Fearless Prey

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“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Peter prefaces this verse by encouraging the scattered believers to cast all of their cares upon God and follows it by reminding them to resist satan. He knew that when we get caught up in our cares, we take our eyes off of Jesus and become prime targets for the enemy to steal, kill and destroy. Peter had experienced this more than once and he had learned that standing firm in the faith and being deliberate in resisting the enemy was the only way to stand in the face of resistance.

The enemy, satan, the devil, Beelzebub, Lucifer, King of Babylon, Antichrist, Father of lies,  whatever name you have heard him referred to it doesn’t refute the fact that he is real. He would delight in nothing more than destroying you. Satan in Hebrew actually means destruction. Ignoring his existence does not lessen his efforts. He appears in ways that can be pleasing to us as Paul warns people to be aware of false prophets. “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14

Deception is his game. Death is his aim. Often he uses people to create the distraction. He nudges someone to offend, or take offense. The Father of lies whispers unworthiness, uselessness, isolation into ears ripe to blame. Or he builds up, pumping someone full of pride and entitlement. He sneaks into the hurt and the wounded and encourages stuffing of the pain until a root of bitterness or unforgiveness grows in the darkness.

Death can come in the form of complacency, spiritual apathy, broken relationships, addictions, people bound up in trauma and pain, actual death. Anything that will hinder a thriving relationship with God. He doesn’t actually have to kill us for us to be ineffective in the Kingdom of God.

Yesterday my husband was working in the garage swapping tires on his truck. He heard a bird chirping as though in distress. Looking up he saw one flying frantically around the garage and as he watched a falcon swooped in behind it in full pursuit. The potential victim bird flew toward the windows of the door sensing a possible escape. In a moment, the falcon curled its deadly talons over the bird and dropped to the floor. Mesmerized by this scene, keeping eye contact with this predator for many seconds, Wade reached for his phone to try to capture the moment. Who would believe this? Much to his chagrin, his hip was empty, his phone left inside. A few more seconds of eye contact and the falcon lifted up and out the door, prey in tact.

The differences were evident between my husband and I as he was totally fascinated with this series of events and I incredulous, asked, is this an omen? It reminded me though of how the enemy swoops into our circumstances and lives with no regard for anything else but to capture its prey. He has someone in his sights and is relentless to try to capture them.

This is not meant to make you fearful, only aware. There is good news. Jesus. He wins.

Sin is a way for the devil to get in. Jesus died for our sin.

“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Repent. Acts 3:19, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

Live from a place of Victory. Romans 8:37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Do not give in to fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and a sound mind.”

Always remember. 1 John 4:4, “You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

We are not helpless prey, we have been given authority over the enemy by the blood of Jesus that was shed for us. Read the chapter Ephesians 6 to learn about your armour and power against the enemy and Stand firm. God wins in the end.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:10,11…

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Liberated Identity

Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

When in doubt, go back to what you know. As I sit in my makeshift writing space praying, researching and gathering the copious amounts of writing I have done over the years, I sense God whisper, write what you know.  Over 9 years ago my charge was given to encourage and enlighten others to live in the shameless freedom and forgiveness of Christ. It has been my gathering place when I doubted my purpose or wasn’t solidified in my identity. It is simple really but I have chosen to complicate it.

I have not been set free just to be free. I have not freed myself but it is because of Jesus that I am free. It is my responsibility to live that way. Christ has set us free dying under the curse of the law so we should not take the yoke of slavery upon us again. Freedom is a gift not to be abused but used so that we will serve. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36. It includes telling others of the treasures I have found and my mode of sharing happens to be writing. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit-fruit that will last- and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16 

When you realize how much God loves you, you’ll begin to live in true freedom.

As I grew up, I never felt like I belonged in my family. I was a surprise which could have been the reason. God chose my family and I love them intensely. I don’t know why I felt that way and I don’t blame anyone for that. It was what it was. It could have been the impetus for me seeking to fill that empty place in my heart and soul and unfortunately the choices I made to do so weren’t always great ones. The choices were temporary numbing to my emptiness but the true fullness came in the form of Jesus. In this place, awareness of my true identity and purpose collided together in a myriad of new truth. It has now been 15 years of God process, healing the places of me to line up with who I truly am in Him.

I was surprised at the simplicity of the definition of identity. Dictionary.com: Identity – the fact of being who or what a person or thing is. In the world it means being who we are but when identity is rooted in Christ, it is embodied in the Greek definition of identity which means – the vital breath, breath of life or the soul. Identity in Him is full of purpose and power and meaning.

These are just a few of the truths in Scripture speaking the certainty of who we are in Christ:

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John 1:12 I am God’s child.
John 15:15 As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:1 I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ’s body.
Ephesians 1:3-8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
Colossians 1:13-14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
Colossians 2:9-10 I am complete in Christ.
Hebrews 4:14-16 I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ.

My freedom deepens as I allow God to love me through the truth of His Word. God’s priority is our heart and character, not our circumstances. Freedom isn’t a literal releasing as much as it is a becoming. Oh to be like Him! That is true freedom.

Where have you looked for your identity? What part of God’s truth about you do you need to sink deep into your spirit? Sit with it, soak in it and choose to believe it. Live from freedom, from victory because Christ died for it. Period.