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Entries in Satan's Lies (2)

Thursday
Oct042018

What Are You Welcoming?

Morgan Farr is a physically, mentally and emotionally strong young woman, but what I admire most about her is her spiritual strength. She is a woman of great discernment, and in this Biblical Thinking UPGRADE, she invites us to consider what we welcome into our homes.

“Every single year at the start of fall I make people uncomfortable,” Morgan says.

“Don’t misunderstand me—I don’t do it on purpose, but it happens nevertheless.”

When I (Dawn) first read Morgan’s post, I thought, “She’s setting herself up for some serious criticism from readers.” But Morgan’s emphasis on discernment is a message the family of God needs to hear in these days where there is so much spiritual darkness.

It’s a matter of aligning the heart with the will, ways and Word of God.

Morgan continues . . .

We are an Army family. By our sixth year of marriage we will have moved four times with three small children. This means every time that we move we have to develop new friendships and explain our traditions and convictions.

One of the first things people learn about me—after my love of Jesus, Texas A&M and Dr. Pepper—is that I love fall. I love the colors, smells, and family traditions. I pull out the fall decor on August 31 to be fully decorated on September 1.

People can tell I love this season.

Every year people ask us what are plans are for the holidays.

I tell them we purposely choose to have Christmas where we are stationed so our home and family is available to the soldiers who can’t travel home. I share about hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the people who train in our gym.

And then the inevitable question…

“What are you doing for Halloween? Would you like to trick-or-treat with us?”   

And I give the same answer every time: “No thank you. We don’t trick-or-treat, because we don’t celebrate Halloween.”

This almost always leads to a discussion of WHY we don’t celebrate Halloween.

There are plenty of articles out there on why Christians should not celebrate Halloween. So today isn’t going to be another of those articles.

Instead, I am going to share how three questions increased my discernment leading to our family convictions about what holidays we celebrate, what shows we watch, and what we allow to fill our minds.

1. What are you inviting in?

With Halloween comes the scary movies and TV shows. When you watch scary television shows, horror movies, or television shows about crime (Bones/CSI), what are you inviting into your mind?

I Corinthians 10:21 says, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s Table and of the table of demons.”

Yet how many of us pray to our perfect and holy Father at our evening meal and then pop open Netflix to watch some sex crimes on Law and Order SVU?

Does watching any of that actually benefit us, or more importantly, God?

2. What does this show in your Christian witness?

As believers, we are called to be Christ’s representatives here on Earth.

According to Titus 2:7, we are supposed to “...set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness.”

Now, does this mean we unfairly judge others for watching these shows? NO.

Oswald Chambers wrote,

God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede.”

It should break our hearts to see people (especially fellow believers) trapped in bondage to the evil material that allows Satan to get his foot in the door of their minds and their lives (Ephesians 4:27).

We should not be conforming to the expectations of society.

I often hear people say things like, “But won’t your kids miss out?”

YES! They sure will.

If it will prevent my children from battling the demons that “spooky” and “scary” movies open the door to, then I will gladly stand between my children and the darkness.

I often wish someone had made sure that I missed out on the evil and demonic influences of Deen Koontz, Lisa Jackson, and Anne Rice. Some of the scenes from their books and movies plague my mind to this very day, if I am not wrapping myself in scripture.  

3. How does this honor God?

In Corinthians 10:31 we read, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

I heard it said once:

We should not see how much we can get away with, but rather, how holy can we become.

This means that we need to be asking some hard questions.

Things like:

  • Is watching American Horror Story honoring God? No? Then don’t watch it.
  • Does reading Harry Potter honor God? No? Then don’t read it.
  • Will dressing up as Katniss on Halloween bring glory to God? No? Then don’t do it.

It is that simple.  

Many people have followed up this conversation with, “But really, does watching these movies or celebrating this holiday do anything bad? After all, it is just pretend, and it isn’t like I am going out and doing the things in the movies!”

This is where I would like to quote the English preacher, Charles Spurgeon:

“Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; but rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right.”

How much ground do we give Satan every single day simply because we would rather be “almost right” and popular rather than truly right and different?

My answer? Way too much.

What areas of your life could use some more discernment?

