This weekend I went away for a 'womens weekend away' with my church. I have never done anything like this before and I had no idea what to expect, but I felt I should go and needed to step out of my comfort zone! We didn't go far, for me it was just a few miles down the road, to a lovely manor house in the middle of the woods. Actually it wouldn't have mattered where we were, just having the time to really focus on God and our faith, together, was wonderful.
We also had the absolutely lovely Cindy Riches (from The Sycamore Commission) speaking to us. If you don't know about 'Living Free' have a look at their site. Cindy and her husband developed this as a course, focussing on releasing strongholds in your life, and freeing you to live the life God intended for you. My husband is currently doing this course through church, and I have been reading the book - and it is amazing. So many things have come up in my life that I realised I had just accepted, when I could deal with them and let then go - very freeing!
Anyway, so the weekend was great. I was challenged, have spent time with God, had some great worship time, made lots of new friends and we have shared testimonies, truths and worries. I did at times feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information I took in, as so much of this is so new to me, but I know I have plenty of time to digest that, and I look forward to going back over the notes I made and the sheets we were given. In fact I'm going to spend this week going over it and will be blogging about various aspects of it that have touched me.
So, today I am looking at the enemy and his lies. I have heard it said a lot recently that the Devil is a liar and we need to stop listening to his lies. But this weekend it was really hammered home. Our verse for the weekend was
'The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.'
Cindy really got this across. That the Devil is a very real enemy that is present in this world around us:
1 Peter 5:8:
'... Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour...'
As she put it, 'he is the master deciever, the best liar ever'. He hates God and so he hates us - we were made in Gods image - and so he will he will do anything he can to keep us from God and our faith. Although he's clever, (after all he got to 1/3 of Gods angels in heaven) he is often predictable. He uses the same tactics again and again. Obviously this weekend we focussed on lies that he uses on women a lot, eg:
'you're fat, ugly, a terrible mother, you are worthless' and so on. We need to see these for what they are: LIES! We are Gods masteripeces, and he sees us with no faults. (Ephesians 2:10/ Colossians 1:22)
This week I've been dealing with the issue with my mother and I realised this weekend that it all stems from the fact that I believe she doesn't love me. What a load of rubbish! She's my mum, of course she loves me... this is a LIE he has been feeding me for years and I have listened and taken it on board and believed it, and I realised I had even taken this a step further in thinking my daughter wouldn't love me. Well, NO MORE!!!
God gave us the power to deal with the enemy and we need to realise we can use it:
'I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome the power of the enemy: nothing will harm you'.
'Submit yourselves, then to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you'
Now, that's awesome - he won't just leave you alone - he will FLEE from you!
We have the authority, through Christ, to send the enemy away, to close our ears to the lies and to recognise it as the Devil. Isn't that amazing? I feel so free having realised that, that if I get a negative thought about myself, or the odd doubt or I am feeling unloved, I know it is from the enemy, and I can state that I am not going to listen to those lies any more and that I can command him to leave me alone. I know it won't always be that easy, don't get me wrong,I am sure there are times when I will fall into his traps and be 'under attack'. But I know now that I have the tools to deal with it.
I think I mentioned in my testimony that we used to go to a traditional church and a lot of terms and things that are openly talked about in my new church are things I have not heard before. I think it is so important that we don't just sweep this stuff under the carpet. You can't look around at the world today and not see the Devil at work: wars, terrorism, hatred, increasing gun and knife crime... there's a real and present force of evil, and we need to know we can deal with it and how to deal with it.
'...If God is for us, who can be against us?'