See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8
Deception is something that is very common in this world. A person cannot go anywhere or listen to anything without hearing some deception.
Advertisements abound stating that one needs to have a given item, that if one does not have it, he is missing out on something. Nearly one-hundred percent of those items a person can live without and still have a great life. People are being deceived.
The world thinks that they know what is best for a person and so they come up with philosophies that will make that happen. Sin can be made to look good and God’s word, many times, has been made to look bad. Often the bible is looked at as an outdated piece of material that should not be followed or believed in.
Believers are made out to be haters because they speak out against sinful lifestyles and beliefs. They are made out to be cruel when they speak out saying that there is only one way to God.
Some of this deception has crept into the church. Believers have been taken captive into believing the ways of this world. There are believers and entire churches that have been deceived into believing and preaching that certain sins are acceptable to God. That a person can live in sin and still be a believer in Jesus. That a person can believe in Jesus, while believing in other false gods, such as Allah or Buddha. These are false and hollow philosophies of this world.
Every believer needs to get his philosophy in this life from God and His word. He has to keep his spiritual eyes on God, so that he is not deceived into believing the lies of this world.
Keep yourself in God’s word and open to hearing His Holy Spirit guide you. As you focus on God and His word, you will not be taken captive into believing the false teachings of this world. You will be able to see through the lies and deception of this world.
Rely upon the teachings of God in His word for your world-view and philosophy. God’s word is true and not hollow. It is what is best for you and the rest of this world.
I pray today that you will know God’s word for your life; that you will hear God’s Spirit speaking and guiding you; that God will open your eyes to the deceptions of this world; and that you will rely on God’s word for guidance in how to live.
Last month my wife and I had made it to our 25th anniversary. As a couple the journey has been great! However, during that journey there have been many challenges along that way, though not with each other. As we hit that anniversary date, we wanted to celebrate it in some special way. We did not want to just go out for a dinner date and a movie. It needed to be a get away for at least two or three days.
Our children pulled their money together and gave us a gift of a 3 day, 2 night getaway of our choice. With a lot of searching my wife and I finally chose a location to go to and things to do that would be relaxing and new for us. It would be several weeks after our anniversary, but at a time when we could both be gone. This time would allow us to be away when our older children could be home to watch the younger ones, and at a time we would not miss any church. It would also be the first time we have been away for a vacation alone in several years.
As we prepared to go on this trip, things started to rise up that threatened to prevent the trip from occurring. The Sunday night before the trip was to begin, our house had two trees fall on it, doing a significant amount of damage to the house. You can read about that here: God’s Protection And Favor. At the time this occurred, we seriously considered canceling the trip, much against our desires.
Along with this disaster that had occurred, I also found out that the job I had planned to work at during the summer would most likely not happen. I work during the school year as a teacher and so I do get paid during the summer, but it is not very much. I wanted to work a another job just to help boost the pay some. It was a job I have worked at the last three summers. Now I did not have that job and it did not look like I would get it.
Our house had a huge hole in the ceiling and a wall was missing, and I did not have a summer job yet. Do we leave or not? With a lot of prayer, we chose to continue with the trip, though somewhat nervous for the sake of the children at home.
On the morning of the trip, we had loaded our vehicle and proceeded to leave. As I started to drive down the road, immediately after leaving our driveway, I noticed the suburban was pulling fairly hard to the right. This was new and unusual.
I drove for about two miles and the pull kept up. There was some wind, but not enough to push the vehicle like that. I chose to pull over and see what might be the problem. It was the front passenger tire that was causing the problem, it was flat.
We live about 15 miles from town and did not have a working jack to be able to change the tire ourselves. I prayed that God would give me favor in driving into town to the tire shop we use. The tire was still under warranty. He did give us favor and we made it all the way there safely. In about 45 minutes our vehicle had been brought in and the tire was repaired. All that was wrong was a screw had somehow lodged into the tire. The shop pulled it out and put a plug in place.
We were back on the road for our trip, though about one hour later than expected.
On this trip a lot of what we were planning to do was located outside. The weather was supposed to be fairly nice with only a slight chance of rain.
As we got closer to our location we were headed to, the sky had some dark storm clouds that had formed. The thing that I caught as interesting was that the dark clouds were on one side of the highway, while the other side was nearly completely cloudless.
My wife, in her great wisdom, looked at the sky and saw something about them. She saw it as a visual representation of what was going on in the spiritual realm of life. The spiritual forces of this world was trying to attack us and discourage us. God had a plan for us, and the forces of the world wanted to stop it. Satan wanted to get us to lose faith in God and complain.
It would have been easy to complain to God about what had been happening. It would have been easy to say that God was against us. It would have been easy to give in and give up.
However, that is not what God wants to have happen. He wants us to trust Him and lean on Him in times of trouble.
Looking at the sky, there was clear sky on one side, and dark clouds on the other. It appeared to be a spiritual sign of what was going on. The dark forces fighting against the forces of God.
We continued on the trip and had a great time. During those few days, we did not get one drop of rain on us at all, though it appeared several times as though it may rain. Neither did it drop any rain on our house at that time.
Although it was a bit scary to leave our children home alone after such a great disaster, God did take care of them and blessed all of us. They were also able to get out and have some fun and relaxation.
God had blessed all of my family during this time. He had overcome the dark forces that work against us. He overcame our fears and strengthened us.
My wife and I are looking forward to the next 25 years of our great marriage!
I remember the verse in the Bible: 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
I want to encourage you that when you are going through struggles in this life, remember that the dark spiritual realm is against you. That is who you are fighting against. God is on your side and has already won the battle. Trust Him. Do not be discouraged.
Just as the weather was fighting for either clear skies or for a storm, so there is a battle going on for your life. God and His angels are fighting for you, not against you.
As you go into the battle for your soul be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10.
After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14
As the Israelites were working at rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, there were other groups of people who wanted to stop them. They tried to discourage them and threatened them. Nehemiah posted the people all around the wall with weapons to protect everyone from the enemies coming against them. He reminded them to not be afraid because God is awesome and then encouraged them to fight for their families.
During the Old Testament times, people had to physically fight for their lives and to protect their families. When Jesus came, He changed the fighting status from physical fighting to spiritual fighting. Now a person is to love his physical enemies and do good to them.
The fight today is now a spiritual fight. Every believer in Jesus must fight against spiritual forces that are in this world. These forces are the forces of greed, theft, lust, hatred, jealousy, violence, and the list goes on. Everywhere a believer looks, one will see these forces trying to grab him and take him captive into the world’s ways of sin.
Jesus has overcome this world and all the dark spiritual forces in it. As a believer, you also have His strength and victory over these forces.
You, like every believer, has some family somewhere. They may be in your immediate home, or a long way off. Some may even be separate to where you do not really know them, but you do have family.
Having a family, means that you must fight for their spiritual lives. Daily fight for them in prayer that God will draw their hearts to Him and protect them from the attacks and lies of the enemy. Talk with your family daily about God’s love, mercy, rules, and protection.
Do not be afraid of the enemy, God is greater. Do not allow the world to win your family over. Fight for your family. Allow God to win the spiritual battles for their souls.
I pray today that God will show you how the enemy is attacking your family; that you will stand in prayer to God against the enemy; that you will live for God as a witness to your family; and that God will protect you and your family from the attacks of the enemy.