Category: Christian Growth

5 Ways to Resist the Devil

Ephesians 6:12 says: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

It is clear from this passage that Christians all over the world are engaged in spiritual warfare. There are unseen demonic forces that wage war against God and the kingdom of God. As long as we live in this earth, the devil will always target Christians by inflicting all kinds of oppression and temptations against the Christian.
However, just like any warfare, it is important for every believer to know how to overcome the enemy and what strategies the Christian believer can use in order to live victoriously.

2 Corinthians 10:4 says: The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

 

 

DISCOVER 5 WAYS IN WHICH WE CAN RESIST THE DEVIL

 

1. Resist the Devil by Submitting to God
James 4:7 says: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Submission means that we accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person. Therefore our submission to God is an acknowledgment that God is superior and that He has authority over us.
God not only has authority over us – but He also has authority over the devil himself. Therefore our submission to God is an acknowledgment that ultimately the devil does not fight the Christian believer alone, but the devil also fights the almighty God.

 

2. Resist the Devil by Using God’s Word
Whenever Jesus was tempted by the devil, you will notice that Christ resisted the devil by using the scriptures to overcome satan’s temptations (Matthew 4:1-11).
Jesus Christ was rooted in the word of God. He lived by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Christ was obedient to the scriptures.
It’s therefore important for every Christian believer to use God’s word to overcome demonic or satanic philosophies that we may face in life. The word of God stands far above every other idea, suggestion or teaching. The Bible is also a spiritual offensive weapon against the enemy as it is used to both protect and attack in times of spiritual warfare. It is likened to a sword.
Hebrews 4:12 says: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

 

3. Resist the Devil by Wearing the Armor of God
Ephesians 6:11 says: Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
The armor of God consists of the Christian believer exercising godly virtues and characteristics that enable the believer to overcome the schemes of the devil. According to Ephesians 6:13-17, these virtues or characteristics include living according to the truth of God’s word; They include living in the righteousness of Christ; We must also share the gospel of Christ; We must live by faith and not by sight in every circumstance; We must be reminded that our salvation is in Christ alone and we must always use the word of God as the guide in our daily life.

 

4. Resist the Devil by Prayer & Thanksgiving
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says: Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
As Christians it is important that we pray constantly and that we do not fall into the trap of ungratefulness. Instead we must learn to be thankful in all circumstances.
When we do not pray, we will end up distancing ourselves from God. When we are ungrateful we will have a complaining attitude.
Therefore the devil desires to tempt believers to complain and be ungrateful towards God. The devil also tempts many Christians to avoid spending quality time with God.
Submitting to such temptations make the Christian weaker in or inhibit a Christian from maturing spiritually. It is therefore important to have a lifestyle of prayer and thanksgiving in all circumstances.
Philippians 4:6-7 says: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

5. Resist the Devil by Having the Correct Thought Life
2 Corinthians 10:5 says: We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
We therefore resist the devil by taking captive every thought and making it obedient to the word of God. Our thinking patterns must glorify God. Our thoughts must always be formed and accepted in light of God’s word. Therefore we must not allow the devil to manage our thought life.
Philippians 4:8 says: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

 

Conclusion
The devil cannot be resisted by our own strength or our own tactics and techniques. The word of God must be our ultimate guide.
Resisting the devil or any kind of demonic warfare requires that we also yield to Jesus Christ and realize that the battle ultimately belongs to the Lord.
Jesus Christ is above all things and He has the name that is above all names. Therefore we cannot overcome temptation or the devil without having Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives. When the devil is resisted, it’s because Christ alone gives us the strength and He enables us to resist him.

 

How to Distinguish Between Good & Evil

How can we distinguish between good and evil? How can we know the difference between right and wrong?
There are many bad and ungodly lifestyles which were once universally condemned in the past, but today, many non-biblical lifestyles are now considered to be “good” and culturally acceptable in society.
For example, there was a time when sex before marriage was considered to be inappropriate. However we now live in a world where if a person is still a virgin by age 20 – that person can be ridiculed or humiliated.
What used to be considered a bad lifestyle, is now promoted as being good and as part of our “evolution” as mankind and society.
Another example: There was a time in the past when homosexuality was considered to be a bad and inappropriate lifestyle. However we now live in a world were homosexuality and same-sex marriage are promoted as being a normal part of life. In fact, the view of homosexuality as changed even within various liberal minded churches which now openly support homosexuality.
Therefore there are various ideologies, doctrines and teachings that were considered to be unthinkable in the past which are now encouraged and promoted within culture and also within religion.
So these days we live in a world where morality is declining at a very fast rate. What used to be good is now considered to be evil – and what was considered to be bad in society is now promoted as being good.

Isaiah 5:20-21
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!

The world has been turned upside-down. Many people can no longer distinguish between right and wrong or good and evil. Instead the concept of good and evil is viewed through a humanistic or individualistic lens. So what’s wrong to you, might be right to someone else – and what’s right in your mind, might be wrong to others.

 

So the question is: How do we distinguish between right and wrong or good and evil?

