Deliverance

Have you ever been held up in chains? Taken captive by the lies of the enemy? Been controlled? 

Have you ever prayed for something, devoutly, I might add, and the Lord never brought it to be? It’s not that He ever said a clear “no”, but just led your life in another direction. Or, maybe He did say “no”, but you don’t want to let go of that desire. But in the midst of actually trying to make an effort to let that desire go, or maybe for the chains to be broken, you are tempted to continue praying for it. After all, we are told in scripture to have faith of a mustard seed right? 

This is something I have been going through. 

Let’s start with a Bible passage. If you have the word of God near you, please open it to Matthew 4. Read verses 1-11. In this passage, Jesus is drawn into the wilderness by the Spirit… to be tempted by the Devil. 

I know what you are thinking because I am thinking it to… what the devil? why would the Spirit draw Jesus to the wilderness for that particular reason? We will get to that in a moment, but continue reading with me. 

Jesus fasts for forty days and forty nights. Then, Satan comes along and begins to tempt Him. The first thing to notice here is that the Devil calls Jesus by His identity. He recognizes that Jesus is the “Son of God”. Interestingly, in the last verses of Matthew chapter 3 after Jesus is baptized the voice from Heaven says “This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3.17). Take note of the fact that the Devil knows who Jesus is. 

Then, the Devil goes on to say, “command these stones to become loaves of bread” (vs. 3). Jesus responds by the one thing He knows by heart (literally). He states, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (vs. 4). 

Recognizing that Jesus was not going to fall into that specific temptation, he tries again. What he does next is risky on his part. He quotes scripture thinking that it will most definitely get Jesus to stumble. He takes Jesus up to this very high point and tells him to jump off. He says, “He will command his angels concerning you,” and “on their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone” (vs. 6).

Jesus, was not having any of this. Knowing the Word and the heart of the Father, Jesus states, “Again, it is written, ‘you shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (vs. 7). Satan was not giving up just yet. 

He took Jesus to the top of a very tall mountain that overlooked kingdoms and cities. He told Jesus that if He bowed down to worship him, he would give Him all the kingdoms. But, our faithful Jesus responds with, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘you shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve’” (vs. 10). 

Then, the Devil gave up, recognizing that Jesus was not going to give into the temptation.

So, back to my introduction questions. . .

When you feel bound up in chains, or when you are trying to “let go” of that one desire  the Lord is clearly saying is not for you, do you ever feel tempted? 

When the Devil tries to tempt you does it sound somewhat familiar to what he said to Jesus? 

He may say, “if you are a son/daughter of Jesus” or “if your God really is all powerful” then “can’t He makes this happen?” or “then why would He withhold something so ‘good’ from you?”. 

This is true. God is all powerful and can do the impossible (Matthew 19.26). But maybe your impossible is not getting this one thing you have been praying for. Maybe your impossible is setting your eyes to Jesus and letting go so that God can bless you in other ways. 

Friends, the enemy is just as relentless as God. He knows who you serve. He knows who he’s up against Heck, he knows your name. If he can recognize that Jesus is the Son of Man, then He knows you are a child of God too. And sure enough, he’s going to use that to his advantage. After all, doesn’t it sound more appealing when someone calls you by your identity or name then just “hey kid”? 

Another important thing that we need to look at in this scripture and how we can apply it to our own lives is how Jesus responds to Satan each time. Jesus is consistently responding with the Word of God. He’s not just pulling some random knowledge out of nowhere, nope, He’s quoting the very word of God. Specifically, He pulls scripture from Deuteronomy 8.2 in verse 4, Isaiah 7.12 in verse 7, and Deuteronomy 6.13. 

Do you know what is so significant about the Word of God? Look at Ephesians 6. In this chapter, Paul is telling the church of Ephesus to put on the armor of God, because they are going into battle. Not a battle with flesh and blood, but a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6.12). Throughout verses 14 to 17, Paul is telling them to put on things that will protect them, a belt, a breastplate, shoes, and to carry a shield. But lastly, he states to pick up the sword. This is what they will be doing their battling with. It is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (vs. 17). 