Morgan Farr is a Texas loving Army wife currently stationed in San Diego, California, with her wonderful husband Brian and their three small children. Morgan is a homemaker who dedicates her time to ministering to other Army wives through Bible studies, one-on-one mentoring, and physical training. Morgan writes about her transition out of feminism and into biblical womanhood on her blog, The Forgiven Former Feminist. You can find her training programs, nutritional information and meal plans on her blog, Farr Functional Fitness.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Frances Yeung at Unsplash.

 

Thursday
Aug182016

5 Tips for Defusing Doubt

Debbie W. Wilson is no relation, but she's a sister in Christ with a similar heart. Debbie loves to help women discover the love of God and authentic faith, and counsels them to seek God's Word and ways. In this Spiritual Life UPGRADE, she deals with the subtle intent of doubt.

“Is doubt an annoying uncertainty or a diabolical scheme?” Debbie asks.

For years as a young Christian I (Dawn) was plagued by doubts about whether God could use me. My doubts grew out of lies I allowed myself to believe, rather than confronting those lies with truth. I truly appreciate what Debbie has to say here.

Debbie continues . . .

Decision time had arrived. I wanted to say, “no,” but doubts accused me of wimping out. If you had faith you’d say yes to this opportunity.

I’ve learned that what feels like paralyzing indecision may be Satan’s attempt to derail me from God’s plan.

Jesus called the devil a liar (John 8:44) and the thief who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). The Bible also says he’s a slanderer and accuser (Revelation 12:10).

And did you know this fiend can plant thoughts in our minds?

Scripture says he gave King David the idea to take a census of Israel (1 Chronicles 21:1-3). He told Ananias and Sapphira to lie about a gift they’d given to the church (Acts 5:3-5). He still sows thoughts in our minds today.

How do we protect ourselves from being taken in by his lies? The same way you identify your friend’s messages from someone you don’t know. Let me illustrate.

An email from a friend asked me to send her cash because she’d lost her passport. Even though the email came from my friend’s account, the message didn’t sound like her. I spotted the hoax because I knew my friend.

The better we know someone the less likely we are to be hoodwinked by an impersonation.

The better we know Jesus, the quicker we’re able to identify Satan’s scams.

Jesus said His sheep hear His voice and follow Him.

Below is an acronym to help you distinguish between the devil’s DARTS and your Shepherd’s leading. Learn to recognize the message or intent buried in your doubts.

DARTS are:

1. DESTRUCTIVE: sent to rob and destroy.

Their purpose is to draw us away from God’s good and satisfying will. They push us toward something we feel uneasy about by causing us to doubt the validity of our reservations. Or they pull us away from something good. You’ll feel out of place in a Bible study group.

In contrast, Jesus’ words bring life and peace.

2. ACCUSING: condemning, criticizing, and blaming.

DARTS tell us how selfish and rebellious we are to want something or how cowardly we are not to do something.

The devil misused Scripture when he tempted Jesus.

If a verse oppresses you, the enemy is twisting it. If you weren’t so selfish, cowardly, or unforgiving, you’d….

Jesus never uses guilt, shame or bullying to motivate us.

3. RULE-ORIENTED: relying on standards for righteousness instead of Jesus’ imputed righteousness.

These thoughts badger us to ignore our reservations. They tell us we are bad people for not doing what they demand.

For example: Good Christians sacrifice. If you don’t help him, how will he ever know Christ’s love?

Jesus reminds us that our righteousness is found in Christ, not in our performance. “The righteous shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:17), not by guilt and fear.

4. TEMPTING: offering ways to meet our needs apart from God.

People will respect you if

or Hurry, you’ll miss out!

Jesus infuses us with courage to stand alone, to wait, to be still and know.

5. SLANDEROUS: maligning the character of God, others, or ourselves.

God doesn’t care about you.

Or, Your spouse doesn’t love you.

Jesus reminds us that He is with us, for us, interceding and guiding. His Spirit bears witness with ours that we belong to Him.

When God showed me the nature of my doubts, I was able to confidently say “no” without guilt.

I wasn’t being a wimp or selfish. I was following my Shepherd.

The next time you’re faced with confusion, uncover the intent of your doubts. Then follow your Shepherd with confidence.

Ask yourself, “Is this legitimate doubt or a diabolical DART? Would my Shepherd talk to me like this?”

Debbie W. Wilson, drawing from her personal walk with Christ, twenty-four years as a Christian counselor, and decades as a Bible teacher, speaks and writes to help people discover relevant faith. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Share her journey to refreshing faith at her blog.

Graphic, courtesy of Pixabay.