a year, I can wait another day to fix it. 

Suddenly it occurred to me how ironically appropriate it was for this “crisis” to come up after I posted “The Big Cover-up” – the story about garbage that was lurking under the snow in my yard, until a thaw uncovered it all, right before an event I was hosting. And here I was, dealing with a blunder that had been right under my nose all these months. Same feeling, same panic to get it fixed.

While I waited for help to arrive in my inbox, I read some other bloggers’ posts. I read one about how the devil will attack a person’s confidence in the area where God is using him/her. I have recently come to the conclusion that writing is a big part of my calling, and the fact that my blog can go anywhere in the world the Lord wants it to go has been hugely exciting to me. So, it makes sense that I would be attacked in this area by something this silly, this late at night. That realization made me smile and calm down a little. And in that blogger’s comments I shared my experience as a prime example.

Another post was about gratitude, how we tend to complain about the quality of the food we have, while other people are starving, etc. (“I complained because I had no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet.”)

I couldn’t resist: “I was stressed because my title had a typo, until I realized some people could never spell ‘perspective’ in the first place.” I then sat and laughed away any residual stress. I’m pretty sure God was laughing with me. (I love that feeling.)

I’ve picked up some followers in the past couple of days. I never know how my followers originally find my blog, but I can’t help wondering if this time one or more of them might have seen my comments and checked out my blog to see what this glaring blunder was. Who knows? I just know that what started as a blow to my perfectionist ego turned into a beautiful example of God’s sense of humor, not to mention His ability to drive home a point that I had just made days before but had already forgotten.

In fact, I’ve been having so much fun with this, I still haven’t corrected it, although I now know how to. One of these days I will, so check it out now. And if you are so inclined, show it to someone else and just see if they spot the mistake on that page.

(Just curious.)

Prayer: Lord, we can take ourselves so seriously! And so often we don’t take You seriously enough. Forgive us, and help us to get a better perspective, Your perspective – the “divine perspective.” If we aren’t good at laughing at ourselves, teach us this happy skill, that Your joy may be our strength, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Big Cover-up

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.                                                                                                                                                                                                       Proverbs 28:13

In 1976 Marty and I moved to a house in the woods near a tiny town in Michigan. Knowing there was wildlife all around, I was always on the lookout for deer, foxes, raccoons – anything interesting (except skunks. That I could pass up, thank you.).

After a while I was disappointed by the lack of sightings, so I began tossing food scraps into our yard every night after dinner, hoping to spot a hungry critter. Ever morning the scraps had disappeared, but I was never able to spot a single creature, and usually the snow had been falling lightly but steadily all night enough to cover up any tracks.

Since I am not the kind of person who can stare at nature all winter, I got involved with the local high school students. Before I knew it a youth group made up of about a dozen kids was meeting in my living room every week. By March they wanted to share their faith with their friends from school, so we planned a special night of outreach – fondue, music, and a message at the end. The students invited all their friends and posted announcements about it at school.

Finally the big day arrived, and while the students were at school, I was busy getting everything ready. I bought the ingredients and got out the equipment for the fondue and cleaned the house til it sparkled. I wanted everything to be perfect.

As the time for the party approached, I was feeling pretty satisfied with myself, when I realized I was missing one ingredient for the fondue. No big deal, I thought as I headed out the door for a quick run into town.

Suddenly I froze in horror.

That day had been unseasonably warm, and the snow that had been accumulating all winter was fast melting away. And throughout the yard, everywhere I looked was …

GARBAGE!

Apple cores, potato peelings, eggshells, bread crusts broccoli stems, you name it. All over the yard. The animals hadn’t eaten it. It had just been covered up every night by the steadily falling snow!

So much for perfection.

Have you ever had one of those moments? Things you thought no one would ever know about – maybe things you didn’t even know about – are suddenly out in the open for all to see?

The Bible says a day like that will come, when every moment of bad judgment, wrong words, thoughts, motives, and deeds will be brought to light – and judged by a holy God. How scary is that, especially since we have all made more bad decisions than we can count? “Who can endure the day of his coming?” (Malachi 3:2a)

If having company see your house surrounded in garbage is embarrassing, imagine having the whole universe see … (You fill in the blanks.)