Jesus used His sword when battling the temptations of the Devil. He is setting a perfect example of what and how we are supposed to overcome and begin to step into deliverance. 

Now, back to the reason Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. Do you remember in the Old Testament where the Israelites were delivered from Egypt? If not, please glance over Exodus 14. In this chapter, Moses parts the Red Sea and the Israelites are led into freedom. 

You may recall, however, that things were not “la-dee-da” fine and dandy after that. They were promised this land of milk and honey. But, they were disobedient to the law of the Lord and led into the wilderness for 40 years (woah, that’s a long time). They still had a hard time gripping this concept of the Ten Commandments. They continued to live in their sin, casting up idols and worshiping other gods. In other words, they were unsuccessful in being tempted by the Devil. 

That is why Jesus, the perfect image, the Son of Man, the one that reconciles us to the Father, had to go into the wilderness before starting His ministry. He had to be victorious because the Israelites could not. 

With all of that being said, friends, we are all going to be tempted. We are all going to be thrown into the wilderness, there’s no doubt about it. How we respond is the key. We need to pick up our armor, including our swords, and fight this battle before us. And we can pray the part in the Lord’s prayer that states “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”, knowing that Jesus already reigns in victory! 

Be a Winner 

// October 8 // 

Today I feel defeated. 

I have a stack of school work so high it’s taller than me (but I guess that doesn’t say much because I’m so short). I am scheduled to work everyday this week with both of my jobs combined. I feel drained and empty of all my energy. 

I went to bed late and had plans to go to church with two of my favorite friends. I did not want to go and was secretly hoping my friend would sleep through his alarm (he’s known for that). But he didn’t, and I had already committed to driving. 

The service went later than I expected and we got back to campus later than I thought we would. I had about 30 minutes to grab lunch before I had to head off to my next event. I knew that I would be out late (Pssh, is 8:30PM late?). I was dreading the night because I have to work at 7:30 in the morning and have so much school work to do. 

I feel defeated because I have so much to do, but not enough time or energy. Did I bite off more than I can chew? Did I get myself involved in more than I can handle? 

I was reminded, however, in the midst of my chaotic day that God views me much differently. He sees me as a winner. Even though my human self may fail by getting myself caught up in more than I should, He sees me as precious in His eyes. 

He sees you the same. Even though you may feel weighted down and burned out, the Lord still sees you as victorious. 

And how can we say that we are anything BUT victorious when JESUS is the great King that reigns in victory? My prayer tonight is that our Father in Heaven would touch each of us with grace and restore our energies. Also, I pray that He would remind us and still in our hearts that we are winners in His eyes. 

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Enjoy the Good Things 

// October 6 // 

Today was a good day. Despite the fact that I had to work the majority of it. Fortunately, God has blessed me with fun people to work with. After work, however, I was really exhausted and just wanted to sleep. 

I was sitting in my dorm room with my suitemate and we started talking about how weird it is that when I pack everything up at the end of the semester, I’ll never be u packing it at this particular college again. It was very sad to think about, or bittersweet. 

It made me want to have fun this last semester. It made me want to enjoy friendships and just let laughter take over. And that’s exactly what we did tonight. 

My roommate came back from dinner with her parents and brought us yummy cookie sandwiches. I dipped mine in my caramel coffee that I made. It was truly a good thing.  I pondered how pleasant and sweet the moment was, just like the many moments of my college years. 

Simply said, I don’t want to be so stressed out about after college that I forget to enjoy college now. I want to enjoy the good things while they are here. I encourage you to do the same. 

Don’t get so caught up in the future that you let the good times slip away. If you wait too long, the cookie will go stale and you will not get to enjoy it. 

Romans 15.13 says “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” 

Rejection

I’ve been feeling rejection. 

