Are You An Oreo Believer?
I remember my teen years when everything seemed so simple and clear-cut. Authority was always corrupt or out of touch. Parents were always an obstacle to my pursuit of the good life. Money was the answer to having a successful life. Pink was a girl color I would never wear. Rock-n-roll was the only music worth listening to. The popular girl would only go out with a cool guy. Shortcuts were the way to success.
The same black-and-white thinking is everywhere today. Both sides will use those “always” and “never” words, making everything so extreme. A significant part of maturing is the ability to integrate good and bad in the same entity. It’s actually a developmental milestone everyone needs to master. Like an Oreo, black and white need to be seen together to “get” the whole picture. Other than God, nothing exists that doesn’t have an upside and a downside to it. Sure, some issues have a clear “right” answer, but most issues are very complex and the answers are more in the gray area of the spectrum.
Similarly, there are two sides to being a believer, one of light and one of darkness. As a believer, I spend most of my spiritual energy on the “light” side of things. The promise of salvation, the grace and mercy of our Father and the power of His forgiveness are just a few of the “light” elements. But to be a “whole” believer we need to accept the dark side as well. We must believe that Satan, the Prince of Darkness, is as real as Jesus is. It’s an ugly, scary fact. I bristle at even having to write about him. However, we need to accept and believe that Satan’s primary mission is to thwart God’s plan by tricking us into thinking God doesn’t love us and didn’t send Jesus to die for us.
Let me make it perfectly clear. Each day, you are embroiled in diabolical spiritual warfare. This is especially true for followers of Christ. Satan not only wants your attention, your family, your job and your relationships, he also wants your soul—more than anything. His strategy is to create constant confusion and distraction in your mind. This confusion attacks every sphere: your brain chemistry, emotions, will, personality and your relationships with others. But Satan’s primary goal is disrupting your relationship with God. God calls you to renew your mind, not destroy it. But your mind is where the battle is fought, so you must protect it no matter what.
Today, become a “whole” believer. Integrate the light and the dark by accepting and being aware that there is a never-ending war between God and Satan, and the trophy is your soul. Be more victorious in this war by identifying a negative thought pattern that smudges your lenses. Instead, look at Christ’s teachings for the truth. When you are stressed, remember the enemy isn’t your spouse, boss, money, job or anything else; it is always Satan. Use the power of Christ’s death and resurrection, manifested in God’s armor and taught practically through these Stepping Stones devotionals to be victorious. Whether you have a winning strategy for the spiritual battle or you cross your fingers and just randomly wing it every day, it’s your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, My focus is on You. I believe and accept Your promise. I thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, so that my sins may be forgiven. And I believe there is this diabolical creature, Satan. Your word tells us of his desire for death and destruction. I reject Satan and all his works. Help me, Father, to be constantly aware of the spiritual battle that wages around me. Help me remember that Satan tries to push my fleshly buttons, tempting me to believe his lies about You. Thank You for the process that renews my mind, biologically, psychologically, socially and spiritually—sending Jesus and giving us your instruction book, the Bible. I pray in the name of Your Son, the True Light of world, Jesus Christ. And all God’s people say AMEN!
He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:8-9
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:11-12
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