That night in 1977 I was scrambling to clean up my yard, but it will take much more than a rake and a garbage bag to undo a lifetime of sins and mistakes.

Well, there’s good news: It has been done! When Jesus Christ was nailed to that cross 2000 years ago, He was paying the penalty for every bad decision you and I have ever made. In fact, when He cried “It is finished!” He was declaring, literally, “Paid in full.”

If we believe that His death paid for our sins, why on earth would we try to cover them up?

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:8-9)

If confessing our sins means the slate is clean, why would we not confess? If repentance means that when God looks at you, He sees not the garbage in your life but a soul washed clean, why would we want to hang on to the thing that separates us from Him?

Is there a mess in your life that you are hiding? If so, are you going to keep trying to cover it up, or will you confess your mess and ask the Lord for His help?

I recommend the latter.

(Excerpted from BARRIERS (So, if prayers are so powerful, how come mine don’t get answered?) copyright 2015 by Ann Aschauer)

Prayer: Lord, help us to keep a clean slate with You. Show us the sins that we need to confess, and help us to truly repent and not go back into living in the same sinful patterns. Thank You, Jesus, for giving Your life so that we may be released from our sins, and free to live for You, in Your name. Amen.

Revelation in the Bleachers

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,                                                                                slow to anger, abounding in love.                                                                           He will not always accuse,                                                                                                          nor will he harbor his anger forever;                                                                      he does not treat us as our sins deserve                                                                                     or reward us according to our iniquities.                                                          For as high as the heavens are above the earth,                                                                         so great is his love for those who fear him;                                                         as far as the east is from the west,                                                                                             so far has he removed our transgressions from us.                                           As a father has compassion on his children,                                                                                  so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;                                      for he knows how we are formed,                                                                                                  he remembers that we are dust.                                                                                                                                                          Psalm 103:8-14

 

Although I haven’t posted song lyrics on my blog before, and it’s been around thirty years since I wrote this, something’s telling me to share it today…

               Revelation in the Bleachers

                              (That’s the Kind of God He Is)

Dressed in sky-blue satin and sequins sparkling bright,                                                                A winter ballerina glides across a stage of white.                                                                            As judges, sitting stony-faced, inspect her form and style,                                                            With trembling lips and bashful eyes, she tries her best to smile.

But it only takes a moment on two tiny, wobbly feet                                                                      For dreams to shatter on the ice and spills to spell defeat.                                                            And as she ends her dance, her cheeks are glistening in the light.                                             I say a silent prayer, then run to tell her it’s all right.

I wouldn’t kick her when she’s down or scold her when she cries;                                            I’ll help her to her feet, dry the tears from her eyes.                                                                      And God won’t leave her when she fails; I remind her that she’s His,                                        ’cause that’s the kind of God He is.

So how could I imagine that the LORD would love me less                                                           When I stumble in some way, when I fail to do my best?                                                             But just as, when the storm had passed, my little daughter smiled,                                           It gives me joy to know that I am still my Father’s child,

And He won’t kick me when I’m down or scold me when I cry;                                                   He’ll help me to my feet, dry the tears from my eyes.                                                                     And He won’t leave me when I fail; I know that I’m still His,                                                       ’cause that’s the kind of God He is:

He won’t kick you when you’re down or scold you when you cry;                                             He’ll help you to your feet, dry the tears from your eyes.                                                             And He won’t leave you when you fail; He’ll tell you you’re still His,                                         ’cause that’s the kind of God He is.

– Ann Aschauer

 

Note: This song was written from the perspective of a follower of Jesus Christ, who died to atone for our sins, and who gives us new life when we believe in Him. If you are not a believer, are only “sorry” when you get caught, or have no intention of changing, I can’t help you.  – But He can. I hope you will consider His claims today.

