Thursday, October 20, 2016

READER | You vs. the Devil: How that battle is (or, rather, was) won

The title of this post could be misleading if it weren't for the qualifier was, in that is implies a battle between you and the Devil, the outcome of which being in question; but, that is the anti-thesis of true faith, being dubbed the lie nearly 2,000 years ago
Even  him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

The Truth is that the battle with sin is over; the Devil has been defeated. And, this, by and through the Cross. From here, it's a matter of appropriating the free gift of Salvation afforded you by the blood of Jesus Christ, and that not by fighting a battle already won, but by doing His will (which is worship and charity and the saving of souls therewith).

The mistake of many is putting on hold the sharing and use of our God-given graces for the charitable benefit of others, and that impedes the development of the hallmark of every future citizen of Heaven: selflessness. When we know this, placing our or others' sin in the way of doing God's will is an outright failure and refusal to accept it. That happens when you shift your focus on any wrongdoing at the expense of time and energy you could spend forging eternal friendships with others through Christ Jesus. You can't win the fight against sin, only temptation; sin has already overtaken you, and is otherwise already a part of you. But, because of Jesus' sacrifice, that sin has been forgiven, and you and others are now free to do the work of the Lord without hindrance from shame and guilt, and with the assurance that any work you do will be fruitful. That's a guarantee that God backed up by giving His son to die.

If that's not your understanding, and if you're busier monitoring or controlling sin than you are doing good works, you need better knowledge. Moreover, your focus is all wrong.

Following is an excerpt of a conversation with a reader, who is addicted to drugs, but who wants to be free of it and the sin it brings so that she can be the good person she knows she can be. Because she believes her addiction to be helpless, she has resigned to a life of doing both: that is, drugs and good works. For the drug-addicted, that may be the best you can do at first; but, eventually, you are going to have to choose one over the other, because one will choose you if the other doesn't.

This, then, is my recounting of the Christian's strategy for serving just one master—the right master—by continually doing and continually improving Christ's work as performed by you:

From The Life of a Demoniac 24-Hour Crisis Hotline Facebook Page
QUESTION | How can I make Satan give up n move on.

ANSWER | Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. [James 4:7]

[That may sound like mumbo-jumbo when in a problem as real as ours, but regardless], as powerful and technological and as so-not-about-the-Bible-thing the Devil, his angels and his agents may affect, it’s about getting you to sin, and to like it. Or, at least develop a habit of it.

If you show that you can’t be plied that way, common wisdom says he won’t fight a losing battle, [rather], he’ll find someone else.

With you [a person who is addicted to drugs], he’s [just] finishing up his work, [the work he started prior to your first encounter with drugs]. You’re in the physical habit of drugs, so you’re in a habit of wrongdoing. Maybe not overt [or intentional] wrongdoing [(i.e., maybe you party by the rules)], but there’s something there—perhaps just in your thinking or the failure to act [in a matter requiring your better self than the one that is high]—that’s [warped or being neglected]. That's sinful.

He’s creating a distraction so significant, that you’re not seeing [the situations where you could let your light shine, and spending time thinking and doing about them; you are also not seeing that failure on your part as a sin that you should do something about]. In your situation, you might think that it was sin causing your problems with demons, and not the fact that you can still overcome that sin, [but didn't].

READER: That's true but I do act. I'm trying I have been to countless detox

ANSWER | Detox, rehab...these are things that don’t apply here. This is just about what the Devil is doing. Forget about how you are going to justify your defeat in the end.

This focuses on the means to get rid of him, and is followed by an explanation of his intent for you. In short, I quoted a Bible verse, and am validating it by and through my own knowledge.

READER: I am defeated only Jesus can help I am filling my life w him. Need step-by-step what I need to do

ANSWER | So, in order to have faith in Jesus [in the true sense of the Word], you have to understand what He did for you. If you call yourself defeated, you don’t even have the words right [to describe what he did. We are more than conquerers.] Being able to explain the faith so as to obtain it [and otherwise make it your faith] is step one.

READER | I mean my flesh w out Jesus is defeated

ANSWER | Sin was defeated; it will never be that it defeated you. By the end, you will have made a conscious choice to embrace it.

READER | I on my own it's defeated. I have faith.  Strong faith. I guess I must like the high. But also fear withdrawing

ANSWER | “My flesh being defeated” and similar phrases and terms used to describe Jesus and His role in someone’s life are hard for me. [They] give no practical information for someone being eaten alive, and whose soul is in peril by an entity far greater in power, to use as guidance and perspective. To just profess that Jesus will save you, [and then expect it to happen from just saying it] is nonsense. You have to be on His plan. [It's a free gift, not an easy one; you have to appropriate it through action].

READER | I want Jesus to remove the desire

ANSWER | A following of the plan is more than talking, but, ironically, starts with talking in the way you just did: “I like the high” and “I fear withdrawal”.

That means, 1) you like self-gratification at the expense of whatever time and money you have, regardless of the far better uses for it [(which is neglect of the needs of other in derivation to your own desires—all bad)]; and, 2) you think suffering for sin, whether that of yourself or others, is wrong. [You accept that there will be consequences, but you don't find them particularly useful, although God said they, in fact, are, and that you should use them to strengthen yourself against the Devil's wares.]

You do fear withdrawals, of course; but, that’s not a fear that can really be equated with other fears you should rightly have, the most magnanimous of which [should be a] fear of the Lord.

READER | My one and only true biggest fear and I am is here saying this Siri is going to Hell and being separated from Jesus Christ

ANSWER | [That's the definition of fear of the Lord, who can not only kill the body, just like anyone else, but can also kill the soul.]

Every letter that was written and now comprises the New Testament was about this, was about you, in a way.