1. Our Standard Must Be The Bible
Our standard for what is good and what is evil must come from God’s word – the Bible.
The Bible is God’s infallible word to mankind. The Scriptures reveal the nature of God, the plan of God and His values and principles for life.
Therefore our source which helps us distinguish between right and wrong is the Bible. It is NOT our political leaders; it is not a famous celebrity nor is it even a religious leader who can be our source of what is right or wrong. Instead the ultimate source and final authority in everyone’s life is the infallible word of God.
2 Timothy 3:16-17All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Psalms 119:11Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
Our knowledge of God’s word helps us to discern the things that are sinful from the things that are righteous. When God’s word is instilled inside of us then we become equipped to live a life that is pleasing to God.
God therefore gives us the standard through the Bible for what is good and evil in our life. God’s word is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.

 

2. We Must Know God and Have a Relationship with Him
We cannot know the difference between right and wrong without knowing and relating with the ultimate Lawgiver.
Therefore it is not only important to know the Bible – but it is also imperative to know the Author of the Bible.
Therefore when we have a personal relationship with God, combined with knowledge of His word, we will intimately know the nature of God.
As we relate with God personally and intimately we will have a desire to please God and to obey His word.
One of the main reasons why morality is on the decline is because many people do not live to please God. Instead many people ultimately live to please themselves and to fulfill their own fleshly desires.
2 Timothy 3:1-4 says: But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
So it’s clear that in the last days, man’s love for God will grow cold. Mankind will hate the things of God more than ever before. This hatred for God and the things of God leads to a culture where people do not care about what is right or wrong – but people will only care about what pleases their own flesh.

 

3. We Must Have A Reverential Fear of the Lord
The fear of the Lord refers to having reverence or deep respect for God and His position and authority in our life.
Proverbs 8:13 says: The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil…
Therefore if we are to hate what is evil and love what is good, then we need to have the fear of the Lord. We need to respect God’s authority in our life.
We cannot discern between good and evil if we do not respect or fear God.
Proverbs 9:10 says: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
Therefore, just as Proverbs 9:10 explains: if we are to have wisdom to discern between right and wrong, then we must begin by fearing God.

 

4. We Must Love God
Jesus said in John 14:15: If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
Loving God is therefore essential to keeping God’s commandments and to discerning between right and wrong.
The more we love God, the more we will hate what is evil. The more we love God, the more God will put His desires in our heart.
When we love God, we do not create our “own truth”. When we love God we do not create our own ideas of what should be right and what should be wrong. Instead our love for God will compel us to obey God’s commandments because we understand that God alone is the source and standard through how we discern the difference between good and evil.

 

Conclusion
Discerning between good and evil is essential to every individual’s life. Without the ability to distinguish the difference between right and wrong, our life will be filled with many mistakes and ungodly choices.
It’s therefore important for us to always ask God for wisdom in every area of life and to have the understanding that our relationship with God is integral to living a life that is pleasing to God.

 

Are Christians Allowed to Judge?

One of the most misunderstood scriptures in relation to the topic of judging is Matthew 7:1-2 where Jesus says: “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”

So does Matthew 7:1-2 really mean that Christians are not supposed to judge at all?
Suppose a person is living a sinful lifestyle? Or suppose a person is misleading others with false teachings? Are Christians allowed to make judgments? Are Christians allowed to express their views of what’s right and what’s wrong?

When this scripture is taken in the proper context, Jesus is not saying that Christians are forbidden from judging or making judgments about specific issues.
Instead in Matthew 7:1-2, Jesus is teaching us HOW to judge.
For example, if John is an adulterer and he discovers that Peter is also committing adultery – John cannot judge, counsel or correct Peter for committing adultery because John is also committing the exact same sin.
Another example would be: suppose you are a drug addict and your friend is also a drug addict – you cannot counsel or correct your friend about his drug addiction problem when you are also committing the very same sin in your own life.
Therefore Jesus says that this kind of judgment is hypocritical because if you and the person you are judging are committing the same sin then you will obviously face the same measure of judgment.

Therefore in the proper context when we read the entire passage on judging which is Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus continues and says: “… Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

So a person who for example is committing adultery, needs to first stop and repent of his adulterous lifestyle before he can counsel or rebuke another person who is living in adultery.
Or the drug addict must first overcome his own drug addiction before he can rebuke or counsel another drug addict.
This is why Jesus tells us to take the log out of our own eye FIRST before we can take the speck out of our brother’s eye.
So the truth is – God does not forbid Christians from making judgments. In fact, God ENCOURAGES people to make good judgments.

In John 7:24 Jesus says: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
In 1 John 4:1 it says: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says: “Test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.”

Without the God given right to test everything, we will not have the ability to judge between good and evil. The fact that God wants us to test everything means that God desires that we make the right judgments in our lives and in any situation. In fact, in everyday life, whether Christian or non-Christian, we are persuaded to discern, judge and decide many things during the day.
Therefore Christians are encouraged to exercise discernment and make good judgments. We are encouraged to discern between good and evil. We are encouraged by God to discern between genuine preachers and false teachers. We are encouraged by God to discern between right and wrong.
Discernment requires that we make the right judgment and all judgments must be based on God’s infallible word.