 

Prayer: LORD, thank You for Your infinite patience toward those who believe in You. We know that as long as we live in this fallen world, we will struggle with sin. Help us to keep short accounts with You and allow You to pick us up when we stumble. Rather than wallowing in self-condemnation, help us to follow You more closely and grow in our spiritual walk. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Sucker or Cynic?

“Be as shrewd as snakes, but as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16

You may be familiar with the Winston Churchill quote, “If you are not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you are not a conservative by 40, you have no brain.”

I don’t know if that quote pertains to my understanding of “liberal” and “conservative,” but as a  Christ follower, I don’t want to have a heart with no brain, and I certainly don’t want a brain with no heart! Jesus’ admonition to “be as shrewd as snakes, but as innocent as doves” sounds great, but how do we achieve that divine balance in a world with both the genuinely needy and the con artists?

Suppose a man is standing by the side of the road with a sign asking for money for food. The stereotypical “liberal” might think, Aw, poor guy! I’ll give him my cash. The stereotypical “conservative” might think, I’m not giving him money. He’d just spend it on drugs or alcohol.

What would you do?

Scripture has much to say about being kind to strangers, and that in doing so we might even be entertaining angels! (Hebrew 13:2) But in the story of the prodigal son, who had made some very poor choices, it wasn’t until he was totally destitute and “no one gave him anything” (Luke 15:16) that he finally “came to his senses.” (verse 17)

We know that someone who keeps helping another person continue to make bad choices is an “enabler,” and when God is delivering someone a wake-up call, we certainly don’t want to be that person who keeps helping him hit the snooze button.

On the other hand, there’s the chilling prediction that at the Judgment Jesus will tell some of us, “Depart from Me! I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. If you didn’t do it for the least of these, you didn’t do it for Me.” (Matthew 25:41-42, 45 -paraphrase)

When Jesus walked this earth, He was the picture of compassion, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, even preaching that we should love our enemies. At the same time, on at least one occasion He bluntly told the crowds, “You are not looking for Me because you saw miraculous signs, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.” (John 6:26) He rebuked hypocrites and chastised those with ulterior motives.

Jesus had an advantage – He knew people’s hearts. Usually, we don’t, and when we think we do, that’s when we get into trouble.  So, how do we get “the mind of Christ,” when our minds are finite, and the issues are so murky?

Ask Him.

Prayer is always a good idea. Talk to God, and don’t forget to listen for His voice. If we don’t hear an audible voice, He could be speaking to us through Scripture. The book of Proverbs is chock full of wisdom. So are a great many other passages, but be sure to read them in context. We need to study all of God’s Word, or we will be more confused than ever. That’s why some people speak of “contradictions” in the Bible or quote only certain Scriptures to support their side of an issue; they’re reading only part of it and missing God’s perfect balance.

One of my favorite promises is found in James 1:5, which tell us that if we ask God for wisdom, He’ll give it to us. I’ve seen that promise fulfilled when an idea seems to get dropped into my mind. Sometimes the idea is relatively simple, such as giving a generous donation to, or volunteering with a reputable ministry that helps the needy with food, shelter, and employment.

As for the person on the street with the sign, I usually stop and give him/her a gift card for a fast food place. (I always try to carry a few in my purse.)  Usually the person is appreciative. If I don’t have a card and the person is asking for money for food, I try to find a way to provide some food. Sometimes the experience gets interesting…

One day when I was visiting my daughter at college, we encountered what appeared to be a homeless man on the street. He asked us for some money so he could “buy a sandwich at the McDonald’s over there.”

My generous-but-smart daughter said sweetly, “I’d be happy to buy you a sandwich. What kind would you like?” The man didn’t want us to bother and said we could just give him the cash, but Kelly insisted on buying it for him. Finally, he said he’d like a fish sandwich, and we headed over to get in line.

After quite a wait, we got back to the spot only to find that the man had left, but another man was sitting on the curb, his head bowed and his long hair dangling around his knees. We offered him the sandwich and a prayer, and he accepted both. After the prayer we asked his name.

He replied, “Gabriel.”

I got a chill.

