Sometimes the Word of the Lord comes softly, like a gentle breeze on a summer day. Other times it comes thundering and rolling in . . . today is such a wind. Listen to what He is saying:
“the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram, I am your Shield, your abundant compensation, and your reward shall be exceedingly great” –Genesis 15:1
The Lord made a tremendous agreement with Abraham. Right after this verse He again promised Abe a son and gave him another promise, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars — if indeed you can count them.” Then He said , “So shall your offspring be.” Ah, the infamous Dust and Stars . . .
Now, to seal that promise, he was told to take a female heifer and a female goat and cut them in two (and yes, that was going to be pretty bloody and gross). Then Abram was to take a turtledove and a pigeon and lay them on the ground, head to head. Abraham did exactly as he was told, and as these creatures lay bleeding, vultures began to descend on the carcasses. Then as, “Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.” So, what was this darkness? Well, the description tells us everything: “dreadful darkness . . .” It was Satan in a panic!
Let me explain something to you. As you draw closer to Jesus and Satan sees all of the Lord’s promises becoming yours, he is going to go into a jealous rage. When he sees your firm resolve to go all the way with the Lord, there is only one way for him to react: all hell goes into a panic! Jesus says that the moment — immediately after — the word is planted in your heart, Satan will come to steal that Word! Read about it in the fourth chapter of Mark’s Gospel! That dirty dog doesn’t wait until a more convenient time, he comes immediately.
So what did Abraham do when the vultures came? Scripture says he chased them away. Oh my! That sounds aggressive! Well, it is. But, the Lord just showed us the way to deal with the menacing vultures in our lives. We don’t have to be afraid of the devil’s attacks because we have been given mighty weapons of warfare!
Whenever any voice of doubt or questioning of God promises comes into our mind, we have to line it up against what we know about our loving Lord. We can’t accept any thoughts as true if they are based simply on what we are feeling in a particular moment. They must be measured against Jesus’ promises about himself and about the victory he has won for us.
Simply put, if thoughts come to us that are accusing — if they cause doubt and fear, or worry, or are condemning, or bring a sense of rejection — we should know immediately that they are not from our Father! Sure, we can even admit that many of the thoughts are probably accurate in the natural. But then, we need to take into account the Sacrifice of Jesus and the Redemption Jesus bought for us! Praise God we don’t have to look at it through our natural eyes. We are told to take every thought captive! Wow! That sounds aggressive! We take them captive! We take hold of our thoughts and bring them into submission by the Word of God!
Every one of us has to be prepared for these thoughts to come. Many times I have said, and I will say over and over until it sinks in. Satan’s only weapon against you are Thoughts, Ideas, and Suggestions. Think of the acronym, T.I.S. Thoughts, Ideas, and Suggestions.
What music have you been listening to? What movies have you been watching? What radio stations are on your radio? Who do you hang with? Who are your friends? What kind of vocabulary are you speaking? What magazines fill your coffee table? What food are you feeding your mind and spirit? Folks, we are not playing “Mickey Mouse” games here. This is serious stuff and we need to start taking it seriously!
Our enemy is a master at deception and he will plant a Thought into your mind that you are going to fail, that you aren’t worthy enough, that you can’t succeed. Then he will Suggest that you just give up, quit, throw down your baseball bat and go home. Ah-ha! Then he’ll suggest that you go a different direction, follow a different route.
In the case of Abram, he and his wife figured: “Hey, God promised I would have a son, and since you, Sarai, are over-the-hill and can’t have one, here’s an idea, let’s have the son through someone else! Wow! What a great idea . . .!” Well, was it? That child through Sarai’s handmaiden became what we now call the Arab nations. I guess that wasn’t such a good idea, after all. Hey! Even our Lord Jesus was subject to these kinds of thoughts from the enemy during his wilderness temptation.
Friends, when vultures come at you, bringing thoughts of doubt, unworthiness and insecurity, chase them away with God’s Word! Notice that word: Chase. It requires your effort. The sacrifice that the Lord has led you to make is pleasing to him, and he will honor it.
—Pax et Bonum!
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