Money or Faith? What do we need more of?

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   It’s the end of the month. You hold your breath as you juggle the figures to see if you are going to be able to keep your head above water. For many this scenario plays out on a monthly basis. 

   Thoughts (or fiery darts) such as despair, fear, and panic have the potential to sap us of any hope that things will get any better. We avoid looking into the future. It’s just too scary!

   All this negativity makes us hard to live with. It’s difficult to focus on anything but our dire financial circumstances. We anger easily, and patience with those we love is in short supply. Worry is our constant companion. 

   In our personal attempts to find relief, we too often fall flat on our face. Even if we achieve that financial relief we are desperate for, it can too often be at the expense of relationships that depend upon us. 

   What I’ve just described is how it goes down for those of us who are ruled by fiery dart thinking. This kind of thinking blinds us to what our greatest need is during a financial crises. Which is:

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FAITH!

   It’s life changing (and not natural) to face a financial crises and say to yourself, “What I need here is more faith!” 

   Admitting we need more faith in a financial crises, will direct our thoughts to verses like the following:

Luke 12:24

Matthew 6:31, 34

Philippians 4:19

Psalm 34:10

   These are some examples of the Truth thoughts that should be ruling our thinking during financial difficulty. Every time a fiery dart thought attempts to take root, reject it and replace it with Truth thoughts (p. 93, 3rd edition FD’S)  like the ones mentioned above. 

   The result will be to give us a new focus, a hopeful focus. We won’t be afraid to look into the future.

   Hey, I know it’s easy to read these words. And I also know that its no easy task to deliberately and persistently reject natural thinking fiery darts with Truth thoughts. 

   But if we do, God will begin working out His plans for us and our money problems will find their solutions in Him. It’s hard to believe this but it’s true! Our greatest need in a financial crises is to trust God with it.  

 

 

The Shack: How do we respond?

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There’s a lot being said about the new movie, based on the best seller, The Shack. 

   Therefore, I have felt moved to address the issues concerning this book from the perspective of my book, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice. I will not be recommending or criticizing this book. What I hope to do is to encourage my readers to examine the thoughts put forth in this book (and more recently the movie) to see how they line up with the Truths of Scripture. 

Why? Because millions are reading this book.

   And due to the controversial content concerning spiritual matters such as the Trinity, Submission, Free Will, Forgiveness, Scripture and Revelation, and Salvation many could become confused. As a result, we need to be able to discern what is Truth regarding these matters from what is not. 

 . . . the more familiar we become with God’s Word, the more determined our will becomes in choosing the way of Christ, as we ward off the Enemy’s fiery darts with specific verses. p 63-64, 3rd edition FD

   Throughout my book, I emphasize the importance of becoming familiar with the Truths of God’s Word. This is our greatest protection against the lies of fiery darts. 

By tempting us not to spend time in God’s Word, our ability to recognize the lies of fiery darts is equally diminished,. . . In the place of God’s Truth, the world’s concept of truth (which is no truth at all) begins to define our thinking. p 35-36, 3rd edition FD 

So it comes down to this:

   Those who base their view of God on the Bible, should stand ready to help those whose view of God is based on something other than the Bible. Because this book raises questions about God that will need clarification. 

I recommend the perspective this author takes on the book:

we must also realize that, because of the emotional impact of reading good fiction, it can be easy to allow it to become manipulative and to allow the emotion of a moment to bypass our ability to discern what is true and what is not. This is another thing the reader must keep in mind. We cannot trust our laughter or our tears but must allow our powers of discernment to be trained to distinguish good from evil (see Hebrews 5:14). Discernment is primarily a Spirit- empowered discipline of the mind rather than an emotional response.

If you have been wounded by anger, perhaps you need to read this!

There’s the person who exhibits anger (last post).

Then there’s the person who gets wounded by such anger (this post). 

   Okay, someone close to you has a temper and far too often you bear the brunt of it. How do you deal with it?  Do you coward down and allow yourself to become victimized and manipulated by their anger? If this is the case, then let’s be clear about where this path will lead.

I would encourage you to remember that you choose victory or defeat. And know that by refusing to choose, you actually choose to fall and suffer defeat. p 65, 3rd edition FD

The Bad News!

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   Living in fear (heavy duty fiery dart) that something you might say or do will incite an angry response from a loved one is like living in a dark dungeon. The darkness hides any route of escape. The longer you remain in that darkness, the more your thoughts will be controlled by that darkness. You will become vulnerable to the lies of one fiery dart thought after another (each one progressively worse). You will become so distracted by this fiery dart thinking that it will begin to rule you. Satan’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a) is set in motion.

That’s the bad news! The good news is that we possess the means to undo Satan’s plan to sow the seeds of destruction . . . By becoming a student of God’s Word and communicating with God on a regular basis, we are in possession of everything we need to foil Satan’s plan. It’s that simple! p. 70, 3rd edition FD

The Good News!

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   The very very first thing you must do is to collect a store of Truth Thoughts (refer to the 3 R’s of FD’s page of this blog)  with which to extinguish each and every fiery dart thought that’s aimed at you. I offer the following practical advice on how to do this:

I have also found a simple electronic concordance to be especially helpful when searching for verses to combat fiery darts. Or try doing an Internet search for a verse that relates to a struggle you may be having with a fiery dart/negative thought. p 62, 3rd edition FD

   Remember, your loved one isn’t the enemy!