Prayer: Lord, forgive us when we have used our cynicism as an excuse not to help the truly needy. Forgive us when we have given with wrong motives, not wisely, just to make ourselves look or feel good. Show us how to be “as wise as serpents but as innocent as doves.” Give us pure motives and “the mind of Christ” each day to do Your will, in Jesus’ name. Amen

 

 


 

 

A Warrior’s Story

God is our refuge and strength,                                                                                                       an ever-present help in trouble.                                                                      He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;                                                                                  he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,                                                                          he burns the shields with fire.                                                                      “Be still, and know that I am God;                                                                                                   I will be exalted among the nations,                                                                                   I will be exalted in the earth.”                                 Psalm 46:1,9,10

 

I came across this journal entry from three years ago and just had to share it with my readers. This was probably the most exciting New Year’s I have ever had. Enjoy!                  

It’s New Year’s Day in Louisville. And in New York. And in L. A. And in Paris and Munich and the Middle East. And as far as I know, there have been no successful terrorist attacks.

There were threats, and as usual I prayed. I’ve been praying against terrorism daily since July of 2005. I had become frustrated with praying for the families of the victims after the fact and asked God how – with no idea where the enemy was or what their targets were – I could narrow down my prayer to be the kind of specific prayer He answers in my life – Before these things happen. He had said (in His “still, small voice”), “Narrow it down to what they have planned today.”

Have these prayers been answered? I have a file folder full of articles – just the ones I’ve seen and saved – about thwarted terrorist attacks, some foiled by the authorities and some stopped by ordinary citizens who “saw/heard something suspicious;” some failed because the explosives didn’t detonate, and some failed because the perpetrator had a change of heart. Those are my favorite stories – where a former would-be terrorist is now a child of God – an evangelist, a church planter, an igniter of revival. (Glory!)

Do I think I personally have stopped terrorists? No … well, not exactly. I do believe in the power of prayer, otherwise I would not have prayed the same prayer over 4,000 times and would not be planning to continue. I do believe there’s power in consistent prayer and prayer by many people, and if an act of terror occurred because only 99 people prayed against it and 100 prayer warriors could have stopped it, I don’t want to be the weak link. Of course, GOD is the One who answers those prayers, but for whatever reason, I believe He honors consistency and unity.

I usually pray [these prayers] at night, because if/when I resolved to pray in the morning, there was always something to distract me or make me forget, so I just have a rule that I don’t lie down until I’ve covered our nation, leaders, military, intelligence, security, law enforcement, targets, and the terrorists themselves in prayer. If I am especially tired, it’s hard and might take an hour to pray what I should have been able to pray in eight minutes. (Some will call me obsessive, but I take this stuff seriously.)

Yesterday I prayed earlier in the day than usual and prayed specifically for New York City, Washington D. C., and Los Angeles. I had read that these cities were on high alert because of some threats. I had also heard that over a million people were expected to be in Times Square that night.

Marty and I didn’t go out for any New Year’s Eve festivities. We’re new in town,  and we haven’t made enough friends yet to be invited to any parties. So after babysitting the grandchildren … we turned to Netflix and spent the next 5-10 minutes browsing. After reading a few plot synopses, we settled on “Survivor” (or “The Survivor”) – a movie evidently about stopping a terrorist attack. I thought, “Good, it’ll remind me to keep praying for New York City.” So I said another prayer for those million+ people.

I prayed on and off even as we were watching the movie, and when I realized the terror plot in the show involved a an attack on Times Square on New Year’s Eve, I thought, What a coincidence! and kept praying.

At one point I was heating my shoulder pad in the microwave for an achy neck and noticed it was 11:53. I thought, Only 7 more minutes. I sat back down, and the film showed a sign in Times Square saying  “Only 7 minutes to go!”

I realized this “random” movie, that we “randomly” picked – off Netflix – and started at a “random” time was synchronized – to the minute – with our New Year’s Eve. (We couldn’t have planned that if we’d wanted to, even if we had known in advance what the plot was.)