The Bible does not encourage us to always have a critical spirit or a spirit of judgmentalism as this leads to pride and a self-righteous mentality. The Bible does not encourage us to judge hypocritically.
Instead as Christians we are to judge all things with love, humility and in light of God’s word.

Therefore God does not forbid Christians from judging – rather He tells us HOW to judge.

 

How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit

What is the filling of the Holy Spirit? How can a person be filled with the Holy Spirit and how does a person know that he / she is filled with the Holy Spirit?

It’s important to understand that the Holy Spirit has been promised to every Christian believer. In John 14:16-17 Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit is our Helper who will dwell inside of us forever.
However there is a difference between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit.
For example, 1 Corinthians 3:16 says “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
That scripture is speaking of the fact that the Holy Spirit simply dwells or resides inside the Christian believer.

The filling of the Holy Spirit however, speaks of the influence and control that the Holy Spirit must have in our individual lives. For example, Ephesians 5:18 says “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit”.
Therefore when a person is drunk with wine or alcohol – the wine is not only dwelling inside that person, but the wine is influencing and controlling how that drunk person thinks, behaves and how he makes decisions.
So Paul is contrasting that by saying that instead of wine influencing and controlling our thinking and behavior – as Christians, the filling of the Holy Spirit is about us allowing the Holy Spirit to influence and control every area and aspect of our life. The Holy Spirit should therefore influence and control how we think, behave and make decisions in our life. The Holy Spirit our motives, our relationships, our character so that everything in us and about us is under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
That is the filling of the Holy Spirit.

 

How Can We Be Filled With The Holy Spirit?

1. By Obedience to God
Sin is what basically hinders the filling of the Holy Spirit. However, obedience to God is how the filling of the Holy Spirit is maintained.
Jesus said that if we love Him then we will obey His commandments. Jesus also said that the Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance all the teachings and things that He has taught us.
Therefore our remembrance and obedience to God’s word allows the Holy Spirit the freedom to fill us and work in our lives.

2. By Glorifying Christ
Our motive must always be to glorify Jesus Christ if we want to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The primary purpose of the Holy Spirit in our life is to equip us and enable us to live a life that glorifies Jesus Christ.

Therefore it’s important for every Christian believer to be influenced and controlled by the Holy Spirit.

 

5 Things Every Christian Needs to Give Up

When we become Christians, the Bible says that we become a new creature or a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The Bible also says that we become citizens and children of the kingdom of God (Philippians 3:20).
However, when we become Christians, we are also required to give up or surrender a certain lifestyle and certain habits that would prevent us from growing and having a genuine relationship with God.

 

 

Below are at least 5 things that every Christian needs to give up

1. You need to give up your bad relationships. Bad company corrupts good character according to 1 Corinthians 15:33. The Bible also says that we should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14).
Therefore as Christian you need to be careful with whom you associate with, because most times the people we associate with can have the most influence in our lives. So as a Christian you need to spend more time with other Christians and less time with people whose values & lifestyle may lead you astray and hinder your relationship with God.

2. You need to give up on the desire to sin. As a Christian you will continue to make mistakes and you will still sin. However you need to give up on the DESIRE or the ENJOYMENT of sin. You need to cultivate a HATRED towards sin. The more you hate sin, the less likely you are to sin or enjoy sin.
Romans 12:9 says that we should hate what is evil and cling to what is good. Therefore we must hate evil; we must hate sin.
How can we hate sin? The more we love and fellowship with God and the more we obey God, the more we will hate sin. Drawing near to God enables us to resist the devil (James 4:7-8).

3. You need to give up the world. The Bible says that we should not be conformed to the standards of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2).
As Christians we might live in the world. However we are not of this world. As Christians we are citizens of heaven and ambassadors of the Kingdom of God (2 Corinthians 5:20).
The world and the systems of the world are governed by different principles and values. God’s values and principles are the complete opposite of what the world systems offer and they can never agree. The Bible says that the devil rules the world or the systems of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and this is why Biblical values are hated and being challenged by the world even to this day.

4. You need to give up the works of the flesh. Sometimes we blame the devil for everything. But sometimes it’s really us who are to blame. Sometimes it’s really our flesh that is at fault.
Galatians 5:19-21 describes the flesh as being adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; and Paul warns and says: “of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

5. You need to give up your old nature. When you received Jesus Christ you became a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come. As a Christian you should therefore always put on Christ and represent Christ. Therefore as a Christian, your life is no longer about you but your life is about Christ and glorifying Christ (Galatians 2:20).
Jesus must increase while you decrease.

Conclusion & Question
If you’re reading this article – ask yourself – are you a Christian? Have you given up your own life so that you can follow Jesus Christ? The Bible says that without Christ we can do nothing and that without Christ we do not have true meaning in our lives. Jesus came that we may have abundant life and not perish. You can make the decision to follow Christ and become a citizen of the kingdom of God today.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13).
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.

2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.

4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God

 

Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?

We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.

“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You.
I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future.
I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus.
Thank You for forgiving my sins.
From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be.
I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”

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