and give no opportunity to the devil. ~ Eph 4:27 ESV
I cannot recall how many times people have told me that the devil doesn't have a right to mess with them. These people believe this and often think if they say it enough, the devil will have to leave them alone, all the while they live their lives with open doors to the demonic realm.
The Bible tells us that we need to Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. - 1Pe 5:8 NKJV The term "walks about" actually means to be occupied with a thing, in this case, you. The devil is very interested in people because he likes to hurt them, and in doing so, he hopes to hurt God. After all, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have [it] more abundantly. - Jhn 10:10
Satan buffets us whenever he finds an opportunity. When he tried to tempt Jesus, the Bible tells us that he left Jesus until an opportune time. Satan is an opportunist and will use the slightest crack in our armor to breakthrough. When we have unprotected areas in our hearts and minds we have an open door for the enemy. We would not leave the keys in our door and feel protected at night. We cannot allow our minds to be open to sin and expect the devil to ignore us. The belief that "the devil cannot hurt me" has done more harm than good for most people. The devil and his demonic hoard want you to think he is powerless because if you believe such a thing, then you will never fight back.
Today, the world is broken in more ways than we know. The brokenness is just as prevalent in the Church as it is anywhere else. Yet this brokenness goes against everything Jesus died for.
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, 3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." - Isa 61:2-3
Jesus came to avenge our God, to bring comfort, joy, happiness, and exchange depression for praise! He did this so we would be fully planted and immovable in Him. 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what [is] the width and length and depth and height-- 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. - Eph 3:17-19
The Bible says there is a way that seems right to a man, but it ends in destruction. Our ways are not God's ways, and our thoughts are not His either. People tend to be selfish with an attitude of what is mine is mine; they go in the direction of whatever makes them feel good. Self-care is so significant in our nation that the psychological world is overworked, though not underpaid. The area of "mind" is dominating this world and has brought a lot of confusion with it. We are told to walk in the Spirit, and we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16).
War is Spirit Not Flesh
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. - 2Co 10:3-6
Today there are almost 300 mental disorders listed in the DSM-IV, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by clinicians and psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses. You can imagine how much work this offers this particular field of expertise.
However, the scriptures tell us to wage war in God and not in the flesh. Many times, people who have a mental issue will run to drugs, alcohol, or other self-medicating behavior, and when it does not relieve their pain, they run to a "mind doctor."
Unfortunately, medications that are being used to treat the mind most often cause a lot of unwanted and even deadly side-effects. These medications seldom help the problem and, at times, even make it worse.
We are told to capture our thoughts and not allow them to run away with us. We are to fight against the thoughts that put us at risk of sin. When our mind is disobedient and won't listen to the voice of God, we must do something strictly to get our thoughts in alignment. We can praise until the breakthrough comes, we can read our word, pray in tongues, or reach out to wise and biblical counsel and ask for prayer. When our minds want to do something against God's will, we need to do something that disallows the thoughts to become physical.
The Devil is an Opportunist
Satan desires to sift us and take us to the heavenly courts any chance he gets. Of course, he only directs his attention towards us if we are directing our attention towards God. If we say we are a Christian, yet walk in darkness, then we are liars. There is no shadow or shifting in God; what He says is right is right, and what He says is wrong is wrong. There is no grey area with God because He doesn't desire us to be lukewarm.
If the enemy of your soul can find a place in you to target your mind, heart, or will, he will not hesitate. If you have suffered betrayal and rejection and have yet to be healed, the enemy knows it. If you have yet to forgive those who harmed you, the devil knows this too. He will take the opportunity to set you up to get hurt again and again until you no longer trust people, and you retreat from every opportunity to be in fellowship. If you had used various addictive behaviors to "save" you when the flesh got too powerful, Satan will put it in your mind to turn to these things again. He will buffet you continuously until he wins or you fight back.
Freedom is Not Free
In much the same way we in America have freedom of rights that came at the expense of soldiers fighting and dying for them, so is our soul freedom. Jesus Christ took the cross on Calvary so that our souls could be saved, healed, and delivered. A complete and abundant life comes out of the cross and no other way. There may be temporal happiness here on earth for some, but at the end of the life cycle, death awaits us all. We will either enter into eternity with God or eternity in hell.
Jesus paid it all through His blood. He paid to redeem our lives from the eternal damnation that awaits everyone who does not know God through Jesus. The last curse to be broken is death, but for us it has already been taken care of because Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed [is] everyone who hangs on a tree"), - Gal 3:13 When Jesus sets a person free they are sozo free, free indeed. Free from condemnation, free from bondage, free from sin if they so choose. The key here is choice. Life and death, blessing and cursing have been set before all people, and God desires that none should perish but that all would choose life.
17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. - Jhn 3:17-18
Heavenly Father, thank You for the cross and the blood of Jesus that allows me to walk in this world free from the fear of death. Thank You for freedom that came at the cost of Your Son. Help me today to choose life from this moment forth and to remember why I was even given this life. Let me glorify You in any way I can. In Jesus name, Amen