It didn’t occur to me until this morning that God was encouraging me about the power of my prayers, as I remembered the end of the movie, where one of the characters said to the woman who had stopped the terrorists, “There were a million people here tonight. And you saved all of them.”

Do I think I saved everybody in Times Square last night? Of course not. I do believe in the power of prayer, and who knows how many other people who believe in it were praying last night? And God is the One who answers the prayers, but for whatever reason, I believe He honors consistency and unity. And I don’t want to be the weak link.

– journal,  January 1, 2016

Prayer: Lord, we understand so little about the power of prayer, just that You want us to do it. Thank You for all the times You have proven true to Your promises and answered us when we cried out to you. Help us to be faithful, too, in whatever You have called us to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

What Does the Devil Sound Like?

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.     Ephesians 6:12

Anyone who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s will remember the cartoon showing the cat being tempted by a little red 3-inch-tall imp on his shoulder with horns, a tail, and a pitchfork, whispering enticements in his ear, while a little angel on his other shoulder is squeaking, “Don’t do it!” And we may know how that cat is feeling.

But I seriously doubt that Satan looks anything like that little cartoon character. If he appears at all, Scripture says he appears as an angel of light. (II Corinthians 11:14) I can’t tell you exactly what the devil looks like, but I can tell you what he sounds like, because I have heard his voice in my own life, often without realizing who it is that I’m listening to.

His lies, temptations, and accusations might be heard coming through the mouths of people in the world, and even those within the church, when arguments break out, confusion takes over, and division takes place.

But I’ve found in my own life that there are times when his voice sounds more familiar. For years I didn’t recognize where that voice was coming from, for a simple reason.

It sounded just like me.

It was a revelation to me the first time I heard that Satan can speak to me in a voice that sounds just like mine, and that he speaks in the first person. For example, let’s say that I’m a new Christian, and like any believer I desperately need the fellowship of other believers and to be fed the truth with the preaching of the Word; I need church. This is especially crucial, because during the week I work at a secular job, surrounded by people who are indifferent or downright hostile towards Christians.

So, on Sunday morning, the devil doesn’t pop on my shoulder, poke me with a pitchfork, and say, “Hello, my name is Satan, and I’m here to steal, kill, and destroy. I’m going to lie to you, tempt you, get you to sin, and then accuse you and separate you from God, ’cause that’s my job.”

Instead he says to me – in my own voiceI don’t think it would be that big a deal if I skipped church, just this morning. [LIE.]

He doesn’t say in an impish little cartoon voice “Hey, Christian, go back to sleep and skip church.

He says – in my voice – It’s been such a busy week. I’m exhausted. I need more sleep. [TEMPTATION.] And I pull the blankets back over my head.

Then when I can’t get back to sleep, an hour and a half has passed, it’s too late to get to church, and I’m more tired than I was when I woke up, he doesn’t roar. “HAHA! I win!

He moans –  still in my voice – What’s the matter with me? I did it again! What kind of Christian am I? Am I even saved? I’m hopeless! [ACCUSATIONS. DOUBTS. DESPAIR.] He might even throw in a migraine just for his own amusement.

And all this time he’s had me thinking these are my own thoughts, as I face another week spiritually malnourished.

If you are a believer in Jesus, you have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). Not a little angel sitting on your shoulder, battling it out with the little red imp that’s on the other shoulder, although there is definitely a battle going on!

The Bible tell us to put on the whole armor of God and take up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:11-17) The more we know God’s Word and purposefully put our faith in His truth, the harder it will be for Satan to trip us up with his lies. If we are studying Scripture, meditating on it, memorizing it, and hiding it in our hearts, the more we will be armed against the enemy when he tells us things contrary to what we now know.

The battle is in the mind, and the prize is our very souls. So arm yourself with the truth of God’s Word, and let Him strengthen you against those destructive thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere – now that you know where they’re coming from.

Prayer: Jesus, You know what it’s like to be tempted by the devil, and You fought back with the Scriptures. Help us fill our minds with Your truth, and let Your Word be our sword to fight back – and win, in Your name, Amen.