   They are being controlled and manipulated just as you were by Satan’s fiery darts. By focusing on the Truth Thoughts God will lead you to, you will learn how to center your thoughts on God. This will have the blessed benefit of shining light into that dark dungeon you were in. And your route of escape to the abundant life God has planned for you (John 10:10b) will be revealed. 

   This will transform your thinking and how you respond to the anger of your loved one. You will begin to see beyond their anger and will be in a position to lead them to their own freedom and healing. 

Angry? Maybe you should read this!

  There is such thing as righteous anger but this post considers the opposite–unrighteous anger. The natural end of such fiery dart thinking is sin.

  These thoughts are designed for your destruction. Knowing that sin will certainly proceed from thoughts of this nature, Satan’s plan to destroy us is set in motion. Therefore, if the thought’s natural end is sin, it is obvious  that Satan’s fiery darts have been influencing your thinking. p 54 3rd edition FD

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Anger is a common emotion. We all experience it.

   Therefore, due to its common occurrence, it behoves us as Christians, especially, to learn how to manage such a destructive force. So let’s examine some Truth Thoughts from Scripture that not only expose but advise us on how to manage the fiery dart of anger. 

What anger does!

Does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:20 NIV)

Stirs up strife & causes much transgression (Proverbs 29:22 ESV; Proverbs 15:18 ESV)

Stirred up by harsh words (Proverbs 15:1)

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   Biblical advice in managing anger!

Sometimes it’s good to overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11 ESV)

Being slow to anger quiets contention (Proverbs 15:18 ESV)

A soft answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1 ESV)

If we are tempted to be angry, it would be advisable to heed the following before we lash out and inflict wounds:

 

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29 ESV

 

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Learning how to let God help!

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I’ve come to realize that crying out to God concerning my problems is not all there is!

   Pouring out our hearts to God does offer some relief from the burdens we carry.  But, if we walk away after depositing our load at Jesus’s feet, then we have left prematurely! And I wonder if it’s not too long before we find ourselves carrying that very same burden again, finding it just as heavy as it was before. 

Ever been there? Then join the club!

   For most of my Christian life, unloading my burdens in prayer was a faithful ritual. The temptation (or fiery dart) of that was in thinking that was all that was required of me. My real problem was I had been doing a lot of talking, but very little listening. 

If I could put into words, here is what I sensed my LORD was saying to me:

  You pour your heart out to me, pretty consistently! That is good! And I listen to you, but I can’t say that you listen to Me.  I want to help you with your problems, but you will have to do less talking and more listening for that to happen. 

    You see I was going to the Source for the answers to my problems but as soon as I got through unloading them on God, I’d say Amen, then go on my way. I would ask God for His help, but I wouldn’t hang around long enough to find out how He planned on helping me!

   You know what? I didn’t really know how to listen to God. Which meant I didn’t know how to let God help me. 

  So, how do we let God help us?

   When we spend time with God as we read and study the Bible, He will lead us to the very verses that addresses our problems. It’s in accepting and applying those truth’s to those problems that will lead to the solutions we are so desperate for. That’s how we listen! That’s how we learn!

 

 

 

 

 

Something to prayerfully consider!

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   The purpose of this blog is to offer practical applications in how to fight fiery dart temptations and thinking. The book, however, reveals the full facets of this menacing weapon and what we need to know to contend with it successfully. I have inserted a table of contents below to reveal the extent of these facets concerning fiery darts. 

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   After reading over this table of contents and the back cover comments, perhaps you would desire to delve deeper in your understanding of this spiritual warfare? If so, click on the words “Order Now” on the right side of this page, to secure your own copy.

An e-book version is available as well. fiery-darts-bkcover

May we  learn to extinguish all the fiery darts of the enemy victoriously!

Ephesians 6:16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Worry or not to Worry! That is My Question!

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I have a hard time trusting God when it comes to money matters. I wonder if those reading this blog do as well.

  For example, I was led to believe that a small monthly increase would be starting in January with an income check I receive, but guess what? The cost of insurance payments increased as well! So much so that those increases ate up that pay raise and left me receiving less this year than last year. Ouch!

  Oh yeah, the temptation to worry is poised and ready to inflict my thoughts with worry. Yet my training has taught me I must resist such thinking and replace it with  Truth thoughts (p. 93 FD 3rd edition).

  I desire to be like the flowers who don’t worry. But this is an area where I am especially vulnerable to Satan’s fiery darts.  It’s a challenge for me to trust God with such abandon.  Calling upon verses like the following is my only recourse:

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 HCSB

  Knowing what I know, I am faced with two questions,

What if I choose to worry over this dilemma ? 

It’s vital that you keep in mind Satan’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy. When a suspicious thought enters your mind, ask yourself this question, “If I consider this thought and act upon it, will good come from it?” If you cannot answer in the affirmative, then put up your shield of faith and stand your ground in deflecting such thinking! p. 54 FD 3rd edition

Or what if I choose not to worry?

On the other hand, consider Galatians 5:22-23. This is the familiar verse describing the fruits of the Spirit. When God puts a thought into your mind, then, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control, for example, is the desired end. The purpose behind thoughts influenced by God is meant to conform us into the image of His Son. p. 54 FD 3rd edition

Therefore, if I choose to keep my thoughts centered on God’s faithful provision then the enemy looses. His grip weakens and my spiritual muscles grow stronger!