Why do you call me a friend, but it seems like it’s just pretend? I ask if you want to hang, but it seems as if I’m just too lame for your style that I’ll cramp. I’m just trying to be a light, God’s lamp. I put on a smile and fake it. I act like I understand but I really don’t, I’ll admit. This rejection I feel, you don’t seem to get. But deep in my heart is where it is set.

I’m in the desert and it’s the hardest time to find peace. The hardest time to just let things be. My world has been shaken and stirred and the voice of the Lord is not being heard. My pain is numb and the rest of my emotions are non-existent- including the joy that was once persistent. I now understand the reference of marriage to Jesus. It’s like we have been fighting and now we have to rebuild this.

Remodel what wasn’t working before; try new things, open a new door. Spend more time together, become tight again just like leather. It’s like we are that couple that drives to  church and is silent the whole way, but once we get there, we act like everything is okay. I have never felt more intimate with my Beloved.

But maybe I feel the way I do with my earthly relationships because it’s a mere reflection of my relationship with the Heavenly One. The One that calls me Beloved. The One that feels the pain of rejection that I feel here on earth. Because I’m rejecting Him and the promise He gave me. I’m rejecting the life that He so freely wants me to live. I’m rejecting the love that He desires to live.

And what happened to my faith that brought me here? To this point of desperation and drowning in my tears. What shook me so hard to question all that I believe in? What will it take to strengthen my faith again? I guess I recognize that I am in the wrong. HIS word tells me He will never forsake me or leave me alone. So why so I believe the devil’s lies? Why did I let him unfix my eyes?

Father, I ask that you’ll come steal my gaze. Pour out your Spirit and renew me with grace. Your kindness leads me to repentance; I just want to glorify you with every sentence. Bring me new life; it is only you that satisfies. Bring me to my knees; Father here’s my heart, here’s the keys. I’m stepping down from this position of pride, it’s time for me to enjoy the ride.

You’ve softened my heart and broken the chain of all the things I’ve done in vain. You’ve built me up and set me free and who the Son sets free is free indeed. Send me your presence, send me your Spirit; Fill me with joy; Your voice, I long to hear it. Speak to me now, O Father of Love. Here I am, I am Your Beloved.



Have you ever felt rejection? Loneliness even when surrounded by a million people? Like you give so much but you soon run out of things to give? Or you don’t feel like your “friends” return the love that you give to them?

This is something that is actually very popular in our culture today. Many hide it or like we all say “fake it ’til you make it”. Well, if you keep pushing back this pain that you have and try to ignore it, are you really getting better? To the point of “making it”?

Where does this source of rejection come from? This pit of doom that we all seem to fall into at one point in our lives? This mind-consuming disease that never seems to leave? It’s like a trap that we fall into but we are so busy just carrying out our lives and even enjoying them, that the trap sneaks up out of no where on our journey.

This is a concept that I’ve seen more and more in our culture, especially among college students. And you know what’s dangerous about it? That fact that it makes us question what is wrong with ourselves.

What did I do wrong?

What is wrong with me?

Is it my weight? My hair color? Something I said or did? 

But that question is controversial. How can we, God’s creation with HIS image planted in us question that? How can we question our beauty? How can we question our worth? Our self-image?

We all represent God.

His likeness is in us.

His image is what we were created in.

The question shouldn’t be about us and what we did wrong. The question should be why the enemy thinks he can attack us in this way.

Do not ask yourself what is wrong with you. You are loved more than you know! God did not create you and put you on this earth to let the enemy come in and try to steal your worth! Jesus thought you were worthy enough to die for, so why do we question what God has in store?

You are beautiful. 

You were created in the image of the CREATOR. 

Stand tall and stand srtong. 

You are worthy. 

Don’t listen to the lies that the enemy is throwing at you. Press forward and remember the truth! Jesus has your name written on the palm of HIS hands. Say to yourself: There is nothing wrong with me. Jesus loves me just the way I am and this is all that matters, the world just may not understand.