Tag Archives: Satan

Blowing the whistle on Satan

17 May

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world (Galatians 6:14).

I thought a lot yesterday about my triathlon woes and concluded at the end of the day that my problem was, once again, pride – pure and simple ego. After reading some race recaps by triathletes who are faster than I am but call themselves slow (If they’re slow, what am I?), I felt like a joke. Why am I doing triathlons when I’m absolutely no good at them?

Then I thought about all the other ways I am tempted to feel insufficient and not good enough: body / weight, career, fashion, friends, vacations — the list goes on and on. Satan is always tempting me to seek validation through external things — which also happen to be things I don’t have a ton of control over or things that won’t last. The only reaction to seeking validation from those things is discouragement and despair (and eating lots of ice cream).

Once again, this morning God called me back to the truth — because of Christ, I am good enough. I am exactly the way God created me. The only thing wrong with me is sin.

God made me slow. God made me curvy. God made me quiet and introverted. God gave me the desire to pursue a joy-filled life instead of a high-powered career. God has worked in my heart to create a desire for simplicity, which stands in stark opposite to accumulating material possessions. This is the reality of my life.

Satan takes all of these good things and distorts them. Instead of thanking God that He has given me a joy in exercise and eating right, Satan condemns me for running 3 miles in 34 miles and eating a piece of cake. Instead of being grateful for the clothes and job I do have, Satan conveniently shines a spotlight on women who are more successful and better dressed, quietly suggesting that they’re happier than I am.

Well, I’m blowing the whistle on Satan. Everything he says to me (and you!) is a lie. I find happiness in being God’s chosen one, in knowing that Jesus has gone to prepare a place in heaven for me — not for the lithe, trendy girl down the hall. Jesus is waiting for me. He wants a loving, intimate relationship with me. I am loved by the Most High.

With that knowledge and hope as my foundation, I have decided that I can embrace being velocity-challenged (I decided that is the PC term for slow). I can serve as a role model for all of those other athletes – runners, bikers, swimmers, etc. – who participate in sports not because they’re good at them, but because they enjoy them. I personally have been encouraged by others who don’t have it all together, aren’t living the picture perfect life, or flaunting a taut body with the latest fashions, yet completely embrace and accept who they are. They remind me that being who God created me to be is what glorifies Him. Trying to be someone else is not only an attempt to glorify myself, it’s an insult to God – I’m saying that He messed up; His creation is defective.

I think that this is one of the hardest challenges that humans face – the temptation to define ourselves by things other than Christ. The temptations come in different forms for different people but they’re all from the same source (Satan) and they all have the same solution (Christ). In Christ, we find a lasting, eternal identity: sons and daughters of the Most High God. Isn’t that better than being fast anyway?

Ashamed of Affluence

24 Sep

[Disclaimer: This post is not meant to judge, since I am guilty of these same things! Instead, it is meant to be thought provoking and perhaps convicting. In my own life, those have already happened and now I want these convictions to inspire change in me.]

Last night, our church had our 2nd Focus meeting, when all the church members and prospective members come together and the pastor teaches us about what we, as a church, believe. This class is kind of review for me and Travis since we just took the new members class at Grace last year.

At some point during the night, they ask questions to the congregation like “Anyone in here have a birthday today?” or “Who in here has the highest college GPA?” Whoever has a birthday or the highest GPA gets a prize (book, gift card, etc.) Those are fun questions and it’s always interesting to see who answers what.

But there are a couple of questions they asked that just don’t sit right with me. The first night, they asked, “Who in here has the most pairs of shoes?” Last night, they asked, “Who in here has the most purses?” It probably goes without saying that women won both prizes.

And that’s entirely my point.

What would a church in Africa, a church that has a dirt floor and a couple of poorly constructed benches, a church whose members are in actual danger of dying from starvation or disease caused by dirty water, think about us? Why is a sort of accepted practice, ney even a joke, for women to be such overconsumers, especially in Christian circles?

How can we sit in our comfy warm homes surrounded by mounds of clothes, shoes, and purses and not care about those who have ONE pair of clothes, NO shoes and NOTHING to even put in a purse?

I’ll tell you how: Satan. Satan is the sneakiest, craftiest being on the planet. He is SO crafty that I guarantee you that today, after writing this post, I will wish I had a new pair of pants, new shoes, or see a cute purse that I’d like. Guarantee it. Satan uses this covetous desire in my heart just about every time I step into the sanctuary at church. I’m ashamed to admit that there are many times when I’m so distracted by my envy of other women (whether it be me wanting cute clothes or to be skinnier) that I can’t pay attention to God at all. I hate it. I hate how Satan distracts us.

Oswald Chambers writes in My Utmost for His Highest on September 18, “[Satan] does no come to us on the premise of tempting us to sin, but on the premise of shifting our point of view, and only the Spirit of God can detect this as a temptation of the devil.”

Satan is continually trying to distract us from what really matters. There is a part in The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis where I believe the uncle demon tells the nephew demon that his goal is just for his target to be comfortable and to think that everything’s ok. Then he will have no need for God.

I believe Satan and his demons do have that agenda and I fall into it often. Just a couple of weeks ago, I asked Travis if I could buy some new clothes. As if I don’t have enough in my closet already!

But here’s the thing. In her book Dangerous Surrender, Kay Warren talks about being gloriously ruined for Christ, meaning being so disturbed and unsettled by the physical condition of other people, by the evil things that happen in this world, that you can never go back to your pleasant, naive little life.

I am almost there.

I would say I’m fully there but then 2 paragraphs ago, I was telling about my desire for new clothes.

I think my personal problem is that I haven’t yet gotten involved in being the solution to these woes. I see the problem but have yet to do anything about it. There are a lot of reasons why I haven’t: busyness, indecision, fear, indifference at times.

But I’ve heard it said that when you’re the one who sees a need, God intends that you be the one who fills it. And I am ready. I am ready to be used.