READER | R u saying sin cannot separate u from heaven

ANSWER | You cannot be separated from Jesus Christ [Psalm 139:8]. You can separate yourself from Jesus, though. Let me ask you something: you know [that] certain things you are doing [could] separate you from Him, right?

READER | U read my mind. I knew it bc it takes away from his sacrifice n that's a lie Satan tells

ANSWER | You know that as you keep doing them, you’re taking one more step away, right?

READER | Yes. It takes are focus away from Jesus.

ANSWER | So, knowing what you are doing and knowing the result of the doing, what do you think the overall outcome is going to eventually be? You know, so you can’t say that you didn’t know. You know, so you can’t say that somebody else tricked you. [Is that knowledge enough to motivate you to do something different?]

READER | Keep your sight on heavenly things. Hell. But u said it might be beyond my will

ANSWER | Jesus doesn’t want your focus [on Him] as much as He wants your focus on what He focuses on. [Technically, that's focus on Him. And, it's preferable to the worship you'd be doing by just admiring him instead of acting on his agenda. He explicitly said that acts of worship are secondary to the needs and priorities of the subject you'd be worshipping (i.e., Him, or God). That's what He taught when his disciples were reprimanded for picking wheat on the Sabbath.]

READER | U said it to another too. On your block N that's what I meant about the focus When I say him I don't mean him but what he focused on I just sum it up wrong

ANSWER | Download and install the ShareTheMeal app to your iPhone (or whatever). Use it to “do” thank you to God, instead of just saying it in prayer at every meal for which you are grateful.$.50 a day feeds a hungry student in various parts of the world. Fifty measly cents for a whole day. If you did that everyday at dinner, you would have spent only $15 overall to feed a child for a month. That’s what Jesus wants; and, He said if you do that kind of stuff, I’ll cover your sins, even the ones that are really, really hard to kick, and whether or not you were as successful as you’d liked to have been [in the end].

READER | I also work w feeding the homeless. I love ❤️ them. N I donate my time

ANSWER | Your time isn’t important to the homeless; your money is (if I can be quite frank). These are affectations of sympathy, but they are not concrete, tangible contributions.

READER | I can do both. I don't allow drugs 24-7  I also do acts of love more than I do drugs I also volunteer at animal shelter  If I see someone in need I help w love. I feed the homeless I donate food and money. N not sympathy empathy. I was homeless

ANSWER | You can do both?! [God says you absolutely cannot.]

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. [Matthew 6:24]

Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. [1 Corinthians 10:17]

Plus, [when you're helping others, your goal is to] develop a relationship to God [that grows closer and closer over time. If you're to mindful of that when you donate time or what-not, you're not in the same spirit as God. He's trying to bring you close; but, if you're not seeing how that works as you do your charity over an extended period of time, you're missing an opportunity, the one God blessed you to make the most of]. 

[Anyway, about donations as gratitude for the blessing of good food:] In the aforementioned suggestion, you are supplementing your conversation with God with action. That’s more impactful.

[All the charitable things you are doing are good, but I bet you haven't planned on extending your charity beyond the level that it is now. Jesus said true charity needs an aggressive, forward-moving growth strategy.]. If you read His Revelation, you’ll find Jesus meant for you to take homeless [people under your wings], and then care for them until they are functional, productive and stable...[however long, whatever the cost].

READER | N I pray w people I talk to them about Jesus. But I will share 50 cents to an organization. Not a problem. N I have taken many in

ANSWER | Are they well [still]? Think of the parable of the Good Samaritan. That wasn’t just about helping where others don’t. Duh, of course, you’re supposed to help; but, it’s really about how much help, and to what extent that help should go.

READER | I actually just got someone stable. Or helped. Don't want emphasis to be on me. I was also driving down street n some one was overdose no one would help. Thank Jesus I brought him back. I help to point of me suffering. I give till I don't have for self I'm not like most addicts I'm selfless in a lot of areas

ANSWER | You must be selfless in all areas, and to a fault.

[If you, in fact, have already brought someone in from the rain and cold, you've raised the bar on yourself; anything less for anyone else from now on will put you in danger of the judgment. The lesson Jesus wants to teach is this: don't trot out anything good that you've done in the past to brand yourself as good, either to yourself or others; rather, keep it going, so that you're esteemed by what you're doing, not what you've done. That's how He's going to judge workers worthy of His kingdom.] This is also in His Revelation, in which Jesus is reported to have criticized churches who fell slack and/or didn't do enough, threatening to "extinguish their light" in heaven. It's not that they didn't nice things, but that they didn’t have a comprehensive plan for being worthy of God’s light, and that didn’t progress their offerings or work to the degree that they should. He called them stagnant, and unworthy of being called His church.

READER | He told me just now as long as I do things w all my heart n love I can't go wrong. N I don't go to church. For that reason

ANSWER | I have to go, but here’s some parting advice that’s 2,000 years old: ignore the Devil and the demons, take any undesirable temptation or hardship as an attack on the amount of mindshare your faith should get instead. Find someone to do this with [(you have a reason not to go to church?! Unless demons are attacking you there, you should go, even if you're the only person there who gets it right. How else is everyone else going to get it right without your example?)]. There’s no ‘army of one’ as far as Jesus is concerned.

(The organization is the United Nations, by the way.)

READER | U mean cern. United Nations

ANSWER | Yes, the U.N. does better food distribution than any other organization; it can reach places other organizations can’t due to an entourage of military at its disposal. It has no profit margins to consider, so any money spent for something other than food (if any, in this case) is the de minimus amount that could be spent. They are military precise with money, just as the military can be, because, in a way, they are the military. So, think of them as the safest place to put money for charity, and the most effective distributor of it.

Rerun