To Steal, Kill and Destroy

I have never hated Satan more than I do tonight.  If I am completely honest I am not sure I have ever hated Satan at all.  I think more than anything I have dismissed him as a defeated, diminished figure whose influence over my life died at Calvary.  I am learning that while this statement is true theologically, practically speaking to dismiss Satan is a danger of monumental proportions.  He is not a laughable caricature in red; he is a thief bent on heartache, submission and destruction.

Recently I have had the heart-wrenching opportunity to weep with friends who are experiencing the devastating consequences of ignoring Satan.  One innocuous decision, one tiny step away from the gracious watch of the Lord, one day spent outside the wisdom of the Word thrust them into a world of spiritual warfare that produced some catastrophic casualties.  The details of their story don't matter-not because what happened doesn't matter but because it is the same story line of deception and betrayal that Satan has been perpetrating since the Garden.  Sure the characters' names, the object of idolatry and the scenery all change, but the story is the same.  And the details don't matter because my point is the same-don't dismiss Satan.  Don't fixate on him.  Don't fear him, but in the Name of God, don't dismiss him.

He is real.  He attacks.  He loathes holy things and is hungry for destruction.  Praise God my eternal security is assured, but my temporary peace and happiness can be snatched away by this defeated but defiant enemy of God.  John 10:10 alludes that that this thief comes to steal , kill and destroy.   As a follower of Christ he can neither kill nor destroy me.  

But I wonder if stealing is still an active part of his arsenal for attacks on the believer.  I live this side of eternity in a fallen, dark world.   Satan desires to make it as attractive as possible, and he will rob me of all that is really beautiful to make this dull, dingy, disgusting world seem lovely.  I have decided I will not submit to his sweet, gentle persuasion that wants to harden my heart to "small" sins, dull my conscious to the Spirit's conviction, distract my mind from the wisdom of the Word.  There is too much at stake, and I can tell you that God does not tolerate a forked tongue or a divided heart.  

"Oh Abba,
Protect my wretched heart.  I am too dull of mind to fight this battle.  Enlighten me to the darkness in this world and in my own heart.  May I hate Satan and sin with a renewed vigor. Father make me vigilant for holiness that You may be fully glorified in me.  I pray Lord that the Holy Spirit would have full sway over my too-often defiant will.  Burn away the callouses of my conscience.  Prick my heart and oh dear God I hope I bleed."

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The new girl.

Hi new bloggie friends. Sorry if I seem a little shy and awkward. I feel a bit like the new girl who just walked into a very crowded cafeteria on the first day of eighth grade. Everyone just stopped to check me out and a hush falls over the room. I sense a collective eye roll as they all go back to their trays or corn dogs, pizza and cinnamon rolls. I don't know anyone. I'm not sure where the line starts. I don't have anywhere to sit. I can sense that there is clearly a hierarcy, a pecking order, an unspoken lay of the land. It may take me some time to see where I fit in. I'm still trying to figure this thing out.

I'm not quite as nervous as I was just six hours ago, however. What changed? Well I had a makeover. I mean a makeover that most nervous eighth graders would kill for. Did you see my new look? I, uh my blog, got an eyebrow wax, new makeup, color and highlights and I think we look about twenty pounds lighter. Oh I'm still a little self-conscious, but I so love my new look, don't you? (By the by go see my "stylist" Jennisa if you, I mean your blog, needs a little work done.)

Now with the vast wisdom of a nearly thirty-year-old, I know that the bloggie universe has not stopped to acknowledge my entrance into this brave new world. And I know that it's just in my head. I know that this moment isn't really monumental to anyone but me. But it's a big day, so enough lurking in the doorway.

I'm grabbing a tray. Can I sit with you?

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