Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Beautiful Balance

Before vacation I began a series called "Beautiful Battle" based on a novel about spiritual warfare by Mary DeMuth. This was going to be partnered with "Joyful Mothering;" however, she pushed the series back until later this fall. I felt the nudge to go ahead and begin. I felt that there were pieces in this novel that I needed to know sooner rather than later. I was right.

I'm going to begin where I left off on Chapter 4 of "Beautiful Battle" where I learn all about balancing fear and faith...

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When thinking of Spiritual Warfare, there is the possibility of both dismissing its existence and over dwelling on the unseen struggles. Amazingly, these two opposites can even happen with close encounter to the other. Spiritual Battles take many forms and it is possible to focus too much on one aspect while others blow past you.

Chapter for of DeMuth's "Beautiful Battle" discusses balancing the perspective of spiritual warfare. The title of the chapter describes DeMuth's intention well-- "Living the Right Story: Balancing Between Ignorance and Overreaction."

Satan has many names, but so does God. For every name and description of Satan, God has one better. The bible shows over and over again that Satan has no power against the Almighty God. God created Satan, Jesus took authority over him and has already defeated any of Satan's activity. Jesus has also presented that authority to us by being the sacrifice and sharing his blood.

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"Adversary" is one of Satan's many names. It means to hide in ambush, like prey. However, the Lord is our Shepard and protects s from prey. God protects us from Satan's attacks.

One of Satan's greatest tricks is temptation, which labeled him "the tempter." It is important to remember that it is Satan who tempts, not God.

"And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, "God is tempting me." God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else." James 1:13

It is also important to remember, regarding temptation, that God is in control of Satan and will not allow more than you are capable of handling.

"The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When yo are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure." 1 Corinthians 10:13

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There are many trials in life, times of ups and downs, and happenstances beyond our control. I'm am going through that right now with my third miscarriage. It is a struggle that I know God has weighed whether I can handle it. Thankfully, I am strong enough in faith with Him that I can. Through all the rough times God provides a way and watches after his beloved children. Through struggle God strengthens us and brings us closer to Him. The struggles I face right now has put me face to face once a again with a God that listens, grieves with me and strengthens me.

Satan is a liar and a deceiver. DeMuth makes the point that Satan is unable to speak the truth. God on the other hand only speaks truth.

"Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." John 14:6

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Although Satan leads with lies, false inspiration, and attempts to destroy good, God is light, hope and truth. Satan cannot destroy God or what he protects. If we keep our eyes focused on God and righteousness we will see through Satan's lies and deceptions.

There is a fine line between calling Satan out and expecting him in every little aspect of life. Though we should not take Satan's worldly influences lightly, we should also not obsess over his schemes because that is the precise attention he desires. God is bigger. By going through Jesus and being covered by his blood we tap into his authority over Satan. Jesus' sacrifice overthrew any hope of Satan's success by conquering all sin.

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We need to focus on God, but still have an understanding of Satan's schemes. We must look inward to our souls and strengthen our relationship with God which will reduce our attention on distractions, judgments and views of worldly success. We should strive toward Godly standards. It isn't easy, but it is important to find a balance between fear and faith.

*Note: This is a series that I will link up with at "Joyful Mothering;" however, the group discussion will not begin until later this fall. For now, I feel compelled to continue studying and posting what I learn.

Devotional Study based on "Beautiful Battle" a novel by Mary DeMuth.

The Beautiful Battle Series:
Part One: Foundations
Introduction: "Warrior Women"
Chapter One: “Beautiful Battle
Chapter One: "Woman at the Well"
Chapter Two: "Satan: The Enemy"
Chapter Three: "Why Do We Suffer?"
Chapter Four: "Beautiful Balance"

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