"APPLAUD YOUR EFFORTS - NO MATTER HOW SMALL...
ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU REMEMBER NOT TO PUT YOURSELF DOWN."
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil
walks about like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour.
I like this passage, too:
2 Corinthians 11:12-15
12 But what I do, I (Paul) will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
'Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, John 8:12
Hmmm... Satan's at it again.
I repeat, Jesus is the Light of the world.
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. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
(Never forget, as Jesus said, you will know His disciples by their love. John 13:35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” But that's another story... :) )
Satan is also the father of lies:
(Jesus said...) 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
First, I'd like to say, a few years back, I asked God, "Why didn't you speak to me when I was growing up?" to which He replied, "I did. I was the positive voice; you chose to believe the negative one."
And here we (me and God) are, with me still open to the negative voice and with God working to open me to the positive one. I'm still choosing to trust the negative one over the positive one... :( At least, I was. Since abandoning myself to grace, I've found myself more open to the positive and closing off to the negative.
In fact, since stepping into this particular journey of abandoning myself to grace, where God is inviting me to turn my back on negativity, I've taken advantage of grace and found it quite freeing and enjoyable. :)
During this journey, I've been reminded of other times I've tried to turn my back on negativity and been left feeling like I was denying God. It still feels like that at times. I don't feel like I'm telling the negativity to be silent, but telling God to be silent, because, as far as I'm concerned, what's being said to me is truth. I agree with the negativity. I mean, I know my past, I know what I've done, and I know what I'm still capable of doing, so believing I'm worth loving when I know my deeds and actions and reactions have been anything but good at times, is not an easy thing for me to do. I have a habit of berating myself. It feels right. I can do it with ease. I'm well rehearsed.
However, the Bible tells me I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. The old has gone and the new has come. I have repented of my sins and therefore, according to Scripture and the Holy Spirit who bears witness to this, I am forgiven. I am now the 'righteousness of God in Christ Jesus'. Therefore, it's not 'my truth' I'm living by anymore, but Theirs: The Father's, the Son's and the Holy Spirit's. "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me."
Again, it is no longer my truth I'm living in, but His. A new reality. A better one. One of forgiveness and favour and mercy and grace and love and joy and healing and hope...all received through faith.
For by grace you have been saved through faith,
and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God,
not of works, lest anyone should boast.
God may bring conviction, but He does so gently (at least, that's been my experience), with a still small voice, and in order to set free. But, Satan, on the other hand, who will strut around as though he is the Son of God, will take hold of your past - all that is now dead to you, because you have been given a new life in Christ - and get in your face with it. Jesus doesn't 'get in your face'. Jesus will not roar in your face. But Satan will gladly do so.
1 Kings 19:11-13
11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?"
I read that particular verse and imagine Satan being full of wind. :) Then he shakes your foundations! Then he puts heat on you, pressuring you to surrender to him... But... resist the devil. Turn your back on him. Say, "Get behind me, Satan..." and "...you are not mindful of the things of God..." and listen to the still small voice, the calming, peaceful voice of the one who loves you.
Therefore submit to God.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
For me, in this particular part of my journey with God, submitting to Him means for me to surrender my negative thoughts, the thoughts that work to condemn me, and take up His mercy and grace. I come to Him with sin and, thanks be to Jesus, He casts that sin - and all the guilt attached - from me as far as the east is from the west and gives me a new start, a new hope, a new life, and takes away my shame, also.
In submitting to God, and, therefore resisting the devil, I lay down 'my truth' and take up that of Jesus Christ. His life for mine. And I willingly submit to love...