Scriptures clearly teach us that Satan has a three-fold purpose and that is “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (see John 10:10). The Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians also taught us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Therefore, as Paul also exhorts, we should “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).
From certain things that I have experienced in my life, I am keenly aware that Satan is alive and well, and that he is crafty and operates through deception. In fact, there are actually six D’s that can be associated with Satan – Deception, Doubt, Discouragement, Diversion, Defeat, and Delay. I have spent my entire life struggling with each of these 6 D’s in one form or another. Satan has tried many times to kill me by taking control of my mind, body, and even my very soul. He has relentlessly tried to defeat me in every area of my life, but I have learned that the grace and tender mercies of the Lord are far more powerful than any attack that Satan can hurl at me. It is because of the Lord’s amazing grace and His tender mercies that I am alive today, and instead of walking in the darkness that once surrounded my life, I am now walking in the glorious light of the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Paul in his treatise to the Saints at Ephesus taught, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). And so, we are to put on the full armor of God, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
The 6 D’s that I have mentioned are the wiles of the devil. I cannot express strongly enough the importance of not being ignorant of Satan’s tactics to defeat you. So, please put on the armor of God and live and walk in His glorious light. The reality is that you are either walking with Satan in darkness, or you are walking with Christ in the light. You cannot do both. Darkness and light cannot dwell together. It is an impossibility!
Karlyn Kay Stebbins
February 20, 2015
Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:
Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.
|Guest Author: Patricia D. Brown — My youngest sister, Patricia D. Brown, sent me the following message back in 2009. I feel that what she has to say here is too valuable to keep to myself so I am passing this timeless message on to both family and friends. She makes many valuable remarks that we all would be wise to take notice of and hopefully use to reevaluate where we place our priorities in life. I wish to extend my humble thanks to her for sharing this message with me. You may contact her about this message at Patricia D. Brown.|
Key verse: Daniel 7:25
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Today, we live in a time where everybody seems to be in a hurry for some reason or the other and just don’t seem to have enough time to do whatever it is they have planned to do. Oh, don’t misunderstand me. I believe that it is a good idea for one to have hopes, dreams and plans for their lives, for Proverbs 29:18 tells us that, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Even God Himself has a plan and will for the lives of His children. In Jeremiah 29:11 it reads, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Our Heavenly Father only wants what is best for us. In fact, He knows what is best for us better than we do. That is one of the things that I love about Jesus. He has a long-range view of our destiny.
Sadly to say, a lot of church folk are short-sighted and at times naïve and narrow-minded. While I do believe that God wants His children to enjoy their lives while here on earth, we as Christians fail to realize that where we are in God now – or our level of spiritual maturity – is not the place God plans for us to be forever. He doesn’t want us to stay baby Christians forever. For example, He doesn’t want us to just know about Him; He wants us to come to KNOW Him in a personal and intimate way through prayer, the study of His Word and through fellowship with other saints. Some of us should even be at the stage in our walk with the Lord where we no longer go to church looking for a blessing, but rather we now go to church to BE a blessing to the body!!
I truly believe that God wants us to be busy in the church and to be found doing His work when He comes (Luke 19:13, Matthew 24:44). But unfortunately, some of the saints have gone and are going to the extreme. The enemy or the Devil has blinded the saints into thinking that we have to take on every job and be on every board in the church in order to be pleasing to God. In a careful study of Daniel 7:23-25, the prophet is speaking about end time prophecy when this fourth great beast God shows him in a vision will wear down the saints with persecution. He also brings out a specific time-table about how long this great beast will be persecuting or wearing out the saints, “until a time and times and the dividing of time” (See Daniel 7:25). “A time” is the span of one year; “Times” is a span of two years; and “The dividing of time” is half a year, making a total of 3 ½ years. Thank God it is only a span of 3 ½ years! If it were longer, I truly do not believe that a lot of the saints would be able to take it. Jesus said in Matthew 24:22; “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
See, Daniel was speaking about the times that are coming after the rapture of the church during the tribulation. But if we would take notice, Satan is wearing out the saints in the church today. That’s why the Word of God tells us to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The devil has blinded many of us into thinking that we have to be super, extra busy doing things: I’m on this board, I’m on that auxiliary, I’m on this choir, I’m on that choir, I’m a deacon, I’m an usher, I’m a trustee. As a matter of fact, I’m even the president and they just can’t make it or go on without me. WAKE UP CHURCH!! God is not calling us to be so busy. In fact, He has specific offices and places for each of us in the body (See 1 Corinthians 12). The saints have too many irons in the fire. We are so busy doing THINGS! God is not so interested in the deeds of my hands as He is in the condition of my heart. AMEN?!! If my heart isn’t right or if my motive is wrong, God won’t be pleased anyway.
