If you’re a Christian it’s likely that you go to one of two churches. One that blames the devil for everything or one that never mentions him at all. Mention satan to anyone outside the context of church and you’re likely to be labeled a fanatic. Let’s be clear, satan is the enemy of our soul. However, unless you’re demon-possessed you can’t claim, “the devil made you do it.” The devil doesn’t have any power over us, as Christians, he can only spout lies and influence the “world” to create temptations and traps for us.
He lied from the beginning to Eve. He tempted Christ, and now he’s lying to you. When I read the “verse of the day” from the Bible app, I saw this verse in a new light. For years I had been reading it as “This Thanos level bad guy will snap you out of existence if you’re not a good person and follow Jesus.” However, when I read this recently I realized that the battles I face now as a Christian are in these 3 areas.
Steal Our Joy
The devil comes to steal. For years I thought that meant he was going to steal my money or maybe steal a family member. What I realized that his greatest tactic was to steal my joy. Almost weekly there will be a day where I get frustrated and/or depressed. I’ve let anxiety build up and have not been relying on God. I’ll settle for a drive-through prayer time and wonder why my day is going so poorly.
In reality, he didn’t sneak into my room or my life and take my joy. Instead I left myself open gave him my joy. The “stealing” comes from the fact that I only realized I gave it to him after the fact.
Kill Our Dreams
Early in my walk with Christ I continued to make big plans for success. Financial success. I love what I think businesses can do to change the world for the good. I figured, as a Christian, I would create a company that was so successful that I could end world thirst and fight poverty. My goal was to make a lot of money and then spend time giving it away. However, if I’m honest, there was some hidden pride there. Yes, I absolutely wanted to help people (and I still do). For me it wasn’t the money but rather money represented a score board. The more I made the better I felt about myself.
When my expectations didn’t match what my reality was I was devastated. “Where is the desire of my heart?” I’d pray. I listened to the lie that my value was determined by my works and accomplishments. It wasn’t till I repented and sacrificed my dreams and accepted His far greater dreams for me that I ever felt fulfilled.
Now I seek to obtain His dream for me with the same passion. However, the obtainment of the dream looks a lot different than my financial dreams. Working harder and pushing further don’t look the same. Now I have priorities and have to remember who my provider is. It means I’m purposefully slowing myself down (for you it might mean taking action).
The point here is that the devil wants to kill your God-given dreams of Kingdom Success. Kingdom Success can include financial success, but the approach is going to look completely different. A Kingdom leader is one that walks with God, allows Him to lead and follows Him. The devil wants to kill your dream by having you chase your pride. If you read the old testament you’ll see that almost every “good” king was tripped up in the end by some temptation that took his eye off the mission.
Destroy His Dreams
The devil is really only interested in us because if he can hurt us it hurts the Father. In fact, it’s the only way he can ever hurt God. God has amazing dreams for you and I. We can only fulfill those dreams if we give Him our dreams and step into what He has called us to.
If you allow the devil to get a foothold with unforgiveness or perhaps chase money and pride you’ll be off-mission. However, Christ’s love covers all our sins, past, present and future. What would have happened if I didn’t repent when my dreams were of worldly success and not kingdom success? In Christian-eze I’d have been “full on backsliding.”
What does a “destroyed dream” look like? It’s a Christian that’s harboring unforgiveness against God. That’s my definition. You’ve believed that lie that God is not really for you. Maybe He’s too busy or doesn’t like you as much as that awesome person on instagram. In this state, you’re all on your own. I believe this is a reason why many fall and fail to enjoy the dream God has.
Love Knows No Bounds
However, know this! God is always waiting with open arms for you to trust Him with your problems and temptations. His love knows no bounds. We just have to receive it, which admittedly is harder said than done. There is no such thing as fully destroyed or fully dead in the Christian faith. Yes, the temptations and lies will be there every day but so will God.
What are some other areas where we need to be vigilante about identifing the lies and relying on our Father? What are some dreams that you need to let God hold for you so you can achieve the greater ones He has for you?