The devil is slowly but surely wearing out the saints doing things and going places until the time for the more important things – prayer, Bible study, relationships, fellowship with other saints, and the like – is all used up. We may sing the song, “Lord, I’m Available to You”, but in all actuality, we are not. If someone needs a friend just to talk to or spend time with, we are too busy. If someone needs someone to pray with, we are too busy. We often tell them that we’ll pray for them later, and get so busy again until the prayer request goes completely off our minds. Or if someone just needs a listening ear, we are too busy. And even in some instances, some of us have the audacity to think or say that “If I am not going to receive any glory or recognition for myself or if I’m not going to get anything out of it, I don’t have time to be bothered anyway!!” The devil is wearing us out with WRONG THINKING.
I was talking to an older friend of mine and she was telling me that times have changed and that things and people are not the same today anyway. She said that when someone was sick or someone passed away in the neighborhood, folks had all kinds of time to spend. Friends and family would come by to make sure that everyone and everything was all right or even take time to pick up the phone and call. But today, we are so busy that we don’t have time to pick up the phone just to say, “Hi! I had you on my mind. Is everything all right?” Back in the “good ole days”, all folk really had was each other. They didn’t have fancy cars, fine homes, good paying jobs, fine clothes, cellular phones, DVD players, computers and whatever. All they had was each other and that seemed to be enough. The devil can even use God’s blessings against us, if we let him. It seems as though before God started blessing us with material things, we acted like we had good sense! That is why God doesn’t bless some of us the way that He desires to. We don’t know how to act when the blessing comes!! We have eaten and gotten full and have forgotten to say, “Thank you” (See Deuteronomy 8:10, 11).
We wonder sometimes why we are so tired. We wonder why we are sicker now than we used to be. Satan has worn us out. Again, I truly believe that the saints have too many irons in the fire. What we need to do is be still and let God place us where He would have us and give that our all. Our prayer should be, “Lord, what would YOU have me to do?” and “Lord, where would YOU have me to go?” I believe if the saints would do this, we won’t be sick and tired, frustrated and out of sorts all the time.
I am but a young man of 57 years. However, within my short life time I have slowly watched the world spin out of control on a downward spiral. Many of the nonsensical things that are occurring in our day and time would have never been thought of or heard of when I was a lad growing up.
Perhaps those were simpler times. Times when people respected each other, and actually endeavored to work together as a unified community for the common good of all. Certainly we had our problems in those days with the various crimes that were committed, but the crimes that were committed did not seem to be of the same brashness and magnitude as we see today.
During the days of my youth there were those who loved playing pranks over the telephone such as, “Is your refrigerator running? Well, you better go catch it.”, but we did not have people calling us attempting to scam us out of what little money we may have had. Today with the ever-increasing knowledge that man has been able to get with the rapid advances in modern technology, some people have found it convenient to take advantage of honest people in any way that they see fit and find absolutely nothing wrong in doing so.
For the most part, these scammers, scalawags, vagabonds, and thieves are nothing more than cowards. They play their cloak and dagger games consistently pretending to be someone who they are not, and often use coercion tactics to get innocent people to fall prey to their devious plots. These criminals have even gone so far as to use fake telephone numbers to call people so that if the person being called wishes to trace their number, they will have a difficult time doing so. Some of them try to disguise themselves as harmless, innocent sheep when they are ravenous wolves seeking their next prey to devour.
People such as these bank on the false hopes that their operations will always stay covert. What they fail to realize is that everything that now appears to be done in darkness will one day come to light. Some have had their operations foiled and brought to light sooner than expected as once innocent victims have begun to raise their voices in protest and expose these scammers, scalawags, vagabonds, and thieves for who they are – criminals who deserve nothing more than to spend time sitting behind bars looking out, longing for the freedoms that they once had but willingly threw away because of their nonsensical schemes and scams which ultimately brought about their own demise.
My dear friends we live in an hour when Satan and all of his little minions are on the prowl more than ever seeking whom they may devour. Their evil forces are stronger than they have ever been. Knowing this, I am reminded that the only thing needed for evil to continue to succeed in this world is for good men to sit idly by and do absolutely nothing.
Now is not the time to give up and give in. Now is not the time to run and cower in a corner crying, “What shall we do? What shall we do?” What we should be doing and need to be doing is standing up and speaking out with a clarion voice to announce that we have had enough – from now on and no farther. Now is the time to stand up and speak up and send a message loud and clear to those who wish to destroy our lives and our society at every turn that if they are caught playing their game, from this point forward and forevermore, the only verdict that will be rendered is, “Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 dollars. There is a place that has been prepared for you and your friends where you can spend your days cheating and scamming each other.” For far too long these criminals have been allowed to roam free and cause havoc. We must take back what is rightfully ours and put them where they rightfully belong.